Posts tagged ‘2007’


Should I remove Feedburner?

05.10.2019

I’m wondering whether it’s worth carrying on with Feedburner. Over the last few years I’ve rid our sites of Facebook gadgets—that means if you “Facebook liked” something here, you’d have to go through the Po.st links above (which I’m hoping are visible on the mobile version), rather than something made by Facebook that could track you. It’s not been 100 per cent perfect, since Po.st doesn’t pick up on likes and shares that you get within Facebook, so if this post manages a dozen likes there, the count you see above won’t increase by 12. It’s why well liked posts don’t necessarily have a high share count, which renders the figure you see here irrelevant.
   I suppose it’s better that someone understates the share figure than overstates it—as Facebook does with its user numbers.
   But I dislike Google’s tracking as much as Facebook’s, and since I have de-Googled everywhere else (one of the last is shown below), then I’d like to get rid of the remaining Google tools I use.

   I signed this blog up to Feedburner when the company was independent of Google, but I see from the gadget on the full desktop version of this site there are only 37 of you who use its feeds from this blog. This is a far cry from the 400-plus I used to see regularly, even 500-plus at one point in the late 2000s.
   I checked in to my Feedburner stats lately, and was reminded that the drop from hundreds to dozens all happened one day in 2014, and my follower numbers have been in the two digits since. Check out this graphic and note the green line:

   It’s entirely consistent with what I witnessed over the years. There were indeed days when the Feedburner gadget’s count would drop into the 30s, before rising back up to 400 or so the following day. I never understood why there would be these changes: in the early days of Feedburner, before the Google acquisition in 2007, I had a slow and steady rise in followers. These peaked soon after Google took over, plateaued, and just before the 2010s began, the massive fluctations began.
   I can’t believe there’d be en masse sign-ups and cancellations over a five-year period, but in 2014, the last fall happened, and it remained low. And, to be frank, it’s somewhat demoralizing. Is the fall due to Google itself, or that Feedburner decided to run a check on email addresses and found that the majority were fake one day, or something else?
   Given that the fluctations were happening for years, then I want to say there was a bug that knocked out hundreds of subscribers, but I actually don’t know, and I haven’t read anything on this online, despite searching for it.
   Perhaps Google cuts back the dissemination of your RSS feed if you’re not using their Blogger product, but we know why using their service is an exceptionally bad idea.
   It reminds me of Facebook’s decision to kill the shares from a page by 90 per cent some years back, to force people to pay to keep their pages in the feed.
   If you’re getting this on Feedburner, would you mind leaving me a comment so I know it’s still worthwhile? Otherwise, I may remove my account—I’ve de-Googled everything else—and if you still need Atom and RSS feeds, they can be had at jackyan.com/blog/atom/ and jackyan.com/blog/feed/ respectively.

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Posted in internet, publishing, technology | 2 Comments »


Hints of Google’s privacy misbehaviours in 2007

08.03.2010

I did my last edits to this blog’s pages that had resided on the old Blogger service today, before decommissioning them from the service. After today (in theory, since the updating stalled twice as I wrote this), you will not be able to make any more comments on posts written before January 1, 2010.
   In doing so, I discovered a very interesting post: my moan about Google Web History on October 1, 2007. It turns out that was the day I switched it off, until Google decided, in its wisdom, to turn it back on again. In the same post, I mentioned how I was unhappy that I was signed up to Orkut and Google Groups without my consent.
   Anyone who thinks Google’s recent misbehaviour is new is (as I was) mistaken.
   Back in 2007, I threatened to shift this blog away from Blogger, which I did not carry out for two years due to busy-ness.
   The silver lining then, as now, is that at least Google has the guts to tell us under what means they were collecting our private data and allow us to opt out (in theory). But the point, surely, is that we should not need to opt out, if we have never opted in, to these services.
   The more things change …

Photograph by http://www.flickr.com/photos/charlesc/; CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

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Posted in business, internet, USA | No Comments »