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Feedburner Sale to Google Confirmed

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the going-going-gone dept.

Google 117

Techdirt is reporting that the rumored sale of Feedburner to Google has been confirmed. "Feedburner is in the closing stages of being acquired by Google for around $100 million. The deal is all cash and mostly upfront, according to our source, although the founders will be locked in for a couple of years."

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117 comments

VCs have changed? (5, Interesting)

hirschma (187820) | more than 6 years ago | (#19244149)

Back in the Web "1.0" days, VCs would never have settled for a payout that small. In fact, they'd rather have the company die - they were in the business of hitting grand-slams, looking for the billion(s) dollar(s) payout.

This is "only" 10x. Does that mean that VCs have come to their senses? Anyone have any insight into this?

no.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19244213)

feedburner just isint that valuable.. period... unless you want advertisement in feeds

Re:VCs have changed? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19244283)

I for one welcome our newly come to their sences VC overlords!

Re:VCs have changed? (5, Funny)

Richard McBeef (1092673) | more than 6 years ago | (#19244435)

Back in the Web "1.0" days, VCs would never have settled for a payout that small...This is "only" 10x

No shit. This is way worse than the 0X that most VC companies reaped back in the days of web 1.0.

Re:VCs have changed? (1)

hirschma (187820) | more than 6 years ago | (#19245035)

That's the point. Many good companies that could have been sold were left to die on the vine while they chased super-duper payouts like Netscape, Yahoo, etc. I had VCs tell me that if they couldn't see a way to 100x return, they didn't even bother - before or after investment.

Re:VCs have changed? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#19245219)

Did they do a good job picking up your garbage?

Re:VCs have changed? (3, Funny)

Richard McBeef (1092673) | more than 6 years ago | (#19246867)

Did they do a good job picking up your garbage?

Not only that, but they did it for free. And if anyone beat their price, the next pickup was 50% off plus they'd mow your lawn and wash your dog all while delivering 50 cents worth of groceries (20% off) on a motorbike from a store 15 miles away.

Re:VCs have changed? (2, Insightful)

davidu (18) | more than 6 years ago | (#19249393)

I've never heard of a VC say they expect a 100x return. Not in your wildest dreams. Maybe if the amount of total investment is like under $50,000 could I see that expectation.

Sequoia Capital is one of the best in the business and they have had 5 exits, maybe 10 at most, that were over a billion dollars.

10x is nothing to sneeze at. 20x is great. 50x is fantastic. 100x is abnormally impressive.

-david

Re:VCs have changed? (0, Flamebait)

dedazo (737510) | more than 6 years ago | (#19244491)

How do you know that the purchase price does not cover the VC investment? Perhaps it does. Hell, maybe they made a killing for all you know. I doubt in this economy anyone would sell at a loss. Things are not that screwed up.

And it's always good to see Google "innovating" by buying out startups.

Re:VCs have changed? (4, Informative)

foniksonik (573572) | more than 6 years ago | (#19244735)

Definitely changed... looking for 3x plus on mid-terms.

I was at a startup for 4 years that just sold last year for 165M... w/ 60M in VC money. The early investors got 3X the late got 1.5X but at a better pricepoint (they could buy more). First round was 15M, second was 30M, 3rd was 15M. I made 8.5K via options exercised as a lowly employee on a 1.5k pricepoint (0.15 per share, 9650 shares approx) but VCs got 3x that on average with several million shares each at different prices.

Re:VCs have changed? (2, Interesting)

shelterpaw (959576) | more than 6 years ago | (#19245225)

Yes. It all depends on the investment size and how much the VC owns and the market potential. Most VC's look for 20% to 30% ownership and estimate market potential between 3 and 5 years. 5 Years is pretty normal anything beyond that and they're looking for a larger return. But companies can be funded from as little as 1mm to 150mm. So the expected return will vary with investment size. With something like this company they must have met potential. A return of 10 times investment is pretty nice and I doubt you'll hear investors complain. Obviously not as lucrative as yesteryear but pretty substantial nonetheless.

Re:VCs have changed? (2, Interesting)

jonesvery (121897) | more than 6 years ago | (#19245311)

This is "only" 10x. Does that mean that VCs have come to their senses? Anyone have any insight into this?

The difference is more in the scale than in the multiple. 10x is a respectable rate of return for a VC investment; the ending number is "small" because Feedburner only took $10MM in two rounds of funding, where some 1.0 companies burned through that much VC cash on lunches with their branding consultants.

That said, the B round, at least, came from VCs that never lost their senses to begin with (Brad Feld @ Mobius and Fred Wilson @ USV). In both cases they're also specifically working at a smaller scale these days, making smaller investments earlier and focusing on working closely with the companies that they fund. So in that sense, yes -- some VCs, at least, are working differently these days. The dramatically dropping costs of starting a Web venture play a part in that, too: there are more companies online that can really get going with "small" amounts of money they days when a Web shop had to drop $1MM on Oracle licenses and another $1MM on the servers to run it are fading away.

Re:VCs have changed? (1)

capn_nemo (667943) | more than 6 years ago | (#19245565)

The article says the deals for cash. Most of the dot-com sales, although for higher numbers, were for 10% cash, and the rest in stock that often turned out to be worthless. This is worth a lot more real money right now for the sellers. Also, these are the guys that founded spyonit.com, which sold to 24/7 back in the day.

Re:VCs have changed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19245863)

VCs have changed?

Nope, victory conditions (VCs) are still the same: the one with the most toys at the end wins.

There are appropriate and inappropriate times to abbreviate. Good form is to abbreviate in brackets after the first occurrence of a phrase and abbreviate thereafter.

It took me some time (at least two minutes... I had to RTFA) to figure out that you meant 'venture capital(ists), I assume, and not victory conditions. As a gamer, I still see 'victory conditions' everytime I look at it.

So what if they are locked in? (4, Funny)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 6 years ago | (#19244171)

They are getting $100 mil and they probably dont leave their parents basements all that much anyway.

Re:So what if they are locked in? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19244767)

Dude dont you realize how bad they have it? they are LOCKED IN! they cant go out and buy brand new Ferrari sports cars, giant mansions and have their teeth replaced with solid gold.

Can we start a relif fund for these guys? Maybe we can get someone to shove doughnuts in through a vent for them during the next 2 years.

Re:So what if they are locked in? (1)

Namlak (850746) | more than 6 years ago | (#19245759)

They are getting $100 mil and they probably dont leave their parents basements all that much anyway.

Yeah, but now they can afford to buy their parents a house with a 10,000 sq ft basement!

Help!! I'm locked in!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19244173)

And I thought when I quit Wal-Mart and got a job at Feedburner that things would change and they would let me go home at night!! Shit!!!!

Why bother? (3, Interesting)

garcia (6573) | more than 6 years ago | (#19244179)

Google already gets my feed itself through feedfetcher and it is one of the few subscribers to my feedburner feed. It also subscribes itself to several other feeds (bloglines).

I don't see what good it does Google to own this company.

Re:Why bother? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19244601)

Are you kidding me?

Google gets to see your RSS readership data. That's quite important for advertising....

Re:Why bother? (5, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 6 years ago | (#19244613)

I think they're just stamping out competition. And they don't have to keep doing it forever, either. They buy one or two more of 'em and people will stop starting them. When Google has the top three of whatever, people will mostly stop making whatever. The procedure worked for Microsoft time and time again, why not Google? :)

Re:Why bother? (1)

PeeAitchPee (712652) | more than 6 years ago | (#19245177)

The procedure worked for Microsoft time and time again, why not Google? :)

Yeah, like Microsoft dominated search and online advertising, right? Oh wait.

No company is invincible. Microsoft was in the same boat 10 years ago and they managed to screw it up. The bigger they get, the slower and less innovative Google gets, and the harder it becomes to attract and retain top talent (yes, some people want to work for a cause other than the dollar). Google could fall just as fast if some young upstart moves in with a truly disruptive search technology and steals their advertising revenue. It is unlikely but within the realm of possibilities.

Re:Why bother? (2, Informative)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 6 years ago | (#19245365)

Meh. If microsoft hadn't won, then decided that, since they'd won, all further development was a waste of time, there would have been no niche for new operators. We'd all be on IE11 by now, because they'd have agressively ported it to all operating systems in a bid to globally corner the hugely important browser market, and then they'd have built online application inventories through their massively dominant search portal that were tied directly to the pc through activeX.

Instead, they acted like fools, and blew their lead. So don't assume that because the last player who tried to be dominant mistook the game for the special olympics and got beat down, that the next competitor won't learn from their mistakes.

Re:Why bother? (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 6 years ago | (#19246123)

IBM used to be the kingfisher. Then a small company selling operating systems and basic interpreters for toy home computer overtook them. Now a small company doing web searches is overtaking them... see a pattern here?

Google's brand alone does it (2, Informative)

cyberianpan (975767) | more than 6 years ago | (#19245303)

Also: Google has huge brand recognition, until today I didn't know that feed broadcasting was big business. Now I do because Google paid $100m .... and who do I know that now does feed broadcasting ? So if I was actually a webmaster that earned some bucks from ads & was thinking about RSS - I'd now go straight to GoogleBurner. I don't even bother looking for competitors (who might be marginally better) as : It keeps things simple for me: I just have to hold one concept in my head "Google good: Google has good products, Google finds the new good products ". Given this brand "synergy" effect I'm surprised they got away with a 10x deal.

rss to proxy (1)

Wikipedia (928774) | more than 6 years ago | (#19245697)

Dude, there's still stuff to do. An idea I had was to build an rss proxy and put it into the http protocol, where I can use my favorite desktop feed reader, and not have to leave my computer on 24/7 just to ensure I don't miss a post for feeds where they expire very quickly. What if you are a researcher and don't want the latest news anyway? You want the oldest news and want to read back in time for an rss feed? Google reader is nice, but I don't like how it locks me into the browser. That doesn't logical especially since I am a rabid fan of gmail, but I think it could be a good niche.

Re:rss to proxy (1)

ZzzzSleep (606571) | more than 6 years ago | (#19248671)

Quoth Wikipedia

An idea I had was to build an rss proxy and put it into the http protocol, where I can use my favorite desktop feed reader, and not have to leave my computer on 24/7 just to ensure I don't miss a post for feeds where they expire very quickly.
What I do is use Google reader to glom all my feeds together, and then use a desktop rss reader to read from my Google feed. Problem solved!
Although, if Google allowed me to search through my rss feeds I wouldn't need to download them into a seperate app (Opera's RSS reader). It's not perfect, but it'll do.

Re:Why bother? (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 6 years ago | (#19246193)

It is completely different. Underlying M$ success was hardware and applications. Having a brad based OS simplifies hardware choices and application choices, once a lead is gained it can be leveraged for even greater dominance. The Internet is a protocol, an extremely competitive environment, virtually impossible to dominate in the same scope you can with an operating system.

Although it is unlikely that any one will ever dominate search to the same extent as google it is equally certain the google's market share will shrink over the years as more companies come to realise the importance of providing an effective search engine in order to keep customers returning to their portal.

An example of how quickly a lead in internet space can evaporate is Youtube, since google bought it has done nothing but lose market share to Metcafe, Dailymotion, Stage6 et al. it is becoming very obvious that google should have just stuck with google video and just patiently taken away the Youtube market lead just like everybody else is doing.

The big catch with advertising is, how effective it is in actually selling the product, it is still pretty obvious the coming up on the first page of the search is of far greater value than Addwords that everyone is starting to ignore or even block.

Re:Why bother? (1)

trawg (308495) | more than 6 years ago | (#19248327)

They buy one or two more of 'em and people will stop starting them
Weird, I think the opposite - the more things Google buy, the more incentive people have to start things in the hope they'll get bought out.

Re:Why bother? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19249647)

Eye-opening post. Never thought of it that way.

Re:Why bother? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19244759)

I don't see what good it does Google to own this company.
Fishbreath much, queefbag?

Eat my dirt, techcrunch! (4, Informative)

mfaras (979322) | more than 6 years ago | (#19244217)

I googled techdirt, and I searched their blog, and there's nothing about google and feedburner, take a look:
http://www.techdirt.com/search.php?q=feedburner [techdirt.com]

So I'm betting scuttlemonkey typo'ed it, and it's actualy techcrunch, as the link says.

Please correct the summary.

--
Eat my dirt.

Re:Eat my dirt, techcrunch! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19249463)

techdirt is submitter name, not TFA

Benefits (2, Interesting)

jshriverWVU (810740) | more than 6 years ago | (#19244219)

It seems Google as acquired a lot of these marketing/advertising/blogging sites. What does this one offer the rest didnt or google couldn't develop themselves?

Re:Benefits (1)

cabinetsoft (923481) | more than 6 years ago | (#19244495)

What does this one offer the rest didnt or google couldn't develop themselves?
Existing userbase, previous stats... more than enough.

All style, little substance (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19244525)

It seems Google as acquired a lot of these marketing/advertising/blogging sites. What does this one offer the rest didnt or google couldn't develop themselves?


For all of the macho recruiting process that Google is known for, and for all of the accompanying swagger, the reality is that Google's employees are unable to deliver beyond the patented PageRank search algorithm produced by Brin and Page and the patented Overture advertising system that Google licenses from Yahoo. That is why in the space of just a couple of years, Google has been rapidly buying up companies, from Keyhole (the original creators of Google Earth) to YouTube to DoubleClick. There is nothing technologically shattering or innovative about YouTube, so it speaks to volumes that Google paid such a large amount of money to acquire it. Every dollar spent on an acquisitions is a public admission of the incompetence of its internal employees.

Re:All style, little substance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19244691)

That explains why Microsoft has borged a bazillion companies.

Re:All style, little substance (2, Insightful)

charlesnw (843045) | more than 6 years ago | (#19245313)

I couldn't agree more. Google has produced NOTHING else of any substance beyond search. And even then the search isn't all that great. The algorithim isn't even all that inovative and is implemented by many search engines.

Re:All style, little substance (1)

natedubbya (645990) | more than 6 years ago | (#19245789)

the reality is that Google's employees are unable to deliver beyond the patented PageRank search algorithm

I'd say Google Maps was a deliverable they punched through. It revolutionalized (ok maybe not such a strong word) online maps, kicking mapquest and yahoo in the butt. But you're right, google maps was a while ago...


Re:All style, little substance (1)

Cajun Hell (725246) | more than 6 years ago | (#19245829)

I so want to tell you to go fuck yourself for saying such a vicious thing, but .. everything you're saying rings true, dammit. *sigh*

Writing blogging software is easy, and Google supposedly has smart people. Pay two or three of 'em 3 months of paychecks, and they ought to have something that kicks ass. Instead, they're buying outsiders' work. WTF?

Re:All style, little substance (2, Interesting)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 6 years ago | (#19246277)

It's a slight exaggeration, but there's a lot of truth in there. Google has 2 dozen people working on a powerpoint webapp. The Paul Graham/YCombinator article a couple weeks back mentioned someone who was working on something similar in his spare time. Google tried to buy it out from him, but he turned them down. Buying something for the name value, goodwill, existing users, etc is one thing, but when you can't compete with an unreleased, part time project, maybe something is wrong.

That said, google is smart to be buying up other companies. The google stock price is inflated and will fall someday. Trading it in for other companies is financially prudent.

Re:All style, little substance (2, Insightful)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 6 years ago | (#19249791)

There is nothing technologically shattering or innovative about YouTube, so it speaks to volumes that Google paid such a large amount of money to acquire it.
Yes, it says Google with all of their name power, is still willing to buy others with name power.

Re:Benefits (1)

httpdotcom (749192) | more than 6 years ago | (#19244911)

The following line from Feedburner's homepage probably says it all...

"See why brands like Microsoft & Verizon choose FeedBurner for blog and RSS advertising."

It serves ads well (1)

cyberianpan (975767) | more than 6 years ago | (#19245031)

Well Google's concern is that they wish to control our interface to information, as more people rely on RSS they are less likely to encounter Google (and ads). Most siteowners will still want their ad revenue preserved when they go RSS - so this is the way for them to do it.

More from Techcrunch [techcrunch.com] (another article) One reason a blog or website owner would want to use this is because it simplifies the RSS feed. The Feed URL for Techcrunch, for instance, is "http://feeds.feedburner.com/Techcrunch", which is a much simpler format that standard RSS feeds. Also, most blogging software offers a variety of RSS feeds - Atom, RSS 1.0, 2.0, etc. Sometimes these feeds don't work properly with some readers. And if a site can get most of its readers to use the single Feedburner feed, they can take advantage of the great statistics and tools to see where readers are coming from and what they are clicking on.

The big reason for using FeedBurner, however, is that it can automatically add Google Adsense adds to your feeds, allowing you to easily generate revenue if you have a large enough audience. There are a number of influential bloggers who don't like this service, however (and other aspects of FeedBurner as well) - see Relevant Links below for more information.
So Google now has bought the best RSS broadcaster that already serves Google ads (and the review is from 2005).

"Locked in for a couple of years?" (4, Funny)

PHAEDRU5 (213667) | more than 6 years ago | (#19244221)

This can't end well.

I've been in this room for eight years now, Clarice. I know they will never, ever let me out while I'm alive. What I want is a view. I want a window where I can see a tree, or even water. I want to be in a federal institution, far away from Dr. Chilton.

Re:"Locked in for a couple of years?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19245171)

I'd mod you "funny" for your sig, but you already got +5... damn.

jigaboo (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19244249)

jigaboo

The race between Google and Yahoo... (1)

hsdpa (1049926) | more than 6 years ago | (#19244287)

It's rather obvious that these two companies are buying smaller ones with high growth. What will happen with the freedom of speech, when these giants are "buying the web" ?

Here we go again (1)

biscon (942763) | more than 6 years ago | (#19245287)

I don't know but since that question come up in every /. discussion about big corporations purchasing smaller companies, I advice you to look there ;)

Good move by Google (1)

Richard McBeef (1092673) | more than 6 years ago | (#19244319)

I think this an excellent move by Google. They are going to be able to leverage Feedburners stickyend methodology to promote brick-and-mortar businesses....no they just bought out some competition like a budding monopoly. Wait did I say budding? I meant existing.

yawn (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19244339)

A firm that pays very generously to the highly qualified (in traditional academic terms) to snap them up and squander their research, while growing by buying up moderately successful, established firms for peanuts and pouring in the capital.

Wait, were we talking about Microsoft or Google?

what exactly does feedburner do? (4, Interesting)

andres32a (448314) | more than 6 years ago | (#19244499)

Excuse me if this question is dumb but what exactly does feedburner do? I just don't get it.

Beats the fuck outta me (1)

ArchieBunker (132337) | more than 6 years ago | (#19244649)

Could the slashdot janitors erm I mean "editors" please do their job and maybe link to wikipedia or something that explains feedburner.

Re:Beats the fuck outta me (2, Informative)

Richard McBeef (1092673) | more than 6 years ago | (#19244825)

Not that I don't not disagree with about what worthless pieces of shit that Slashdot editors aren't, but linking to Wikipedia is the epitome of laziness. It is so full of unfactual misinformation that it can't be not trusted in it's integrity or, as one would say, lack thereof.

Re:what exactly does feedburner do? (2, Informative)

Kalriath (849904) | more than 6 years ago | (#19244975)

Excuse me if this question is dumb but what exactly does feedburner do? I just don't get it.
Do you get the Slashdot RSS feed? Feedburner does that. (In fact, the Slashdot RSS feed IS a Feedburner feed). I think it adds advertising to the RSS... or something. Never seen it though.

Re:what exactly does feedburner do? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19245105)

Awesome question, mod parent through the roof. Does anyone even use RSS? I'm a hardcore geek and never use them.

Re:what exactly does feedburner do? (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 6 years ago | (#19249935)

Yes, I use them to keep track of my webcomics. I wish more webcomics employed them (of the 23 comics I read 13 don't).

http://rss.slashdot.org/slashdot/slashdot/ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19247211)

If you have IE 7 or FF 2.0 open the URL: http://rss.slashdot.org/slashdot/slashdot/ [slashdot.org] . That's a RSS feed.

Re:http://rss.slashdot.org/slashdot/slashdot/ (1)

Chris Pimlott (16212) | more than 6 years ago | (#19248191)

He didn't say he didn't know what an RSS feed was. His question is, what does Feedburner do?

Re:http://rss.slashdot.org/slashdot/slashdot/ (1)

andres32a (448314) | more than 6 years ago | (#19248679)

Exactly. I know what is RSS. Even use it for my site. But i just don't get what feedburner does.

Google buying traffic again. But why? (3, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | more than 6 years ago | (#19244591)

What's so weird is that, as with YouTube, Google is buying traffic. Not revenue. Not technology. Traffic. One wouldn't think that Google needed more traffic. More revenue from its traffic, maybe, but more traffic from free services?

Google, according to Alexa, is #2 in traffic, and Yahoo is #1. But Google isn't far behind. These buys look like a desperate attempt to displace Yahoo as #1. Whether this make economic sense isn't clear.

Interestingly, Google traffic takes a dive every weekend, as does Feedburner, but Yahoo traffic does not. Look at the Alexa graphs. That gives a sense of how much work-related use the site gets. Slashdot, incidentally, has a strong weekly cycle, much stronger than Google.

It's still not clear if Google's expansion beyond search will be seen a few years hence as a good move or as corporate megalomania.

Not Good (2, Insightful)

Jack Action (761544) | more than 6 years ago | (#19244617)

I use Feedburner heavily for various blogs and podcasts; and if you asked me a year ago about the Google take-over, I would have said great (or, who cares?).

But since then I've seen too many half-assed Google projects (especially around rss feeds: the Google reader for example is terrible compared to a competitor like Bloglines). Google recently redid the presentation of the statistics service they aquired (Google Analytics), making it worse. Feedburner is currently a great service that is intuitive, innovative and easy to use. But when Google gets through with it, I fear it too be half-assed.

As it has no doubt been said by others, Google is shaping up to be another Microsoft: using its dominance in one area (search), to force consumers into using inferior products. Google is doing it though by "killing with kindness" -- buying up the innovators and strangling them, rather then Microsoft's heavy tactics.

Re:Not Good (1)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 6 years ago | (#19244995)

Google recently redid the presentation of the statistics service they aquired (Google Analytics), making it worse.

The new analytics interface is FAR superior to the prior. I can get more information out it very quickly compared to the original. I can also dig deeper into particular characteristics of the stats what weren't possible before, or at least not easily found. Even just the new mini-graphs on the default from page are immensely helpful.

You're the first person I've heard complain about the new interface.

Re:Not Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19245015)

How long before they buy slashdot?

Re:Not Good (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 6 years ago | (#19245181)

But since then I've seen too many half-assed Google projects (especially around rss feeds: the Google reader for example is terrible compared to a competitor like Bloglines).

Sorry, I disagree. While I don't care for online RSS readers at all (and don't use them), I much prefer the Google Reader UI to that of Bloglines.

Google recently redid the presentation of the statistics service they aquired (Google Analytics), making it worse.

What about it do you think is worse? I love the fact that I can easily change the reporting timeline and add new items to the dashboard, etc. The interface is MUCH better and much more informative.

I love being able to drill everything down and then drag the most drilled down portion over to the front page for future viewing.

I would guess you're either crazy or trolling.

Re:Not Good (1)

antic (29198) | more than 6 years ago | (#19247225)

I'm with you - the new Analytics interface is easy to read and enjoyable to use.

Re:Not Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19246325)

Google is doing it though by "killing with kindness" -- buying up the innovators and strangling them, ...

No no no... you didn't read the summary very well. They're locking them up not strangling them.

Re:Not Good (1)

nametaken (610866) | more than 6 years ago | (#19248751)

"Google recently redid the presentation of the statistics service they aquired (Google Analytics), making it worse"

Statements like these are more opinion than anything. Everyone I know likes the revamp better, along with the additional features. Honestly, it is far and away the best free service of its kind.

am I the only one (2, Insightful)

sentientbrendan (316150) | more than 6 years ago | (#19244667)

who doesn't see what the big deal is with RSS feeds? Or doesn't see why they need to be included in every little application (like safari, firefox, thunderbird, etc).

Usually when I am *online* and want to look at the news from a site... I don't grab their RSS feed, I just go to their site...

It seems like an okay way of exchanging information between different sites in a very limited fashion, but that doesn't make it important or worth spending a lot of money on. It's just one more xml schema for doing something really simple... I don't understand the hype.

Re:am I the only one (1)

Alternate Interior (725192) | more than 6 years ago | (#19244937)

For the longest time, I agreed with you. But there are two circumstances I've observed which make RSS helpful: 1) Rarely updated sites. If a site exists, is alive, but is not frequently updated (like Paul Graham) I might subscribe to its feed so I won't forget about it but won't check back day-after-day to find nothing has changed. 2) Too much to keep track of. While some sites might only update once a day or a few times a week, like Anandtech, there are others which update many, many times a day (like Slashdot or TUAW). You can argue "what does it matter if you miss a story?" but if you hope to catch it all, having a mechanism to enforce it makes things easier. And once you have more than a handful of sites to keep track of, it's just easier to offload remembering what to check elsewhere.

RSS for quick summaries and checking updates (5, Informative)

Quevar (882612) | more than 6 years ago | (#19245063)

Usually when I am *online* and want to look at the news from a site... I don't grab their RSS feed, I just go to their site...
You seem to be missing the idea of RSS feeds. You shouldn't be grabbing the RSS feed, your application should be and displaying the information to you so you don't have to go to their site to see what has changed. I have about 20 different sites that I pay attention to. It takes a noticeable amount of time to go to all twenty sites. So, I subscribe to their RSS feeds and when they change the content, I will see that I haven't looked at an article. Without even going to their site, I can can look at the headline and a brief summary to see if I want to read more. Many times, just a headline and a summary is all I want. I can glance through the summary in a small fraction of the time it takes to open up all the sites.

Another way of thinking about it is for sites that don't change much. Imagine I have 50 friends who have websites that I want to check. Most of my friends only update their pages a couple times a month, but that means that on average, two sites are updated a day. I don't want to load them all every day, only when they change and RSS gives me the ability to know when they have changed.

5 years ago, I could surf for hours at a time. Now, I have read all the aritcles I want in about 30 minutes a day and still keep up with stuff just as much.

Re:RSS for quick summaries and checking updates (1)

shelterpaw (959576) | more than 6 years ago | (#19246507)

I couldn't agree with you more. I use Vienna RSS feeder extensively and rarely do I search websites for news. I even have an eye out on certain craigslist items.

Re:RSS for quick summaries and checking updates (1)

pipingguy (566974) | more than 6 years ago | (#19248777)

I have about 20 different sites that I pay attention to. It takes a noticeable amount of time to go to all twenty sites.

Same here. With Firefox, I just reload all my favourite tabs every day to see if anything's new. This gives the sites that I value regular page views (even if there's nothing new there recently it's an indication of what I value). Is that wrong? Or should I only visit sites that give me "new stuff to read" via RSS, no matter how fluffy?

Re:am I the only one (2, Interesting)

laffer1 (701823) | more than 6 years ago | (#19247275)

RSS isn't for everyone. I only use it for a limited number of sites. Most often I use it with slashdot to see if there are new stories I want to read. I can just hit the menu in firefox and see if I care about any story. Other sites like CNN.com are not quite as useful with RSS. They don't give you much information and the titles are often misleading. Plus, I refuse to watch stories that are video only with the exception of the WIFI story today. Their video feeds work only in a handful of configurations and not in firefox 2 + vista's media player. Changing to IE to watch a video story is lame.

I consider RSS to be like the IE 4 active channels or whatever they were called. Netscape had something similar. I happened to like them but really it was just a different view of the same data. Websites can be much more interactive and entertaining. The only advantage to RSS over the previous technologies is that its easier to generate content automatically. As a website maintainer, I found it annoying to distribute multiple versions of the same website. Just throwing it in a database wasn't always enough. The downside is that RSS does not offer anything to visitors beyond avoiding a lot of crap on sites. The IE 4 feature allowed you to enhance content since you knew you were targeting a rich client with lots of support for newer web technologies. (at the time) RSS readers might be very simple; images, audio, video and other content might not be supported in a feed reader.

Re:am I the only one (1)

teslatug (543527) | more than 6 years ago | (#19247793)

When you get to 20+ sites that update rarely but that you want to follow regularly you'll get it. Saves lots of time.

Re:am I the only one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19248057)

I think you're all missing the point. While at a surface level, RSS allows tech-savvy users to keep an eye on updates for their favorite sites, the technology foretells the future of the Web much more strongly than you think. The ability for a central party to aggregate and present these stories in interesting ways is the real value of RSS, and architecture otherwise oriented around services.

RSS is no more than a service which provides portable content. When we understand how to use this portable content, RSS will make perfect sense.

Re:am I the only one (1)

th3rmite (938737) | more than 6 years ago | (#19249541)

I only have so many hours in a day, and I like to be fairly informed, so I subscribe to quite a few sites. In the course of a normal day, several hundred articles will come out. I usee RSS so that I can quickly browse through and pick out which stories to read.

Great Move (1)

I_am_mccool (961083) | more than 6 years ago | (#19244705)

I think this is a pretty good move on Google's part. They just acquired a large number of publishers that check the service daily and really care about their feed. The feedburner software and service runs VERY well and serves a real need. I wonder if they settled for too low of a purchase price, but I don't blame them for going for the cash. Lets hope their analytics gets bundled into google analytics for some really powerful (and hopefully free) stats.

Why do people use Feedburner anyway? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19245043)

Why not just make your RSS feeds static content to reduce loads and just deal with it on your own server? XML is just a scrap of text and serves fast?

Google analytics and Feedburner statistics (1)

slashthedot (991354) | more than 6 years ago | (#19245275)

...lag behind Clicky which provide a better analytics service. But Feedburner is the RSS champ and Google would want to exploit it with Ads.

What is a feedburner? (3, Funny)

Tibor the Hun (143056) | more than 6 years ago | (#19245385)

Although I do not know what a feedburner is, I would like to formally announce (if any Microsofties are reading) that I am their #2 competitor with great things coming down the pipeline. My product leverages the newest mashup technologies to provide a very compelling value proposition, at an outstanding ROI, with an incredibly low TCO.

You can have it, with no strings attached for 200 mil. (US $ naturally)

Re:What is a feedburner? (1)

nacturation (646836) | more than 6 years ago | (#19248941)

You can have it, with no strings attached for 200 mil. (US $ naturally)
And here I was ready to offer that much but in Euros [google.com] or Pounds [google.com] . Looks like I'll have to pass up on that deal.
 

RSS Advertising (1)

CandyMan (15493) | more than 6 years ago | (#19245415)

Feedburner has made great inroads in brokering advertising in RSS feeds. Google could easily reproduce what Feedburner has done, but in snatching Feedburner they also keep them from other prospective buyers.

All your accounts are belong to us (4, Interesting)

Kris_J (10111) | more than 6 years ago | (#19246261)

Great. That's another new Google account I have to nuke to keep my personal stuff off this juggernaut. Methinks I need my own php/mysql server on the net somewhere so I can just write and host my own stuff.

Re:All your accounts are belong to us (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19246387)

(Posting anonymous to avoid undoing moderations)

You have a good point, with all these services getting bought, who doesn't have a Google account they've somehow got hold off?

Maybe we'll see some reliability out of Feedburner (1)

mdm42 (244204) | more than 6 years ago | (#19249597)

Not to mention some consistency in the stats, being able to stay logged in across more than two pages and perhaps performance improvements in feed fetching.

Honestly, I cannot see much point in using FB; the pain almost outweighs the benefits. The blogs that use FB for feed handling are all incredibly slow and unreliable to load in my feedreader. Perhaps Google will be able to throw a bit more hardware and bandwidth at solving that one for them, now.

They simply cannot keep login sessions consistent across pages; click on a link to see a different blog's stats, and WHOA I'm being asked to log in again. Sometimes it just thrashes between the one page I want to see, the login landing page and the login page. Those days its best to just give up and spend the time contemplating how to write the competition that they so sorely need.

Then there's the bogus, unreliable "stats" they give. One page says x visits; then next says x + deltaX (where deltaX definitely != 0).

With a little luck Google will just fold FB into analytics and Google Reader (or something) and then kill what remains outright.

What does Feedburner offer... (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 6 years ago | (#19249679)

...that Google doesn't already have? I used Feedburner once a year or two ago (with my Blogger blog); as I remember, the really useful features they offered were conversion between Atom and RSS, and media enclosures for podcasts...

Last I heard, Blogger has that now. Or perhaps Feedburner got new features too?
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