This post is likely to cause a little controversy, but it is my honest opinion that bloggers have been led astray for long enough regarding how many services you really should send a ping notification to.
Ignore all the other ping lists published – they are frequently irrelevant and could potentially highlight you as a spammer.
But read all the article… things are not so crystal clear.
This is my current WordPress Ping List
To be honest, I have only just added Blogcatalog to the list though they have had an interface for a couple of years, as it seems they need a little bit of a nudge on occasion.
Feedburner Have A Pingshot Service
The Problems With Current Ping Lists
- Replication – There is no need to ping a whole load of sites, which all then subsequently re-ping all the same services
- Current – I have seen many ping lists that include services that stopped accepting ping notifications 2 or 3 years ago
- Safety – You are only sending a ping to Feedburner (plus 2 optional services) and allowing Feedburner to handle notifications correctly.
- Reliable – despite the occasional problems, over 4 years of blogging I have never had a major problem with Feedburner that couldn’t be fixed with a nudge (resync). I would hope their back end is smart enough to cache pings for services that they know are offline, retry problems etc.
These are things a WordPress plugin just can’t effectively replicate.
- Membership – a lot of the sites featured on ping lists are for members only – you need to have your blog listed before you send them pings.
Only add to the list if you find a specialist site that isn’t covered by Pingshot (but read on… it is important)
Various WordPress Ping Plugins
There are various plugins for WordPress that handle pings, preventing a re-ping on a post edit.
I am going to be frank – rubbish (I kept it polite)
If you update a post, you want it to be re-pinged unless it is a very minor edit (there is a minor edit plugin). Minor edit prevents the data/time of the post changing on an edit, a much more significant feature for your feed readers.
If you are using the Tweetmeme plugin, in theory updates are re-pinged – if they don’t pick it up, you might need to use their re-ping interface.
This is important for when the message and title of a story change.
Ping Lists For Niche Sites
I wouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket, use multiple Feedburner accounts, Gmail accounts etc.
If all you are creating is spam sites, you lose the potential positive signal of Feedburner legitimacy, matching Google Analytics, Website Optimizer etc, plus of course the utility.
Feedburner’s 2 Year Google Screwup
I suggested a long time ago that Google buying Feedburner was a major disaster for users.
The pingshot feature is one item of many that has been sorely neglected through half-implemented progress.
The Google Feedburner team supposedly are meant to be implementing an “open directory” of all the services that are supported by Pingshot – that is why they removed the ping list.
What makes PingShot different from other solutions?
You mean other than PingShot girl? Well, PingShot is an open directory. Any third party can register to participate.
And for you publishers, the service is automatic by simply activating it once within the Publicize section – just set and forget it. (You can come back and deactivate it whenever you want.) Also, our super high-powered extra strength feed management technology ensures that only changes in content trigger notification. So, there’s that.
The problem is that the directory has never appeared, so you don’t know where they are pinging.
This isn’t new, Google have been talking about this “directory” for at least 8 blinking &*%$$ months
Every contact link on the Feedburner Help site redirects to this page.
Support questions regarding Pingshot are totally ignored in the Google groups, and when a member of the community does forward a question to the Feedburner team, no answers come back.
Feedburner is/was a great service, but Google is killing it. I PAID for Feedburner with a pro account, and would have gladly paid more if they had continued to innovate.
Google Stealing My Readers
Now Darren might not mind that advert for another of Google’s services, but he is not being paid for it. It adds to his subscriber count, but often email subscribers are more responsive than RSS readers, especially with people abandoning RSS in favor of Twitter.
People don’t abandon email totally.
I don’t have as many readers as Darren, but if someone wanted top and bottom placement in every one of my blog posts (in the feed), it would likely cost them $1000+ a month, not that I would do it, and that is based upon my current irregular posting schedule.
I wouldn’t accept Google reader as an advertiser, because it is a negative on my ability to market in the future
Well… maybe for $5000/month
Sneaking advertising into email subscriptions could even be looked on as an endorsement. A false endorsement – if Google want me to promote Google Reader, they should pay me.
Darren had a few other requests / complaints as well, but this is a deal breaker for me. My email is moving.
If Google don’t fix things, I expect I will be pinging Feedblitz instead soon, and I am still undecided on email. None currently offer all I need, which is why I haven’t switched, and have constantly encouraged innovation.
I am sure Phil from Feedblitz will see this, who if anyone does Feedblitz ping?
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