FeedBurnerI’ve been away, did you notice?

I didn’t realize how dependent this column was on RSS until last week when my RSS feed abruptly disappeared. I’ve spent a week now trying to get it back just until I can move to a new service. So, quick like a bunny, please head over to FeedBlitz and resubscribe before this thing breaks again.

We’ve used Feedburner since back before it was owned by Google. But FeedBurner apparently didn’t fit with Google’s Apps strategy so they announced awhile back that the service would be shutting down. Feedburner wasn’t ending instantly, but we had to go, and soon.

About the same time Google Apps asked me to switch subscriptions or add a subscription. Anyway, something was confusing the system and it wanted me to add an identity, which I did. And that’s when my RSS feed disappeared.

The column feed went away, but the comments feed somehow remained. That isn’t supposed to happen, either. Looking deeper, it was the  Feedburner account identity that had disappeared. The RSS feed, itself, was .intact, but it was no longer associated with me. Great.

Jennie, my web mistress, went to work.  You can’t find better than Jennie (she’s weblamb.com) who gamely suffers my occasional idiocy. But for once this wasn’t my fault.

Jennie couldn’t fix it, so I became a paid Google Apps customer to get support, but they wouldn’t help because it wasn’t apps support I was seeking but Feedburner support, which doesn’t exist. Catch-22. So I asked some friends at Google to help and they tried and failed, too. My FeedBurner identity was like a ghost from Ghostbusters — there and yet not there at the same time. Just add ectoplasm.

As Jennie just explained it to me: “btw, we had two separate problems going on here, one was that your FeedBurner account with Google seemed to disappear, and two was that the native feed was broken on your site. The two issues do not appear to be related as the Google feed was lost first.”

In the meantime I’d written a couple of what I thought were pretty interesting columns that were getting only a few comments each because the big commenters are apparently on the RSS feed. Here I was being all clever for a change and nobody knew.

Our goal was simply to transition from Feedburner to Feedblitz, my new RSS service. Ideally we would import the FeedBurner list right into Feedblitz and nobody would even notice. Alas, it was not to be, because without access to the now lost identity, there was no subscriber list to export.

Then a couple of hours ago FeedBurner came back to life. It certainly wasn’t anything we did. And there’s no telling how long it will last since nobody inside or outside of Google even knows how it continues. So the sole purpose of this particular column is to ask everyone who wants to keep reading these columns to please please head over to Feedblitz  and resubscribe.

One more thing… this link is primarily for my 5000+ email subscribers. If you are subscribing to the feed directly, you will still use cringely.com/feed.