Open Letter to Google, Feedburner

Dear Google Executives:

I think it’s very interesting how you have chosen to acquire FeedBurner. I think it’s a wonderful investment for you as you can further solidify your offerings.

For instance, you’ll have more reach into feeds to push your Google ads via the FeedBurner Ad Network. For you, this is a fantastic opportunity.

As your mission is to index all the data in the world, to have a window into feeds and how those feeds are consumed in a multiplicity of environments is literally huge. We know that publishers aggregate their feeds and collection of feeds in a variety of different ways, so for you, this is good.

From a platform perspective, your relatively powerful invasion into data presentation with so many major accounts like Dow Jones, AOL and even b5media is nothing but genius.

I write this letter to you, though, as an account holder. Not just an account holder, but an Enterprise account holder. b5media currently powers over 200 blogs through your newly acquired service. We use it to aggregate channel feeds and power various aspects of our network.

FeedBurner is an important partner. Google, however, has not historically been a good partner and Jeremy is even offering a cash prize to anyone who can show us differently. Chad also tells us why he hates Adsense. Granted, this has been on the advertising front, but forgive me if I remain skeptical.

You are effectively taking over our entire feed platform and there’s not really a lot that would prevent us from creating our own feed platform. b5media has historically created things when we find we’re not happy with what’s already out there, so I’m not averse to doing it again.

We can certainly enhance what FeedBurner already offers us in terms of API. The problem is that we have a great relationship with FeedBurner. I feel like we work in the same building regularly. We know these guys. We know you too. Frankly, I’m concerned.

The standard line provided by corporate marketing folks at this point is to assure the customer base that “nothing will change”. I appreciate the fact that that is your job, but really time will tell. I want to trust you, Google. I want to believe that you are not evil, but you have to show me something or I don’t mind considering alternatives.

We start all over. Square one. Day one. Make me trust you.

-Aaron Brazell

P.S. Steve Fisher sees the FeedBurner exit as quite a good example for entrepreneurs.

P.S.S. Andy Beard tells us the 7 good things and 7 bad things about this acquisition. In fact, Digg him.

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Aaron Brazell

Aaron Brazell is a Baltimore, MD-based WordPress developer, A Sr. Web Engineer at 10up, a co-founder at WP Engine, WordPress core contributor and author. He wrote the book WordPress Bible and has been publishing on the web since 2000. You can follow him on Twitter, on his personal blog and view his photography at The Aperture Filter.

6 thoughts on “Open Letter to Google, Feedburner

  1. I have to admit that I would love to be behind a tool that I could sell in a few years for $100 million.

    On the other hand, I wouldn’t want to screw over people who fell in love with that tool specifically because it was run by “one of the little guys.” As much as I like Google, they’re beginning to creep me out…

  2. FeedBurner _owns_ that market. They aren’t the little guy. They are synonymous with ‘feed stats’. You practically expect most feeds to use FeedBurner these days.

  3. This is a bad day for the web publishing community. How long before Big G buy up all the competition?

    They are now adopting a new rule. Purchase or Punish. If a competitor is amenable to being purchased, then do it. If not, then punish them in the SERPs.

    I am so unbelievably pissed off with this “deal” it’s not true.

  4. Feedburner has more potential than its price of $100 million……I really admire Google :)…in future this deal will be more fruitful for Google than their acquisition of doulbleclick…..funny thing is; Not in terms of Ad Network.

    As, a feedburner user i really expect its identity to kept intact by Google. Good luck / Congratulation to Both of Them!

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