FeedBurner Pushing the Envelope on Trust? - The RSS Blog
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Copyright 2003-5 Randy Charles Morin
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Thu, 08 Dec 2005 15:00:37 GMT
FeedBurner Pushing the Envelope on Trust?

Michael Arrington: In looking at the new feed landing page I noticed something that I hadn’t noticed before. An advertisement. It’s just a single line of text - “Download a Free Trial of FeedDemon 1.5″, with a link that begins a download of FeedDemon. I don’t know if it was there before or if this is a recent addition, but I don’t like it. This page should be all about getting new subscribers to the publisher’s feed, not generating revenue for Feedburner.

Niall Kennedy: The link was there before.

Randy Charles Morin: Another example of a communist techie who attacks when any Web 2.0 company tries to make a living. I hate this so much. I expected better of Michael. 

Bad is that he admitted he didn't even know if this was new or not. Worse is that he says "This page should be all about getting new subscribers to the publisher’s feed." Considering that most Web users don't have RSS clients installed, providing a link to download one would fit the description of "getting new subscribers to the publisher’s feed." How did Michael miss that? In fact, I wish FeedBurner would add a link to downloading FeedDemon's sister RSS reader for the Mac. And if FeedBurner makes a buck from that link, then thank you. It means I don't have to pay.

There's also seven other semi-commercial links on that page. What about them? My Yahoo, NewsGator, Pluck, Rojo, Bloglines, Google and yes, me! Now, I don't pay for that link and neither do any of the six Web aggregators, but I'm pretty sure that every Web aggregator who's missing a link on that page isn't exactly happy with that answer.

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Mr. Morin makes some great points.  I agree with a lot of them.  But to the point made above that because I or someone gets something for free somehow excludes them from offering feedback, that's absurd.  I won't argue the intent of Michael's message but there's a large difference between offering feedback and simply bitching about something. 

I get feedburner for free.  I don't like the ad or I'd like to have more control over the ad.  It's a preference, a little feedback.  Feedburner could slap a big old ugly K-Mart ad on the thing.  I probably still use it and I don't have to shut up and keep my preference to myself it if I get it for free.  Of course, delivery and intent are key and validation helps too, but free product doesn't equal shut your trap and eat it raw.

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