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How Accidentally Deleting My Subscribers Gave Us the #1 Podcast in Spain

Posted by | May 21, 2013 | Featured | 5 Comments

Fat Burning Man #1 in Spain

To those of you who have had trouble accessing my podcast this past week, I apologize. We screwed up big time.

In short, my subscribers were deleted and my podcast was completely broken for days. And – incredibly – your response made us hit #1 in Health in Spain.

Wait, what?

The Backstory: RSS is Dying

RSS, a technology that allows users to subscribe to blogs and podcasts is being phased out in the next few months. The service that I used to host blog and podcast subscribers, Feedburner, is no longer being supported by Google. As I have (had) nearly a hundred thousand subscribers using the platform, the slow and painful death of RSS will be a royal nightmare for independent bloggers/podcasters like myself.

So to pre-empt the phase-out of RSS, I put my best guy on it. We decided to cut out the middleman (feedburner) and go straight to iTunes using Powerpress. We got a tech from Powerpress on the horn and he walked my team member through the process of making the switch real-time. The tech said we’d have to delete all of our feeds to move forward.

I was relatively unreachable, enjoying my time at the Consumer Health Summit, an incredible conference/mastermind with some of the top authors, bloggers, celebs, and businesspeople in health and wellness hosted by the wonderful Michael Fishman.

“Wait, are you sure I need to delete all of the feeds?” my employee asks, a bit flustered.

“Yes, you do. Go ahead and delete them,” the tech guy reassures.

POOF! All of My Blog and Podcasts Subscribers are Deleted… And my Podcast Breaks.

WTF?

With the click of a button, many tens of thousands of loyal subscribers were deleted. And my podcast feed breaks, meaning fans and listeners can’t even download past shows, let alone the new one.

As I’m sitting in the conference, my inbox and social media blows up. Abel, where’s your show?!?

Podcast breaks

Broken stuff

Gritting my teeth, I pick up the phone, “Did you guys just break my podcast and delete all of my fans?

“Um, kinda.”

We were all freaking out for a few days trying to fix everything and get the show back to you folks.

Here’s where it gets cool…

Because our fans are so amazingly passionate, you frantically searched google to find the show and the blog. Traffic suddenly quadrupled. Email subscriptions tripled.

Podcast breaks... traffic surges

And you also flocked to iTunes to subscribe directly through Apple.

Enough of you slammed Apple with subscriptions at the same time that my broken podcast raced up the charts and soared to the top 5 in a half dozen countries and hit #1 in Spain for the first time, even though the new episode wasn’t picked up and not a single person could download the podcast.

Fat Burning Man #1 in Spain

… I don’t even speak Spanish!

We screwed up royally and – incredibly – topped the charts again. Because of YOU.

It’s harrowing and incredible experiences like these that inspire me to do everything I can to change the world.

And I couldn’t do it without you. You guys rock. Thank you, thank you.

So after several days of losing our minds, we fixed the show. It’s working (for now). I appreciate you for bearing with us in the meantime. We’re not tech people, we’re just boneheads with keyboards and microphones. But we really are trying to change the world, and with your help we believe we can.

If you never want to lose me again, please go ahead and enter your email below – along with our weekly show, I’ll be sending plenty of goodies your way soon.

Thanks again and talk soon, folks. :)

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5 Comments

  • Mark Reid says:

    Although the podcast was effectively broken (I was flaming Apple for it being a problem with the podcast app rather than assuming something was wrong with your particular podcast – oops!), I could still access it through the podcast store (searching for the fat burning man podcast and playing it directly from there rather than subscribing and downloading).
    I have now listened to as much of the backlog as I had access to (back to the 1st of Feb) basically back to back, blasting out accross the kitchen as I cook my Primal meals. I found the podcast after searching for podcasts featuring Mark Sisson, liked the format of the show so listened to more. Now subscribed, purchased your e-book and loving the content! Keep up the great work Abel.

    • Emily Dewey says:

      Thanks so much for being a loyal listener! We really appreciate you sticking around while things got ugly last week. Hope you enjoy the new shows we have coming down the road! – Emily, FBM Team Coach

  • Elenor says:

    “RSS, a technology that allows users to subscribe to blogs and podcasts is being phased out in the next few months.”

    Huh-what?! Where did you hear that?! Google READER is being murdered (alas) — but RSS is still going strong. (I’ve switched to Newsblur, which is great.) Google Reader dies the end of June; but not RSS!

  • Elenor says:

    p.s., Does this mean I need to REsubscribe? (I’m guessing not, since I came here from your email?)

    • Emily Dewey says:

      Our email subscription was not messed with, so you’re good there! We’ve been recommending listeners to subscribe directly via iTunes if possible! Thanks for listening!

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