Ties together three Google services: a Google Gadget that shows Feedburner traffic statistics using sparklines generated by the Google Chart API


  • Track the historical readership of your blogs (that use Feedburner, and have the Awareness API turned on)
  • Compare and track the readership of popular blogs, competitors, etc. When you see that a blog uses Feedburner for their feed, try entering the blog to see if the Awareness API data is public. For many, it is.

Features and Notes

  • Uses compact, expressive sparkline chart for historical trend (showing 30 days by default, but configurable), showing the ebb and flow of your feed subscribers
  • Before you can use Feedsparks to track your own feed subscribers, either turn on the Awareness API in FeedBurner for each of your feeds (preferred), or provide your FeedBurner userid and password to the gadget.
  • Configure which feeds to show from the “Edit Settings” menu of the widget
  • Shows current day’s number, with green/red arrow showing if it’s up or down from yesterday
  • In the sparkline graph, the green dot is the point of highest traffic, red is the low point, and blue is the current number
  • Choose to show statistics on FeedBurner’s circulation estimate (default), feed hits, or reach
  • You can choose how many characters to include in the name, before it gets truncated with an ellipsis ….
  • Code now hosted on Google Code with a MIT License.
  • Built on Google services (feedburner to query data, google charts to display it). All other work happens locally in your browser, so the Feedsparks gadget should be quite scalable and reliable. And it if doesn’t work, it’s Google’s fault :)
  • Uses the twotone royalty-free icon library
  • New as of v12: You can now optionally choose a display name that’s different from Feedburner’s id. For example, “Leancodecom,Leancode” grabs the data for the Leancodecom feed from FeedBurner, but displays it in the widget simply as “Leancode”.
  • New as of v12: Supports dynamic height resizing
  • New as of v12: Uses new Google Gadgets image caching features to speed loading of sparklines and icons.
  • New as of v16: Supports charting “reach” in addition to feed circulation and feed hits

Let me know if you have any feedback or feature requests!

Add this gadget to your personalized home page –or– add it to any web page.


Comments (16) to “Feedsparks”

  1. This looks very cool– except I can’t get it to show any feed information, except for your two feeds.

  2. Hi Charles — were you trying to embed in a web page? This might help … http://leancode.com/2007/01/28/configuring-google-gadgets-for-your-page/

  3. Where in the devil is the FeedBurner control panel [so I can turn on my feeds]? It’s easy to say to turn on your awareness API…but it seems you can’t get there from here, even when here is on my FeedBurner Account Page.

  4. On FeedBurner.com, go to “My Feeds”->[Pick your feed]->”Publicise”->”Awareness API”->Activate

  5. Very cool, thanks for building this!

  6. Any way to use Feedsparks without installing the Google toolbar? I have too many toolbars now and don’t need to spend time debugging when my toolbars fight for dominance.


  7. I don’t run the google toolbar, either — that’s certainly not a dependency!

  8. Thanks, Bren!

  9. A quick update on Charles’ problem (yes, it’s a Google bug): http://leancode.com/2007/01/30/google-gadget-creator-page-and-lists-datatype/

  10. In addition to the changes in http://leancode.com/2007/05/31/feedsparks-gains-caching-and-flexibility/ I saw some weirdness this morning, and made two additional changes to increase the resiliency of the gadget.

    1) If FeedBurner fails or times out the stats request (to their Awareness API), the widget will now display a timed error minimessage for just the failing feed. Previously, none of the feeds would display if any failed.

    2) The call to set the height of the widget is now done only after all calls to FeedBurner have returned. There seemed to be race conditions where if the gadget was dynamically resized several times in quick succession, the resulting size wasn’t correct. Now, since it’s just done once, it’s faster and more reliable.

    If anyone sees about problems, let me know!

  11. Great concept.

    Would you provide the capability for the user to point their own numerical oriented RSS feed instead of just Feedburner stats?

    Here’s why:

    I export my Feedburner stats and transform them into an custom index which then allows me to more easily discern the subcriber patterns.

    So, the resultant RSS file format would be:

    Date (MM/DD/YY)

    Count (NN – NNN)

    Please confirm your interest to

    Thank you.

  12. Why don’t you combine this widget with DaysSince? It would be great to be able to keep track of how many days have elapsed between resets for recurrent tasks.

    This would help with the whole habit forming feedback. For example not only you would know how many days it has been since your last run, but at a glance figure out that you have been slacking off for the previous weeks… :-)

  13. Thanks, Bren for information!

  14. Agent99 – The code for this gadget is MIT license — you’re welcome to customize for your special case. Thanks.

    Nascif – DaysSince got basic avg/count tracking of resets in the last big update. Just hover over one of your reminders to see it. I can’t store all historical numbers, because of limitations in the size of Google preferences. Thanks!

  15. Working good for me!

    Random new feature idea: I’d like the min/max values to appear in a tooltip on hovering over the graph (similar to how days since gives stats on hover).

  16. Very cool, thanks for building this!

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