Ten Years of Down the Road

Longtime subscribers to this blog: I’m making changes to my subscription services and they might affect you

When this blog was young WordPress didn’t yet offer good options to let you subscribe to my posts. So I turned to Feedburner, which hadn’t even been bought by Google yet, to provide that service. Feedburner gives you an RSS feed for your favorite feed reader, or lets you subscribe by email.

I’ve grown unhappy with Feedburner and am considering getting rid of it. So hang with me through this post, as it could affect you.

A few of you, anyway. My Feedburner stats say that 14 of you use Feedburner’s RSS to follow this blog, and 27 of you get a daily Down the Road email from Feedburner.

I’m sure you have no idea whether you used Feedburner to subscribe to Down the Road. For those of you getting my posts in email, here’s how you can tell. If you subscribed through WordPress, the emails look like this:


If you subscribed through Feedburner, the emails look more or less like this:


Here’s why I’m ready to get rid of Feedburner. When I started Down the Road I set all photos to be 500 pixels on the long edge. It made sense because back then we were still using 4:3 CRTs set to as little as 800×600 pixel resolution. But technology has marched on and we’re all rocking widescreen LCD monitors and those 500-pixel images look tiny. So I’ve steadily increased image width, first to 640 pixels, then to 700, and just recently to 1024.

The WordPress email service adapts beautifully, shrinking images to fit your display. Feedburner, however, is stuck in 2008. That’s why the photo in the image above dominates and the text is so small. In your email program, it might even cut off the images. Horrors!

You will have a better experience with the WordPress email service. I’d like to ask you to unsubscribe from the Feedburner service (use the Unsubscribe link at the bottom of the email) and follow me via WordPress instead. Just use this handy subscription widget:

Join 8,549 other subscribers

(If you see “You are following this blog” above, you need do nothing! You’re already set.)

I’m not sure when or even whether I’ll do away with the Feedburner service. It depends on how many of you actually unsubscribe there and how I feel about that, and how frustrated I remain seeing my own daily Feedburner email with its cut-off images.

Thank you for your kind consideration!


4 thoughts on “Longtime subscribers to this blog: I’m making changes to my subscription services and they might affect you

  1. Interesting to read how the size of your blog post images has evolved.

    I currently use the 800px version linked from Flickr, but I might up that to the 1024px images…

    • It’s truly humorous (to me) to see my older post from the 500-px era. The images look so tiny! But ten years ago they filled the text area of the template I used then, edge to edge. It’s truly remarkable how much screen real estate we have now. I remember 640×480 screens very well.

  2. Although it was several years later than you, I also started with Feedburner but bailed after a few months when, much like you, I figured out that I didn’t need it. My decision was reinforced by the fact that I was unable to log into my Feedburner account. At the time I attributed the problem to continued rumblings from the Google acquisition. I actually didn’t realize that Feedburner still existed but this post jiggled my curiosity and I went looking. Just moments ago I successfully logged in and saw my feeds still there with zero subscribers and without being fed anything by me for years. It looks like I can delete them (which is what I wanted to do in 2011) so I guess I’ll do that now. Your post has caused me to wipe a tiny smudge off of the internet.

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