No Fancy Name
Monday, December 19, 2005
FeedBurner's FeedFlare
First, let me add the disclaimer that I don't work for FeedBurner and don't even know the guys at FeedBurner, but I love the FeedBurner service. The control and customization you have over your FeedBurner feed, plus the outstanding support forums, the administrative section names that make me chuckle evey single time I login (analyze, optimize, publicize, monetize, uh...."troubleshootize"? that's funny!), and not to mention the stability of the service—all great things.

Then they went and added this slick new FeedFlare service the other day, and I love them even more.

FeedFlare came about after the FeedBurner folks sat around thinking about "the importance of the feed item and the ability to leverage the structure of the feed to build a bridge between web services and the content item." Basically, this means you can select some stuff that will appear in the feed footer that makes it easier to see items/perform actions which are becoming more and more integrated with the whole blogging experience. The first release of FeedFlare includes communication between your feed and email actions, and Technorati links, and Creative Commons, as well as comment counts for WordPress feeds.

Here are a few screenshots I took, showing how it works:

FeedFlare example (1/2)IMAGE 1: To activate or customize the FeedFlare service, login to your FeedBurner account and click the "Optimize" tab. Once in the "Optimize" section, select the "FeedFlare" link from the side navigation. Although not shown here, when first you click the link the service will be inactive. To activate it, all you have to do is click the "Activate" button at the bottom of the page. The "Email This" item is pre-selected, but you can select/de-select any option before activating the service. The preview area will automatically update as you select/de-select options. When you are satisfied with your selections, press the "Save" button.
[click to embiggen image]

FeedFlare example (2/2)IMAGE 2: This image shows how a FeedFlare-enhanced FeedBurner feed can look in a feedreader. I use Sage as my feedreader, so your mileage may vary with regards to how these items appear in your reader. In the example shown, you can see the popularity of a particular post at Freshblog, with its two Technorati links displayed in the FeedFlare footer. Other links in this particular customized FeedFlare footer are the "Email This" option, the "Add to" option, and the ability to view the Creative Commons license for the blog.
[click to embiggen image]

I recommend all Feedburner users activate the FeedFlare service, if for no other reason than to do your individual part in "build[ing] a bridge between web services and the content item." That was FeedBurner's ultimate goal in creating this service and to reach that goal they really need content owners to step up and press the wee button to activate it for their individual feed.

Readers of my book, this additional service is relevant to Topic 49, "Providing an External RSS Feed," in Chapter 8, "RSS, Indices, and Folksonomies."

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