Google Is Great, When It Works

I'm a big fan of Google.

While I've written my own email server, I've adopted Google Apps for nearly all of the domains I manage.  Gmail is a great tool, and has freed me from the tendency to over-organize my mail.  I can now find things easier and quicker than I ever did using Outlook or Thunderbird simply using minimal tagging and the built in search functionality.

I've used Google Search, Google Apps (Mail, Calender), Google Reader, Blogger, Google Docs,  Google Code, Google Web Toolkit (GWT), and the Google App Engine.  Great stuff.

If it works.

However, if something goes wrong, it can be difficult to find the answer.  Your best bet is to Google for the solution of course.  Hopefully someone has encountered the issue before and can point you in the right direction.  If not...

I recently migrated my Blogger setup (for this blog) from FTP publishing to a Custom Domain hosted by Google.  The transition went fairly smoothly (as I documented here), and while I was a bit annoyed I had to change my setup, it was fairly painless and hey, the price is right.

But I ran into an issue with my RSS (Atom) feed.  I've been using Feedburner for quite a while to track the number of subscribers.  When I used FTP publishing I simply edited the template to point to my Feedburner feed.  However, now that I switched to hosted mode, I can't edit the template the same way.  So most new subscribers are using the base Google feed, not the Feedburner feed. 

Google does offer an option to handle this, 'Post Feed Redirect URL', with the description: "If you have burned your post feed with FeedBurner, or used another service to process your feed, enter the full feed URL here. Blogger will redirect all post feed traffic to this address. Leave this blank for no redirection." Of course, when I enter my Feedburner feed in this URL, I get the error: 'This URL would break your feed, resulting in a redirect loop. Leave the field blank to serve your feed normally.'  Based on all the reading I've done, my setup appears to be correct and this should work.  Faced with limited support options, I posted a question to Google's help forums.  I got a response that appears to suggest that something internally needs to be reset, but no help from any Google resources.  So, I guess I'm stuck.

Or course, you can point out that I'm getting what I pay for, which is true.  Blogger is a free service, and I'm not entitled to any specific level of support.  But that doesn't make the situation any less frustrating.

At least this issue is minor.  In the end, it doesn't really matter.  But suppose I had in issue with Gmail.  What would I do then?  Well, I guess the answer would be upgrade to a Pro account, and then demand support, but that is only because I'm using Google Apps instead a plain Gmail account.

The risk of free...