FeedBurner: Burning Feeds on Gasoline - Brief Overview
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First of all, should you want to read an introductory article on web feeds to find out what they are, and learn about feed aggregators, how publishers syndicate their feeds, and the way users subscribe to get in touch with the latest updates, then reading Web Browser-based Feed Aggregators article is a definite must. Start with that.
This article presumes that you are familiar with feed-related technical terms and that you also run your blog. This isn't so uncommon lately; everybody and their dog has a Wordpress or Blogspot blog, if not his or her own from a dedicated server. That is irrelevant. We are going to discuss only FeedBurner.
FeedBurner, in short, is a free web feed management online service. Burning a feed means adding a new feed to your FeedBurner account. By doing so, your feed is re-published, adding extra functions and features of your choice. Think of it as a tuning shop. A stock car goes in and comes out with both internal and external tuning.
All kinds of feeds are supported, so you don't have to worry about formats such as RSS, Atom, XML, RDF, and such. FeedBurner can be used by bloggers, podcasters, and also publishers. Lots of "unique" functions are available to each of these. Numerous highly popular and prestigious companies have also opted to burn their feeds; here we can name a few such as The Wall Street Journal, Reuters, USA Today, AOL, etc.
Now it's time for us to find out more about those extra enhancements that come if one chooses to burn a feed or two. The core of FeedBurner lies in its API (Application Programming Interface). Basically their sub-services are all based on the main core API. This is pretty good, because it offers a great deal of scalability.
The extra features from which the user can choose are categorized into four segments: publicize, optimize, analyze, and monetize. Various tools are used for each. You have complete control over the entire process of "feed burning" and deciding which services you'd like to use, as well as configuring and customizing each to suit your needs.
On the next page we are going to overview most of these services from the categories mentioned above. But for now, let's bring in more statistics. As of July 30, 2008, there were a total of 1,879,482 feeds hosted from 1,057,910 publishers, of which 249,728 were podcasts and videocasts. FeedBurner is currently the biggest RSS feed inventory on the Web.
Knowing all of this, it makes sense that so many people set fire to their feeds. As mentioned earlier, of those four categories, the most "sensation" is created by the last segment: monetizing. The Ad Network of FeedBurner is truly awesome; it is huge, thanks to its partnerships with prestigious publishing agencies.
Google AdSense integration is undoubtedly a work of art. The process couldn't be any more straightforward, and the integration happens totally seamlessly. The user is given the ability to customize ads in terms of demographics, content control, geo-targeting, day-partitioning, frequently-clapping, and other innovative features of the ad server. Respectable companies are main advertisers such as Comcast, Oracle, Sony, Verizon...
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