FriendFeed Explodes RSS Feed Counts in FeedBurner

by Robb Sutton

I…like many bloggers…woke up this morning to find an unusually high subscriber increase in my Feedburner feed counts. Just like any abnormality, I further investigated the root cause to the issue and found out that FeedBurner was now counting the amount of subscribers to my FriendFeed as subscribers to my blogs.

While some of you might enjoy the bump in numbers at this time, this is a dangerous road to walk down for FeedBurner as it completely changes the game when it comes to publishing feed subscriber counts…and not in a good way.

The FriendFeed/Feedburner Issue – And A Big One!

FeedBurner has now drastically dilluted the FeedBurner feed count. Let me paint it out like this. Say you have built up a substantial FriendFeed following (which can be as easy as following everyone on Twitter), and you launch a brand new blog with 2 articles on it. You then aggregate that new blog to your FriendFeed and BAM! You instantly have thousands of RSS feed readers on your chiclet with only two articles! How good are you?!

As you can see…the FeedBurner feed count has become an unreliable number in determining the following of a blog.

Now…if I can figure that out in 5 seconds flat, how long will it be until someone completely exploits the system for their own benefit? Granted, after a certain amount of time, one would hope that you can tell the difference between a fake FriendFeed subscriber number and that of a legitimate blog following, but now there is a whole new variable in the game that has to be dealt with.

Dear FeedBurner,

Thank you for the bump in my subscriber count, but…if you don’t mind…I would like to return it in favor of a more accurate count.

Thank you,

Robb Sutton

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