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The FeedBurner Subscriber Count Drop Issue

Over the past few days many of us have seen a significant drop in our RSS subscriber count in our FeedBurner account.

The FeedBurner help group – if we can call it that way, as no one ever seems to answer – is filled with messages from users who have “lost” even thousands of subscribers overnight. What’s the answer these users get? The silent treatment. And it’s not the first time users report these drops and get no answer.

OK, we’ve seen a pattern in these drops and it involves the Google Reader subscribers. With Google Reader being probably the most popular feed subscription tool worldwide, there’s no wonder that the drop percentage ranges from 30% to 70% in some cases.

So, just for the sake of remaining optimistic about this situation, let’s presume that Google is working on a way to better integrate these two services (FeedBurner and Reader) to provide better statistics to us users.

Even so, this does not explain the lack of updates on the FeedReader Status blog or the lack on a 2 line message on the help board that would definitely calm down the spirits. And as the case is not singular, and the lack of communication seems to turn into a habit, I cannot help but thinking that ever since Google took over FeedBurner, the relationship between the project team and the users has gone from good, to bad, to worse.

A change of attitude is required in this age of instant communication, otherwise even if Google is running the service, competition will eat it up. “All this has happened before, and will happen again” as they used to say on my favorite TV show, Battlestar Galactica.

Update: After 3 or 4 days of madness on the boards, a Google team member addressed a short message confirming that the issue is related to Google’s Feedfetcher and has been reported to the responsible department. It took a while…

Update 2: An acknowledgement of the issue is finally made official on the FeedBurner blog. 3 to 4 days after users started to ask questions about it.

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