I was feeling pretty good about transitioning my e-mail from good ol’ POP into a Google Account. One account that you can control your e-mail, FeedBurner, Google Reader, YouTube and everything else through. What more could you ask for? I was feeling so good in fact that I was ready to delete the Gmail account that I have had for years… The Gmail account that I created back when you had to be invited to use Gmail by a friend and when you signed up it would send a top secret code to your mobile… The Gmail account that housed all of my Google Apps under it. After all, I only really had a Gmail account to control all of the Google Apps. I didn’t actually use it for the mail feature.
So the deletion process began. I exported my entire Google Reader feed list and loaded it into my new Google Account. Then I logged into every service that I signed-up for using my Gmail account and updated all of my e-mail addresses to my new one. I was ready! I started the step-by-step deletion process that Google walks you through, I even paused on the bit where it let me know that all of the Google Apps that were attached to my account would be permanently deleted. I was ok with this. I was ready. I already made the decision that I would recreate my Analytics, YouTube and FeedBurner account under my new Google Account, I just had to delete them all from my old account first. So I did it. My old Gmail/Google Account was long gone, to never resurface again.
What? How? Google specifically let me know that when I deleted my old Google Account that ALL of the Apps under it would be permanently deleted. How could my old FeedBurner URL be taken? This can’t be right! I visited my FeedBurner URL and what do you know…it was still active! I thought that it would probably just take a few hours to deactivate. Then days and days started to pass and my old URL was STILL active.
I spent hours and hours on Google searching for a solution. Nothing! Before I knew it weeks started to pass and I still was unable to gain access to my old feed URL. I submitted the Google Recovery form about 7 times in hopes that I would be able to reactivate my old Google Account so I could switch my feed to my new account but every time I submitted the form I would get the very disheartening automated e-mail from Google telling me that I didn’t enter enough information to recover my account.
There was no way I was going to create a new feed URL and lose all of my trustworthy subscribers and ask them to REsubscribe to my new feed URL, so I just let it be. I kept blogging and started to think I would just have to live with never knowing the statistics of my feed for the time being. Surely an answer would surface. Surely there were others out there who have had this same exact issue.
Then a glimmer of hope surfaced! On my way to work one morning I opened the app I have on my iPhone, Ego. Ego is amazing. It is a great way to quickly check your social media stats and I linked my FeedBurner to it over a year ago. In order to use FeedBurner via Ego you have to activate API Awareness. What do you know! My FeedBurner stats loaded! After not being able to check the FeedBurner stats for weeks I was finally able to see how many subscribers I had. So, for the next 2 months I would use Ego to check my FeedBurner stats. On the 60th day of not being able to login to my old FeedBurner account I opened Ego to see how my blog was going I got an Error. The first thing I thought was Google caught on to the loophole that their API Awareness option offered and now I was really out of luck! I visited my feeds FeedBurner URL and it no longer existed so just for kicks I thought I would try to burn my old FeedBurner URL using my new Google Account and what do you know…it worked!
So, what do you do in order to regain access to your inaccessable feed?
Wait. It takes Google 60 days to fully delete any service that you have deleted. After 60 days you will be able to reburn your lost feed to your new account. In the mean time you can check your feed’s stats through apps such as Ego. Unfortunately, if you did not have API Awareness enabled before losing access to your account you are out of luck and will just have to make it through the 60 day waiting period before you will be able to view your feed’s stats.
I hope this has helped anyone who is experiencing this issue. I had to shed some light on the issue because it drove me crazy not being able to find a solution to this problem. Even though waiting 60 days to regain access to your account won’t fix your issue, it will at least give you insight into the issue and hopefully help anyone who has considered creating a new URL for their feed and losing all of their subscribers.