Category Archives: BuzzBoost

Figuring Out FeedBurner

Guy's head set aflames from feed burning
Ok, this is bullcrap.

First thing you gotta know about FeedBurner…most important…is that they got bought out by the monster-conglomerate known as Google.

But whatever does that mean for me, the small consumer?

Well, basically that FeedBurner’s helpful forums have been shut down and sealed away for the next 1,000+ years or until a chosen one comes along and fights off a buncha evil ninjas and demonstrates her/his worth in a cage match with an ancient evil warrior. In a pit surrounded by fire and broken glass and laughing hyenas, 404-error messages, flying toasters,suicidal lemmings raining upon the opponents. Yea, something like that.

Or, that FeedBurner’s easier-to-understand-and-more-helpful-forums are officially closed. All threads are locked. Nobody can add to them anymore.

Or, that Google is now forcing everybody to move all their FeedBurner feeds over to their corporation’s networks and, AND, now you are forced to accept their brand of help. ONWARD, TO GOOGLE FORUMS! WHEEEE!!!!

Now I’m sorry for sounding like a Google-basher but here’s my issue with that.

Click on Google FeedBurner to see what those forums look like!
As you can see, this is a question I’ve posted awhile back that still goes unanswered.

I’ve noticed that sometimes, an older poster will bring up a common question like in the link above, and more than half the time it will go unanswered.

If Google Help is so helpful, why do so many keep asking the same questions over and over again? How helpful can it be?

No one at FeedBurner-nay, Google, will answer the poor bastard’s question. Ok, once in a loOOong while they’ll answer. Sorta. Then a buncha people with follow-up commentary saying,
‘Yea, I know, I have the same problem!’ add to it.

They all sound the same. And still goes unresolved.

BTW, love that there’s no email address form to directly contact FB/ GGle. Nay, you only get the
+post your question
link as you can see on the right hand side here.

Oh yea, their G.U.I. (guide user interface) seriously bothers me. I find it an incredible eyesore; maybe it’s just me. Maybe it’s because I’m a designer and can be picky by default. Maybe it’s because there’s too much going on and it’s maddening to hunt for the ‘contact FeedBurner’ link in a sea of blue; the perpetual needle in a haystack of puritannically blue windows. There’s too many. My eyes hurt.

Another fun thing is if you do post your question, you pray someone answers it. Hope you have some god to pray to, ‘cuz you’re gonna need it! Some of these fuckers don’t get responses at all, just a buncha similarly confused FeedBurner customers agreeing to their posts to having the same dopey issues.

Maybe Google hopes that other users will teach each other so they won’t have to hire someone to answer questions?! Ok-Just a random thought in my scary head…

Now I’m aware Google just laid off a few folks, but I always get the impression that if they have enough capital to develop a string of projects, then maybe they need to put that into polishing up their current products instead. A behemoth like Google theoretically should have enough manpower and resources to maintain their products running smoothly. Especially since they continue to hire in this faltering economy. (I’m currently unaware of any hiring freezes there as of this writing)

And because my question has gone unanswered and hell hasn’t frozen over yet, I’ve decided to solve the FeedBurner riddles myself.
And I am going to share with you what I’ve discovered thus far. So here’s what I did!

First thing is first:
– Read my previous post Anatomy Of A Website (SuperMunk-style) because I’ll be making references to the huge image located within that post

– These steps are assuming you already burn a feed on FeedBurner. If you haven’t already, do so first or this won’t work

Next, observe a common problem plaguing FB:

I realized my Recent Posts weren’t updating at all in their widget. That is because in FB under Content Type, I had it set to the fist selection, Whatever the most appropriate type is for the feed:

And it would’ve worked fine, except that the layout template I use wasn’t working cohesively with this option. So I set it for This predefined type. and selected an RSS feed, then hit Save. You can choose Atom if you want, it’s just preference.

Check out the dates. It’s showing posts from the very beginning of my website and it’s showing posts from a few days ago. Big gap in between! That is because I made the necessary change after the Jan. 20th date.

And here is where you need to make the correct change:

Originally I had the first selection checked on. Under Only include items that represent future events you can see the Jan. 24th date. That is when I took this snapshot of my screen. Basically the first selection will always show whatever date it is in real time. If you have it checked on, it will only show all posts AFTER that date.

To correct my error, I checked it off and also checked on Include the event date in the item title so that my feeed subscribers will see when I wrote the posts. And of course, I clicked Save.

Notice at the top right-hand side it says My Feeds. If you go in there, you can find your feed address which you will need for what we’re about to do next.

I can now logout of FB and log into my Blogger account. So I go to the Layout tab and under Page Elements I can now add an element. A window appears called Add a Gadget and I scroll down to where it says Feed. I select that, and this window appears:

I put in my RSS feed address, supplied by FB. I put it in and then,

And there you go. If you did everything right, your last few posts should appear. If you set it to only 3 posts, that’s all you’ll see in this window. If you see just your name or Recent Posts within the window and no posts are showing, you need to go back into FB and retrace your steps.

Also, if you did everything correctly, your BuzzBoost will display properly, but I’ll save that for another post.

Hope that helped dispell the dark mists of confusion. Any questions, just leave under comments. I’m hoping to add more FB posts later on as I get the hang of this crazy thang. So what are you waiting for? Get feed-a’burning!