Home FeedBurner makes RSS interactive, with FeedFlare

FeedBurner makes RSS interactive, with FeedFlare

Feedburner has integrated Web services with
feeds, in a new product released just now called FeedFlare. I got a sneak preview of FeedFlare and it’s
currently activated in my RSS feed. You may have noticed some new active and contextual
links at the bottom of each of my posts, in your RSS Aggregator. Things like ‘Email
this’, ‘Email the author’, Technorati data, del.icio.us tags and an ‘Add to del.icio.us’
option. All links that add interactivity and social context to my feed. 

What are the new features? Firstly here’s a screenshot, taken from my Rojo account, that shows Feedflare in action. Notice the blue links at the
bottom? Those are the FeedFlare links…

WordPress users also get a ‘Comments’ link, showing how many comments each post has.

The reason I’m excited about this is because my feed gets around 5-6 times more
than my actual website these days. My feed is where the action is, not my
site. So any way I can find to improve the user’s experience and introduce more
interactivity into my feed, I’m going to snap it up! If people are 5 times more
to read my content in an RSS Aggregator than on my website, there’s no use me
fighting it – I have to start bringing functionality to my feed. That’s what makes
FeedFlare so promising.


their press release
, Feedburner called the FeedFlare links a “live thread” and a
way of adding community and actions to a feed. This is part of Feedburner’s current strategy to
manage syndicated content “at a more atomic level”. As Feedburner VP of business
development Rick Klau said, FeedFlare allows publishers to “deliver meaningful
interactivity along with content and further the two-way dialogue with their

This is just the beginning too. Feedburner plans to roll out more features for
FeedFlare, including a set of open APIs “to allow third-party developers to build and
integrate custom FeedFlare services”. 

First-Class Feeds

Congrats Feedburner on making exciting progress on RSS usability and functionality.
I’ve felt for a while now that RSS is a first-class citizen of
content publishing, arguably more important than HTML nowadays (according to my own blog
stats anyway). So RSS feeds deserve first class functionality and interactivity too – and
Feedburner is delivering it.

Update: See Feedburner’s post about FeedFlare. TechCrunch has more details, including an interesting comments thread, and Fred Wilson relates it to his four rules for the future of media. All well worth reading.

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