FeedBurner for the Paranoid

After all of the hubub this weekend about how FeedBurner is ‘trouble’ and ‘bad for us’, I wanted to make a quick note of a couple of ways to serve your feeds through FeedBurner in a way that makes it possible to easily and seamlessly bring your feeds back under your control at any time.

# Use FeedBurner’s MyBrand service (which is now free) to serve your feeds using a domain you own. This lets you serve your feeds with a URI of http://feeds.mysillyblog.com/mysillyfeed or the like. In the event Google ‘preferring’ Google Reader for feeds burned by FeedBurner (something I’m confident Google will never do), you’d just point feeds.mysillyblog.com back to a server you control, and in the blink of a TTL, your feeds are yours again. For details on implementing MyBrand, check out Danny Sullivan’s great guide: Stay Master of Your Feed Domain.

# Advertise your feed at a URL on your blog (http://mysillyblog.com/index.xml), then redirect users to FeedBurner with a 302 Found redirect. Straight from the HTTP specifications, this tells your browser or RSS reader:

Since the redirection might be altered on occasion, the client SHOULD continue to use the Request-URI for future requests.

Here’s a nice guide detailing how to properly redirect your feed to FeedBurner using a 302 Found response code. In this case, if Google / FeedBurner ever sins against you or your mother, your feeds can be instantly and seamlessly moved away from FeedBurner by removing this redirect.

  1. For the extra paranoid, combine methods 1 and 2!

I’m a huge fan of FeedBurner, and like Fred Wilson, don’t share the concerns of Dave Winer about FeedBurner’s future. At last count, I manage around 225 feeds in several FeedBurner accounts, and don’t ever plan on going back. But, if the need arises, I take comfort in knowing how easy is is to leave. To quote Fred’s post:

That gives me all the comfort in the world. I love it when services make it easy to leave. When they do that, I tend to stay.