FeedBurner introduced FeedFlare this morning, a new way to easily add information to the bottom of your post content. FeedBurner creates small GIF files — about 300 bytes each — for each feature allowing supplementary information about the post to be updated without changing an item’s read status in an aggregator. FeedFlare launched with the following 7 features:
- E-mail a link to this post to a friend or colleague.
- E-mail the author of the post. This feature only works if you have already have defined the author’s e-mail address somewhere in the feed such as
managingEditorelement in RSS or
authorelement in RSS or Atom.
- The number of links referencing the post, as measured by Technorati.
- Del.icio.us tags used by users who have bookmarked the entry.
- A link to add the post as a del.icio.us bookmark.
- The number of comments about the post. FeedBurner uses the Well-Formed Web Comment RSS feed created by blog platforms such as WordPress to discover a comment feed associated with a particular post and count its
- A link to the Creative Commons license for the post or feed, if a Creative Commons license exists.
I really like the clever use of images and uniquely tracked links to generate each piece of FeedFlare. FeedBurner is capturing data about every click and they will be able to report this click-data to its users as part of its reporting interface.
FeedBurner also announced their intent to create an API around these features to enable placement of the same footer images on a blog’s HTML page. An API will also allow third party services to add their own FeedFlare options for use by FeedBurner publishers.
I think FeedFlare is a smart move for FeedBurner as it introduces their services to a whole new set of casual users who just want to make their feeds look a little better. Once FeedBurner has these additional publishers using their service they can easily add premium and revenue-generating services such as a Pro account or advertising.