An Interview with Feedburner’s Steve Olechowski and Jeff Turner

Filed as News on July 17, 2006 11:01 pm

As we reported yesterday, Feedburner acquired blog analytics company BlogBeat. FeedBurner LogoLast night, via email, we chatted with Feedburner Co-Founder & COO Steve Olechowski and BlogBeat Founder Jeff Turner.

What interested in you acquiring BlogBeat?

[Steve Olechowski]

BlogBeat was interesting to us, because many of us here at FeedBurner were using BlogBeat on our personal blogs, and we really thought the product aligned with how we liked to see stats in many ways. First, even though it has always been a site statistics product, it uses the feed as the foundation for how it derives stats, related links, and a lot of other information about the blog posts themselves. Second, we really liked some of the innovative things they were doing around tracking outbound links, some of the visuals around where the blog was being read geographically, and especially the notion of how the visitor can be tracked on an individual basis by the publisher.

We had Jeff come up to Chicago, and there was a good cultural fit as well, so we started talking.


What other upcoming features do you see for FeedBurner beyond the BlogBeat acquisition?

[Steve Olechowski]

We are going to continue to add a lot features and optimization to our premier site and RSS advertising network, the FeedBurner Ad Network which now reaches 14 million subscribers per day. We also are working hard on making our entire platform internationalized – so publishers can use FeedBurner comfortably in the most popular major languages.

Do you plan on integrating all of BlogBeat’s features under a rebranded FeedBurner product?

[Steve Olechowski]

Most if not all of the current features will be folded into the FeedBurner platform over the next two quarters. There are certain features of BlogBeat that were under development and not released to the public at the time of the acquisition that we plan to bring to the forefront as well.

For the individual blogger that uses FeedBurner – what will they see differently once BlogBeat is integrated into FeedBurner?

[Steve Olechowski]

Even though we are announcing this news today, the acquisition of BlogBeat actually occurred on June 22, 2006 – since then the very same design team that created FeedBurner has been working hard to design how BlogBeat will fit into the FeedBurner platform, but they are still working on this, so it is a little premature. That said, our initial thoughts will be that what we currently provide on the “Analyze Tab” – where publishers go today to get detailed analytics on their feed, will be expanded to have additional statistics for their blog for the publishers who wish to use this feature. In addition, we have some great ideas for how publishers will be able to “publicize” the data from their site – so it’s likely that the features of BlogBeat will permeate multiple parts of the site as we roll this out over time.

Secondly, publishers familiar with FeedFlare, which can currently be run on both the feed and the site, can probably already envision wanting to know a lot more about how the FeedFlare units themselves perform, and so it’s natural to see Blogbeat functionality fitting in here.

Finally, publishers in the FeedBurner Ad Network are constantly asking for more data to go to advertisers with so that they can better sell their audience. Blogbeat becomes a big part of this as more and more publishers start to run both site and RSS ads in their content.

What interested you in working with FeedBurner?

[Jeff Turner]

Very early on in the life of Blogbeat I realized that stats on the site were only part of the picture… Since FeedBurner made it easy for other services like Blogbeat to hook into their service, it was an easy decision. It really added a lot of value to the stats in Blogbeat, being able to get it all in one place.

When we started talking more about possibly joining forces, it was a natural fit.

How do you see this acquisition changing the focus of BlogBeat?

[Jeff Turner]

That was my first question when I started talking to Steve about joining the team. I wanted to make sure the idea behind Blogbeat meshed with what FeedBurner was looking for, and it does.

And being a part of FeedBurner now doesn’t change many of my ideas or thoughts behind Blogbeat — but it does give me more resources and reach to do even more.

Are any other team members joining FeedBurner?

[Jeff Turner]

I founded and operated Blogbeat on my own. As the company took off, I explored two options for growing the business – look for funding or get acquired. After my discussions with FeedBurner, it became obvious that FeedBurner was the right choice for my customers, myself and the future of the FeedBurner platform.

Our thanks to both Steve & Jeff for taking the time to speak with us virtually about Feedburner & BlogBeat.

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