What to do with my feed?

What to do with my feed?

I don't know about Feedburner sometimes. It seems everyone uses the service. I like using it. But I am not sure if my subscriber count could have possibly jumped from about 100 to 278 yesterday. Either I did something right that gave me more subscribers in one day than three months of work ever did or they are having issues. But who would know. The last post on their blog was a couple of months ago.

So I took a look at my stats a little more. It seems that the massive amount of extra hits to my feed came from Feedblitz.


But checking Feedblitz, I only have 9 subscribers there. Who knows whats up with that. But while I am at it, I might as well get some other feed questions off my chest.

Feedburner is all in all a great service, but I do have some "Burning Questions" to steal their phrase. If I leave a comment on a blog that uses the CommentLuv plugin, does the link to the Feedburner redirect count toward my site or get lost in space? I have never really investigated this before, but I will look into that one.

And I only remember tagging one post in the past with "feedburner", yet no less that 70 posts are tagged with "feedburner",  which is why I took a tag cloud off the site. I am not the official Feedburner blog and I am not sure how they got there, unless the Feedburner plugin somehow does it. Since Feedburner is owned by Google, if this is so, is Google spamming themselves?

And what of feed directories. I am the list guy, but I have yet to exhaustively add this feed to directories. I have a list right here and using it would help me update it. Time to scope some out and find out which follow and which don't. Which only list a feed location and which list some posts with a link back, like MyBlogLog or Bumpzee.

And should I make my Feedburner feed shiny and happy. Should I load it up with dodads and links and use a custom style sheet or does that matter?

And the final question is monetization. I have full feeds. I know when I subscribe to a blog with full feeds, I only visit the site if I am going to comment. Should there be ads in my feeds? I ask this question because most blogger's idea of feed monetization is to go with a CPC or CPM, but I know from experience on other sites that CPA is the way to go. And do ads in feeds piss off subscribers? If so, I am not going to sacrifice subscribers for a few pennies a click.

And since the Related Posts for feeds works so well, why couldn't I have a Related Products for feeds plugin. Oh, that's why. It doesn't exist yet or at least I have not found it. My idea: a backend product database that the plugin pulls related products from. Modules for affiliate programs like CJ, ShareASale, and Clickbank that import datafeeds into the database. I was building a site of ShareASale datafeeds. I stopped when I was not even close to halfway through and my database was already holding over 1,000,000 products. Yes, six zeroes. The more products to relate, the closer the relation becomes, but I wasn't sure how much MySql could deal with. Another thing I have to investigate. But maybe it's time for me to check out Scriptlance for someone who could write this plugin for me. I could do it, but I already know my average time for development.

Whether this should have been a post or a brainstorming session on the back of an envelope remains to be seen. But one thought brings on another and if you trust them and let it go as far as you can, new things you never knew existed in your head come out. Of course, new ideas bring new issues that have to be dealt with and more things to investigate. And I wonder why I so much to do at times.

Question authority, question yourself, question everything and you will find new answers. The person that doesn't will be left behind in the brick and mortar world. The person who doesn't will vanish in the internet world. Evolving begins with a question and results in a long, convoluted post.

Stephan Miller

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Kansas City Software Engineer and Author

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