FeedBurner and WordPress are the overwhelming dominators in their respective fields. They seem to offer decent services(that’s an understatement!). But as the saying goes, no domination is good.
Every day, we hear and read how great WordPress is, how cool FeedBurner services are, etc. They provide excellent services, and have huge communities backing their decisions. Say something against them, and you would suddenly find a few hundred ardent followers hurling curses at you.
However, I am worried with the fact that WordPress and FeedBurner are the only services in their respective niche with acceptable services and levels of fame.
Here are some of my worries more specifically:
- They decide to make their services/software paid: There are millions of bloggers dependent on WordPress + FeedBurner. If these companies decide to take advantage of their virtual monopoly, this could create heart-break for those who cannot afford to pay. Even those who are willing to pay wouldn’t be very happy.
- They decide to change their principles/strategies: The very reason why these companies got so popular is because they have embraced the user community and given us whole-hearted service. Some time down the road, if they think that they should concentrate on the niche of high-end bloggers only, normal bloggers would be left biting dust.
The above situations are worsened by the fact that it is not easy to switch from WordPress to a competing platform, and even worse, there is no real competition. That is where it gets tricky. Where do we go if it happens?
Similarly, there is no easy way for those of us who trusted FeedBurner, to switch over to something else. Again, the fact that no real competition exists adds to the complexity of the problems.
Granted, the chances of WordPress being in such conditions is limited, thanks to the open-source nature and active participation of communities. However, FeedBurner has a slight chance of being so – it is owned by Google.
Cheer up! All is not gloomy – I was just painting the worst-case scenario. For the forseeable future, there appears to be no risk, as Google has been striving to make services free for customers, and not paid. Also, there are alternatives to WordPress, like the new kid on the block – Habari(review from Paul Stamatiou). Habari is not yet ready, but is an option should WordPress die off. But what about an alternative to FeedBurner? (any tips?)