Feedburner to Bird Feeder

As I mentioned last week I’ve made a change to the way I track the subscription stats here on Electric Weekend. That change seems to have gone well and I wanted to take this opportunity to outline the simple steps that made it possible.

My Feedburner setup was probably a pretty standard setup for a lot of WordPress (WP) powered blogs. I used the FeedSmith1 WP plugin to redirect my WP feeds to the Feedburner one I had set up. This enabled me to use a nice clean url, rather than the frankly messy url that comes from a Feedburner feed. I also used a Pepper in Mint to pull in the stats generated by Feedburner, no need to visit another site to view my stats.

Seems like a good set up right? Well yes, it was working for me and I had nearly a years worth of stats. So why the change? Well recently I’d gotten a little fed up of the delay from Feedburner in publishing my stats, but I also felt that there wasn’t enough variation in the figures I was receiving. Days where I posted received higher figures, but not significantly and this felt a little odd to me. I also felt I should be utilising the stats package I had bought a license to. Mint was working very well at tracking my visitors so why would it not work well with my feed subscribers?

The Move went very smoothly. The first step I took was to visit Feedburner and delete the feed I had set up. I made sure to take advantage of a very useful Feedburner feature. When deleting a feed Feedburner offers you the chance to have a 30 day redirection service, so any subscribers who got hold of the direct Feedburner feed have time to make the switch.

With my Feedburner feed deleted I had no going back so I went about installing the Mint side of things first. The Bird Feeder pepper comes in two parts. The first part is the Pepper itself which installs into the shauninman folder in the Peppers directory of your Mint installation. The second part is titled Feeder and resides in the base level of your site. After uploading these two folders I visited the Mint preferences to install the pepper. After you’ve done this make sure you visit yoursite.com/feeder to make sure your Bird Feeder is active.

However that’s only half of the story. There are some steps that need to be taken on the WordPress side. As with an install of Mint you need to add some code to the header of your site in order for Bird Feeder to do it’s stuff. Fortunately, just like when you are installing Mint, there is no need to go adding code to your themes files, everything can be accomplished with a plugin. I used a plugin called WPBirdFeeder. Installed like any other WP plugin I then activated it in the WP-Admin panel after I had deactivated the FeedSmith plugin.

That’s pretty much it. Now all you have to do is sit back and let Mint do it’s stuff for you feeds, just as it does it for your hits and searches. I’ve now been using Bird Feeder for about week and I’ve found more day to day change, including a higher figure than I’ve ever received through Feedburner, but the weekly average is very close to the daily figures from Feedburner2.

  1. Originally created by Steve Smith of Ordered List it was then handed over to Feedburner when Steve moved away from WordPress and just before Google bought Feedburner.?
  2. As others have noted when they made the switch.?

God’s Love

God’s method of awakening love in human hearts has always been to first reveal Himself as the One who loves us.  Our journey in love begins with and is sustained by the revelation of His love for us.  The natural progression of our growth in love begins with knowing we are loved.

Mike Bickle

Wilson Miner on Internet Type Sizes ›

A rather interesting and timely post by Wilson Miner about why he chose to make his body copy so big.

After years of wondering why browsers defaulted to 16pt text sizes I’m starting to be convinced that long text really is significantly more readable on screen at precisely that size.

One thing that I’ve been thinking about lots recently is the text size here on EW, I’ve felt it’s a bit small. I think this confirmed to me it is, so I might be having a bit of a play at the weekend and a revision of the site may or may not follow!

(Via Sam Brown.)

Switching to Birdfeeder

My feed is moving. Well actually the way I monitor my feed is changing. The last few weeks has seen a very slow response time from Feedburner in delivering statistics about my feed. As a result I’ve decided to use the Birdfeeder Pepper for Mint to do the monitoring. It makes more sense to have all my stats monitored by the one piece of software1.

My feed can now be found at http://phil.electricweekend.com/feed so please check your feedreaders are correct. It should be ok, due to the way I was diverting my feeds anyway, but please do check to make sure. I’ve activated the Feedburner 30-day redirect, so you have that long to make sure you are subscribed tot he right feed.

I hope this doesn’t cause you too much trouble, but I think it’s a worthwhile change, not to mention a neater looking feed url.

  1. And an excellent piece of software it is!?

Switching to Birdfeeder

My feed is moving. Well actually the way I monitor my feed is changing. The last few weeks has seen a very slow response time from Feedburner in delivering statistics about my feed. As a result I’ve decided to use the Birdfeeder Pepper for Mint to do the monitoring. It makes more sense to have all my stats monitored by the one piece of software1.

My feed can now be found at http://phil.electricweekend.com/feed so please check your feedreaders are correct. It should be ok, due to the way I was diverting my feeds anyway, but please do check to make sure. I’ve activated the Feedburner 30-day redirect, so you have that long to make sure you are subscribed tot he right feed.

I hope this doesn’t cause you too much trouble, but I think it’s a worthwhile change, not to mention a neater looking feed url.

  1. And an excellent piece of software it is!?

The Weekly Review Redesign ›

Chris Bowlers blog The Weekly Review has just undergone a very nice redesign.

Personally I like how he has kept the visual feel of the first version but updated it and freshened it up to feel new and spacious. Nice work Chris.

PS. I recommend you go and check out his archives, TWR has quickly become one of my favourite blogs on the interwebs!

iPlayer Downloading ›

An interesting nugget had just appeared in my feed reader over lunch. A post on the BBC Internet blog talking about the future of iPlayer. Specifally downloading for offline viewing.

Using Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR), we intend to make BBC iPlayer download functionality available on Mac, Linux and Windows for the first time later this year. Whatever platform you use, you’ll now be able to download TV programmes from the BBC to watch later – on the train, in the garden, or wherever you like.

Whilst I’m not so happy that it’s using a proprietary runtime like AIR, it’s nice to hear of progress for being able to download BBC content onto my Mac.

Advanced Gmail IMAP Controls ›

At last a way to get rid of the much annoying All Mail folder in Gmail IMAP. New in the Gmail LABS isAdvanced IMAP Controls which lets you pick which folders you want to subscribe to along with some other more fine grained controls.

I’ve been hoping for Google to roll out some more controls for IMAP since it was launched, I’m off to go and play with them now!

Exposure 1.1 Post-mortem ›

Fraser Speirs outlines the improvements he has made to his excellent Flickr client on the iPhone and iPod touch.

I’m a big fan of this app, it works superbly on my iPod touch and I can only imagine it would be a lot better on an iPhone. I like how it frees me from carrying a ton of photos on my touch, most of the time when I want to show them they are on Flickr anyway.

Inspiration: Benjamin Button

Every once in a while you stumble across something that really inspires you. Something that makes you remember why you are in this game they call graphic design.

Benjamin Button-2

Many weeks ago Kevin Cornell announced the reason for his 6 month hiatus and gave a sneaky glimpse of what he had been doing. I was a little intrigued but didn’t really dwell on it. The the other day I was browsing on Amazon and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button sprang onto my screen. Making a bit of snap decision I decided I would make the purchase, it wasn’t expensive and I remembered seeing the name on Kevin’s blog.

Upon delivery I was instantly pleased I’d bought it. The book feels very nice to hold, I like the slight texture on the hardback cover and the crisp paper of the pages coupled with the binding give a very high quality feel. Before I’d even read a word or seen one of Kevin’s illustrations I was already feeling inspired.

As I began the story Kevin’s illustrations began to heighten that inspiration. The drawings are fantastic, the combination of drawing and water colour work very well. They draw you into the story, compelling you to turn the page to not only find out what happens but also to see Kevin’s illustrations.

Benjamin Button-3

This is enhanced with the overall package of the book. Everything is drawn together perfectly, the paper of the pages adds to the hand drawn illustration and while everything is finished so highly, I kind of had the feeling I was reading this from one of Kevin’s sketchbooks. But then the supreme quality of the product makes you realise just too much work has gone into it for it to be a sketchbook.

Benjamin Button-4

It’s clear why Kevin took 6 months off to complete this, and it’s backed up in the finishing of the book from materials to binding and the embossing on the front. It’s truly inspired me when I needed it and credit has to be given to Quirk Books for doing Kevin’s work justice and for creating such a complete package. If a book can give people good user experiences, this one is top notch.