Why Isn’t There an RSS Feed for RSS?

At the risk of diving perilously into a circularity vortex, why isn’t there an RSS feed for RSS? I’d like to be able to subscribe to an RSS feed for my own RSS feed, one that would tell me when the feed is unavailable, how often people are grabbing it, who is grabbing it, and what the most popular entries are.

Yes, you can get most of that data from Feedburner. And yes, Feedburner is a wondrous thing, a nifty traffic-measuring service that has transparently inserted itself into many sites’ feed-chain.

But wonder of wonders, Feedburner doesn’t let me subscribe to an RSS feed for the data from my own RSS feed. It is vexing that I have to browse to the Feedburner site to collect traffic data for my Feedburner-hosted feed. Something seems wrong, and it takes me back to my original point: I want an RSS feed for my RSS feed.

The essence of syndication is that it is a way of informating otherwise dumb & numb processes. It is, then, ironic indeed that there is apparently nothing dumber & number than an RSS feed itself.

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Comments

  1. Eric Lunt says:

    Hey there Paul. I know this is an old post, but I thought I’d let you know (in case you missed it) that we’ve finally implemented this at FeedBurner. If you go to your “My Account” page, you’ll find a feed URL that you can subscribe to that will tell you whenever any of your feeds are unavailable for any reason.
    Long time coming, I know, but I hope you find this valuable.
    Eric Lunt
    CTO, FeedBurner