FeedBlitz is Four!

Yesterday FeedBlitz completed its four months of operation. What a trip it has been so far. From the early days to now, FeedBlitz has come along a long way, not only built on a vision of being the best RSS to mail subscription service available, but also incorporating comments, suggestions and criticism from you, subscribers and content publishers alike. Thank you all.

Some Data

So, on this anniversary of sorts, to some metrics. Here are the month end circulation counts and the month on month growth:

  • August 11,965
  • September 22,519 (88%)
  • October 47,748 (112%)
  • November 82,643 (73%)

On average, the service grows by about 0.5% a day, steady state, with imports from Bloglet accounting for the additional circulation changes. The service’s largest feed has 15,427 subscribers. Six others have circulation counts over 1,000, with three more getting very close to the four figure mark.

There are currently 2,978 email subscribers to the FeedBlitz News blog, along with well over 300 subscribers reading the blog using other RSS aggregators.

This morning, Google search shows for the first time that FeedBlitz references (about 2,280,000 pages) exceed Bloglet’s (with some 2,260,000 pages). We’re not there yet on Google blog search, but it’s only a matter of time.

Feedback and Features

Since its first days, FeedBlitz has incorporated many new capabilities that have been suggested or recommend by users, including:

  • Email and landing page customization (the Pro service).
  • On-demand publication (a Turbo service option).
  • Post truncation.
  • International language support.
  • Multi-feed signup forms.
  • Better feed diagnostics.
  • Automated bounce suppression.
  • Automated management of pending signups.
  • Secure login.

To the best of my knowledge, no other blog to mail or RSS to mail service offers these capabilities.

FeedBlitz also powers FeedBurner’s email subscription option, which was recently extended in FeedBurner’s “Night of the Living Hack” to FeedBurner’s publishers’ personal “FeedBulletin” feeds.

In many ways, however, it’s the smaller changes that aren’t visible to many but make a huge difference to some that I get the greatest kick out of. So, for example, the width of the tables in the emails was reduced to make them readable on a 1024×768 screen without forcing readers to scroll horizontally. A small change, barely noticeable, but it improved the service for the majority of its readers (Google analytics shows that about half FeedBlitz’s visitors are on a 1024×768 screen).

Or like some changes made a couple of days ago: one ensuring that each post is always under the prior one in photo or artwork-intensive blogs, and one to better handle certain date formats.

To be sure, we’ve also had some bumps along the way as the number of feeds and subscribers has grown; but despite that in all 4 months so far there has only been one day when the nightly poll completely failed. Since then, the new high performance architecture is performing extremely well in terms of its ability to deliver consistently reliable and timely service.

The Future

On balance, then, so far, so good. What next?

For starters, there are many improvements to be made in the core service; while successful and good enough, it can always be better. It will be. There are changes both afoot and planned to further improve what FeedBlitz already does and deliver greater value to both standard and premium customers in the functionality it already delivers.

Beyond the continual improvement aspects, FeedBlitz is also going to innovate further for both bloggers, feed providers and readers. A public API is coming for partners to automate feed management. OPML is also coming “ an element of this feature set is already live if you hunt around enough “ but it’s going to be exciting and useful (think of it as more of an OPML-powered application); not just import / export (but we’ll have those features too, of course). Internationalization of FeedBlitz itself is also planned. And much, much more!

So if you’ve been with FeedBlitz for a few months or just a few days, welcome. Check out your dashboard and sample the premium services if you haven’t already taken a look or visited recently.

Here’s to the next four months of FeedBlitz!