January 29, 2005

Getting FeedBurned?

Here is a little story for you. Please lean back and enjoy.

Back in the days, I killed legendary amounts of time writing music and publishing it on MP3.com. For those who came in late, MP3.com used to be the place to connect unsigned artists and lovers of independent music, until in 2003 some idiots at Cnet reserved a special circle in hell for themselves by shutting down the site.

It is hard to find words that adequately describe the awesomeness of MP3.com's early years. I had people listening to my music. Occasionally someone would buy one of my albums and MP3.com would sent me a cheque which I could cash in for real money. "Money" like in "the stuff you pay other stuff with". For having people listen to my very heart and soul. How much more badass can it get?

It never occured to me that MP3.com wouldn't be with us until the end of time. I happily printed the pretty address of my MP3.com artist page on every CD I ever sold or gave away. Now imagine my degree of pissedness when MP3.com first started to rape artists that weren't willing to pay their royally priced subscription plans and finally sold out to Cnet. Suddenly my perpetual MP3.com URL was pointing nowhere at all.

In order to arrive at some kind of point, I find the enthusiasm with which sites are happily outsourcing their syndication to FeedBurner to be mildly surprising. While I crave badly for the painless feed statistics that FeedBurner offers and imagine its creator as people of utmost kindness and integrity, empirical evidence suggests that they are not going to be around forever.

By all means, think twice about handing over your feed's URL to a service you don't have any control over. I assume you enjoy being read and wouldn't want have your subscriber base go away when FeedBurner closes up shop. At the very least, exercise some damage control by having your existing feed point to your FeedBurner feed through a temporary redirect.

Once again, no offence intended to the folks at FeedBurner. Maybe I'm just being oversensitive.