The Sunday Salon used to be a meme but was getting so huge it became unmanageable, so it is now a Facebook group that has become an informal week in review
gathering place for bloggers.
It is also a place to share our thoughts about things of a bookish nature.
So Happy Sunday Everyone!
Feedburner – My Thoughts
Most of us use Feedburner to get our posts out to our subscribers. Friday I saw my “Readers” had dropped to zero on the Subscriber Widget. I then found this article online Prepare for goodbye Feedburner in October 2012. Google is again getting rid of something important to bloggers. They removed Google Friend Connect several months ago. Before that it was the Amazon Gadget that made it easy to insert Amazon links into your blog posts. At the time we all thought it was to get all of us to start using Google AdSense and Google+. Many people did.
Feedburner is the means by which over a million RSS feeds on websites deliver content to people according to the Wikipedia entry on Feedburner (and that was the figure in 2007: it must have grown even a little since then). Those websites include big media properties, mainstream and social, alongside individual bloggers like me.
I have not joined Google+ yet and have stopped using AdSense because Google and I have a history. If you use Blogger to create your blog you have probably learned the only customer support they have is through their forums. You post questions there and hope another user can answer your question. Once in a blue moon an actual employee of Google may make a comment. Last year when they removed the Amazon Gadget people took to the forums. We called Amazon and talked to an actual person who told us Google shut it down not Amazon. Google used a lawsuit in California to hide behind their action. Apparently I angered the Google gods when I tried to get all the people leaving comments to post in one string thinking if we banded together we may get an honest answer.
The answer I received was powerful. I woke up on a Sunday morning just like this one to find my blog was missing. Address Not Found. Then I realized by Gmail was gone, Google Docs gone too, Google Calendar with my whole life scheduled missing. Even the Google Map that I was using to keep track of my Where Are You Reading Challenge was not there. All my contacts and all my appointments were history. I was in the middle of several giveaways. I had publisher and author deadlines to meet. While I wasn’t earning a salary blogging was still my job. In the blink of an eye it all vanished.
Panicked I found myself setting up another name so I could get to the forums to beg the powers that be to return my online life to me all to no avail. Thanks to some clearer thinking my some friends and family by Monday I was starting over with a WordPress format and just one week later a self-hosted WordPress format. The following Monday, eight days later I find all the Google stuff is turned back on. I receive an email with just one line – “matter has been resolved“. Like they just had expected me to sit on my hands for a week while they “punished” me for what? Posting my questions in a forum and actually expected an answer.
Yes, I was nervous using Feedburner because it was a Google product but at the time I knew of no other free option. Plus virtually everyone was using it. Feedburner was huge! I again started using Google Docs for giveaway entries again because it worked well and was free. I use my Gmail account sparingly and the Google map as well. But I think this action with Feedburner, that vast numbers of bloggers and businesses use, has sent a really clear message for everyone to free themselves from all Google products. With a flip of a switch, with no notification sent to actual users, they can just take everything away.
I did learn that if you set your Feed Stats Dashboard to September 17 you can download your subscribers email addresses that were active on that date. I have not found a way to identify those that subscribe through RSS or Google Reader. Some people have told me they are still receiving emails but they are now just in plain text. I have also heard rumors that Feedburner is just down for maintenance or known issues.
So what do we as bloggers do? Wait and hope it comes back? Or do we look for something to replace it?
Feedblitz is an option but would cost more than I pay to host my entire blog. Mail Chimp is another option that is free until you hit a certain number. A friend told me about the Subscribe 2 plugin for WordPress which looks promising. There is a way to transfer email addresses you download from Feedburner. But I don’t want to have my subscribers receiving double emails for each post. I also believe posts are still being sent to the various RSS readers but that no new subscribers are being accepted. The last thing you want to do is anger you readers, but you don’t want to lose them either.
I am really interested in your insights, ideas and views about this hot issue!
Bloggers and Readers tell me what you think??
This past week I completed a major Challenge.
I am thrilled and surprised I finished it with time to spare.
A. An Appetite For Murder by Lucy Burdette
B. Breach of Trust by David Ellis
C. Clobbered by Camembert by Avery Aames
D. Dodge The Bullet by Christy Hayes
E. Executive Sick Days by Maria Schneider
F. File M for Murder by Miranda James
G. Glow by Jessica Maria Tuccelli
H. The Hidden Man by David Ellis
I. Iced by D.B. Morgan & Tim Myers
J. Julia’s Child by Sarah Pinneo
K. A Killer Read by Erika Chase
L. Last Chance Beauty Queen by Hope Ramsay
M. Murder Grins and Bears It by Deb Baker
N. The Naked Gardener by L.B. Gschwandtner
O. Oath Of Office by Michael Palmer
P. Plan Bee by Hannah Reed
Q. Quilt or Innocence by Elizabeth Craig
R. Redemption Day by Steve O’Brien
S. Shear Murder by Nancy J. Cohen
T. Town in a Wild Moose Chase by B.B. Haywood
U. The Union Quilters by Jennifer Chiavernini
V. Voices of the Dead by Peter Leonard
W. The Wedding Quilt by Jennifer Chiavernini
X. The Xibalba Murders by Lyn Hamilton
Y. Yellow Crocus by Laila Ibrahim
Z. Zoned For Murder by Evelyn David
Week in Review
Tuesday – I reviewed Bras, Boys, And Blunders in Bahrain (Young Adult Romantic Comedy Set in the Middle East) by Vidya Samson.
Thursday – I reviewed Death in Four Courses: A Key West Food Critic Mystery by Lucy Burdette. Another great escape to Key West.
Friday – I reviewed my “X” book – The Xibalba Murders (Archaeological Mysteries, No. 1) by Lyn Hamilton. This was my first experience with this author. Sadly she passed away in 2009, but prior to that she wrote 11 books in this series. I hope to read them all.
Saturday – I started a new feature – Saturday Surfin’. I plan to highlight interesting posts I find in the blogosphere. It will also help me travel around and visit the blogs I am following. Please feel free to share interesting posts you have found in the comment section or use the the feature on your own blog. Let me know and I will promote your site too!
We are in Week 8 of the Iced Chiffon Giveaway. The book hits shelves October 2.
That’s all for this week. I know it’s a lot.