A blogger hack to increase your Feedburner 's Feedcount

Established blogs like ReadWriteWeb and Techcrunch proudly show a Feedburner chicklet that displays the sites popularity. But beware – since people are more likely to subscribe to a site with a bigger amount of readers, some sites manipulate the counter.

Every once and a while co-editor Patrick and I stumble on a shady looking website with a ton of readers. That made us wonder whether Feedburner is hackable. I’ve sacrificed my personal blog for a hacking experiment and the result; faking your subscriber count IS possible!

We found an easy way to hack Feedburner (Not the obvious hack that simply steals a chicklet from a popular site). Looking at the subscriber count at some sites, we’re not the first ones who found out, but we are the first ones to write it down. All it takes is an OPML file, a Netvibes Universe, and a good night’s sleep.

EDIT: While the hack still works, I am happy to tell you that Google and Netvibes are working on a solution to the problem. Steve Olechowski, co-founder Feedburner mailed me and said: “These things happen occasionally and are usually fixed in a couple of days”, he added that the feedburner counts do not influence advertisement measurement. Franck Mahon from Netvibes said: “We are working on a fix to filter out in the reporting the duplicates while still allowing people to add several instances of the widget to their startpage.” When things get fixed, it would be interesting to see the differences on some sites.

How to manipulate your Feedburner subscribers in two minutes

all right

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