Google is now the proud, relatively new owners of FeedBurner. If subscriptions are the measurement of trust and web traffic is the measurement of popularity, what happens when the two are combined?
I’ve been using Google Analytics for a couple of years now, but not without the odd issue or two, as you’ll see from the Recommended Reading sources below.
I’ve been using FeedBurner for maybe a year, and although being broadly appealing, the main problem with FeedBurner is that there seems to be a heavy emphasis on visual features (email and forum widgets, chicklets et cetera) and a lack of more substantial analytics.
Google applications user interface
And that’s where Google Analytics comes in. I think the web analytics in FeedBurner should be dropped in favour of a seamless tie-in with Google Analytics.
When I say seamless, what I really mean is FeedBurner gets brought in-line with the rest of the Google applications — the same consistent, familiar and friendly user interface.
And while Google is busying themselves merging these two applications, why not throw Google’s Webmaster Tools into the mix, too?
I find it odd that Webmaster Tools should sit an entirely separate collection of tools when it’s patently obviously they relate directly to the broader goal of web analytics.
Within my Google Analytics account, I’ve granted access for some of my clients, so that they can monitor their own web statistics via their profiles.
But I’m not able to give them the same level of access to the Webmaster Tools. And to compound things, the export tools are quite weak.
Having consulted with Kate, here’s some things she’d like to see FeedBurner give us:
“I want statistics on people that sign up, a la Clicky style — location, IP, browser preferences, et cetera.
I want to be able to access that information when I receive my daily breakdown list of who makes up that magical fluxtuating feed number each day. As an extension, I want to see who accesses the feed daily, every other day, et cetera. But perhaps most importantly, I want to see when / if people unsubscribe.
I want to see the average time someone has been a subscriber. This may be an open number — for continuous subscribers — but I’d also like an average. This should have an option of being categorized / sorted by date: certain month, last 7 days, all time et cetera, a la Google Analytics.
In addition, I’d like to see this number broken down among where the subscribers were originally referred from, if at all possible. For example: StumbleUpon yielded 75 subscribers in 2007, and stayed subscribed for an average of 89 days for Blah, Blah! Technology.”
I suspect some of these requests — while entirely reasonable — don’t fall within what’s currently feasible. But this is what Kate & I want to see. And I imagine more people would want to see stuff like this, too.
In these days of Social Networking and Social Media, the currency is trust and respect, which is paid in full when people subscribe to your ‘blog or website.
And should Google choose to combine FeedBurner with Analytics, I’m sure they’ll enjoy no small measure of success…