Do you know where your feeds are? Do you know who is reading them?
Feedburner gives bloggers a simple way of finding out exactly how many people were reading your feed, how many of those people were clicking on items and which items they were following up on.
It’s an extremely useful service. You can choose between their free basic service, yet it’s well worth the mere $4.99 a month for the professional account that includes expanded metrics tracking.
Scraping and Splogging
Now, Feedburner has taken RSS and feed tracking to a new level by detecting and pointing out people that may be illegally reusing your feed. It will track the use of your feed and alert you when they think there is something fishy going on.
It now can “name names” to help blog publishers to find out who is scraping and splogging (“spam blogging”) their feeds. Categorized as “uncommon uses,” Feedburner can sniff out the thiefs and point you right to them.
No longer do bloggers have to rely on search engines or dumb luck to find out if their content is being reused. Instead, they get a neat report of all suspicious activity, complete with links to follow up on.
What Happened to Us
This is exactly what happened at our tunevroom.com blog that we publish. We found that a site, which was wrapped in advertising, was “scraping” our feed so it looked like the stories they presented were their own. Luckily for us, a simple cease and desist email took care of that and the feed was dropped.
Thankfully, the vast majority of RSS users are legitimate. But knowing is a lot better than not knowing and Feedburner’s new stats make it easier than ever to find out what your feed is being used for. That alone is great news for people concerned about online content theft.
This post was inspired by our experience as well as the great post at Plagiarism Today.