Friday, June 08, 2007

Feedburner and the data invasion issue

Feedburner was acquired by Google on 1st June - which might explain why my Feedburner feed feed has been 'hiccuping' like mad over the last few days.

Here's what people had to say about about the deal.

Feedburner blog - "The local weather forecast calls for general euphoria with intermittent periods of off-the-rails delight". (I'm not sure whether they're referring to the benefits for customers or the $100m pay-out for the five venture capital owners - the post provides a detailed analysis of the benefits of a tie-in - which seems very commercially oriented on a speed-read.)

Commercial minded tech blogs like Tech Crunch are focusing on the money being made and offering congratulations

However ZDNet raises some serious concerns about allowing Google to peer into 'back-office business' (see below if you want to opt out)

And in case you think that concerns about Google peering into your business are over-hyped - check out this blog post about a cat owner's protests about Google's invasion of her privacy. You too can see her cat sitting in her home looking out!

For those of who use Feedburner but who don't log in on a regular basis please note the following message which comes up when you try to sign in. I don't remember an e-mail notifying me of this. Surely they don't actually think people log into their accounts every day? I use Feedburner for my feeds but don't use it for the stats - since they're not as easy to access as other dedicated stats software.
NOTE: Service of FeedBurner publisher accounts will not be interrupted as a result of the acquisition by Google. You will have a 14-day interim period ending June 15, 2007 to opt-out of allowing Google to service your account. If you take no action by June 15, 2007, the rights to your data will transfer from FeedBurner to Google. Opting out will terminate your user agreement with FeedBurner, permanently delete your FeedBurner account, feeds, and all related statistical data and history, and prevent the transfer of your data rights to Google. To opt-out, contact us via, provide your FeedBurner account Username, and request to have your FeedBurner account deleted. We will contact you at your registered email address to confirm your deletion request before completing it. (Feedburner Log-In Screen)
I do like Feedburner - for burning feeds. I am very much against unwarranted invasion of privacy and really don't like Google owning everything I use on the Internet. Maybe it's time I had a think about changing my the range of internet tools that I use.

[Note: My pen and ink sketch is of Kylie's imfamous gold lame hotpants from the Spinning Around Video (the gold seemed so appropriate for this post!) which revealed rather a lot and achieved iconic status as a result. They have been on display - in their very own perspex box - at the Victoria and Albert Museum. I popped in and did a sketch on a recent visit when I went to see the exhibition of her clothes (amazing!). The exhibition finishes on Sunday 10th June.

I love the challenge of coming up with an image for the techie posts - I thought this one was rather neat!]