If you subscribe to Hinge's blog, you've probably never given a second thought to the way new blog posts are delivered to you and how your subscription is managed. And that's just as it should be. But one day last month all of our subscribers disappeared from our Feedburner account. Now, Feedburner is the free service owned by Google that provides RSS and email subscription services to our our readers. And all we saw when we logged in was a big fat 0 subscribers. Yikes!

A quick Google search on the issue revealed that most (and probably all) Feedburner customers were experiencing the same thing. As it turns out it was a temporary outage — though one that lasted almost a week. And it was a glitch that affected only the reporting and analytics. No subscribers were lost.

But our search uncovered another uncomfortable fact. Google had quietly announced that they are going to shut down Feedburner's API on October 20. And they had been shutting down other feedburner services little by little. In July they closed their Twitter account, announced the closing of a Feedburner-related blog and quietly shuttered Feedburner.jp (that's the Japanese version of their service), leaving potentially thousands of users out in the cold.

While Google has not announced that they are closing Feedburner, it's clear to me that Feedburner doesn't have a bright future. What happened to Feedburner.jp could happen to the rest of us who rely on this service. As a result, we've taken action and migrated all of our subscribers to a new service called Feedblitz. While no longer free, it provides more reliable service and better analytics for a very reasonable fee. In fact, we've been encouraging all of our clients who rely on Feedburner to make the switch.

Do you use Feedburner? If so, does Google's apparent indifference to its users worry you?