I love Feedburner mostly because I *hate* RSS/Atom robots. By pointing my feed url at Google's servers, I don't have to deal with their constant pinging my server. Others like Feedburner because of all the stats, etc. but I could care less about that - just being able to offload all those useless pings from my server is worth enough that I'd actually pay for it if I had to. It's that much of a service.
This morning I was reading about the new goo.gl URL shortening service, and it took me a bit to realize that this was because of a new Feedburner option which automagically posts new blog updates to Twitter. That's awesome! I had been meaning to sign up to Tweetfeed or something for a while, but never got around to it. Since I already have my feed set up using Feedburner, it was a two second setup - it even uses OAuth, so I didn't have to give up my username/password. Perfect!
Hmmm... looking at the options, is Google "embracing and extending" Twitter?
Think about it for a sec. The thing that I dislike most about Twitter is that they are holding on to all my updates. I've been thinking about setting up a "personal" status blog on my own server, which would simply repost to Twitter (and Facebook) when I write to it, so that way I get to control my own content like I do with my blog. But most people would never have that ability, so they just use Twitter. But now they can, for example, use WordPress or Blogger to create status updates, and use Feedburner to post those updates to Twitter - with or without a title and links - it'd look exactly like any other Twitter post.
All that would be needed to cut Twitter out of this loop would be the ability to keep track of updates immediately. Feedburner already supports PubsubHubbub, which means that any feed they're tracking is already "real time". All that's needed next is some sort of integrated "real time news reader" and I can't imagine it'd be that hard to integrate that into Google Reader. Think of a form at the top of the page which lets you update any weblog via standard APIs. Then, through the power of PubsubHubbub that update would immediately be pushed out to other real time news readers and clients, and lastly Twitter for those who still use it.
Pretty straight forward if you ask me. Maybe what's missing is some meta data marking a post as "real time" but maybe not. Either way, I bet we start to see these sorts of services popping up before the end of next year.