I’ve posted a few times about my desire for better users stats (most recently on April 1st but also way back in January). Well – now I’m doing something about it. FeedBurner announced today the closing of a new investment lead by Mobius (yours truly and Brad Feld – Brad will take the board seat and I will be the board observer), with new investor Sutter Hill and existing investors Portage and DFJ.
Needless to say, I’m pretty excited about the deal – Mobius’ third investment in the RSS/blogging space (FeedBurner joins Technorati and NewsGator as RSS/blogging related Mobius investments). While I’m hopeful that the new capital will solve some of the problems I’ve been having with my user statistics (as an aside, I’ve been testing out the company’s Total Stats Pro package – a subject for a later post, but a real step-up in insight into what’s going on with my site – see Fred Wilson’s post on the subject here) this investment is about much more than counting site visitors.
There was a time in the history of the blogsphere when people were predicting the mass consolidation of RSS and Atom technologies (we’re all standardized on RSS 2.0, right?!?) and readers (from a few hundred at the time down to just a handful). Pretty much the opposite has happened – the technology has not standardized (and feed extensions have flourished) and the number of readers have multiplied (with many highly specialized in their purpose). With the advent of podcasting (barely on the radar screen six months ago), video blogging, photo blogging, etc I expect this complexity to increase rather than decrease. Add to this the rapidly growing number of devices end users are reading feeds on and the desire of some content providers to insert targeted ads into their feeds and you have a universe of feed management that presents real challenges for content providers and consumers alike.
I believe that FeedBurner sits in a unique place in the RSS universe and, as the broker/middleman at the center of feed management in this increasingly complex world.
Look for announcements of new key partnerships from the company in coming months, the roll-out of new services and feature enhancements, the announcement of premium services and new tools to support bulk feed management as well as the increased ability to add content relevant advertisements directly to feeds.
As the guy from the GoodTimes commercials says “we’re gonna be big!”.