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Drop in Feed Stats in Blogs

I don’t check my feed stats on my blog very often. In general, they aren’t very interesting. So imagine my shock when I drop in and find that the number of feeds accessing this site had dropped over 75%! feed statistics drop due to adjustments

Well, I’m not alone. Have you checked lately? Everyone should have gotten a hit.

I thought at first it might be due to cutting off Bitacle from sucking our blog content for profit, but that’s not the reason.

According to Andy Skelton of on the forum, some code adjusting happened which adjusted your feed stats to “right” not bloated:

Your feed stats may have dropped significantly today. They may also have been very erratic over the past few weeks. You should find them more stable now. Let me explain.

When a large service such as Netvibes requests your feed, their request includes the number subscribers they are servicing for your feed. They do this by including something like “30 subscribers” in the request. Your feed stats are the sum of all of these.

In the months since we launched Feed Stats, aggregators have experienced explosive growth. When a service like Netvibes gets very large they start needing lots of machines to do the work, so these requests may start arriving from different machines. There may be as many as ten machines each reporting “30 subscribers” which makes it seem as though there were 300 subscribers. This was making your feed stats report a falsly high number of subscribers.

…A few minutes ago I updated the code to try to weed out the duplicates while respecting enterprise aggregators. Your feed stats may drop as a result. They may even crash. Unfortunately we cannot apply this change retroactively. On the bright side, this change means your feed stats will be more stable and accurate from now on.

It may take a few days to recover from the shock that I’m not as popular as I thought with feed readers. * Sniff Sniff * 😀

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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, member of the 9Rules Network

Member of the 9Rules Blogging Network


  1. Posted October 6, 2006 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

    I was wondering about the same thing a few hours ago! At least it’s for good 🙂

  2. Posted October 12, 2006 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    While we’re on the subject of feeds: can you explain your reasoning for only offering an excerpted feed to your readers? I mean, I love your stuff, but it would be nice if I didn’t have to load up the browser every time I want to read it.

  3. Posted October 12, 2006 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    I changed it to excerpts a while ago as an experiment. I had several complaints that my consistently LONG posts were difficult to read within feed readers. I also tend to post a lot of code which was also difficult to read in feed readers.

    People told me that they liked seeing excerpts, since I write a lot of technical articles, so they could quickly see if what I was writing applied to what they wanted to read or not. I post one to three posts a day, so that’s a LOT of content to scroll through. If they wanted to read, they could click and visit the site.

    A couple weeks later, several splogs grabbed my stuff and the only thing that “protected” me was the fact that my feeds were in excerpt form already. While others were going crazy fighting back for the theft of their full contents for commercial use, I had less to lose. I still fought back, though. Since I had no complaints directly to me about the change to excerpts (summaries), I kept it that way.

    The majority of those reading feeds on my site are doing so through their web browser, according to stats, so “loading up the browser” isn’t a factor since that’s what they are using. It’s a click or open in new tab or window.

    My feed stats continue to go up (in spite of the weirdness of the new charting system) through feedburner and the feed stats here.

  4. Posted October 12, 2006 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    I just checked my feed stats again and fairly consistently, almost 60% of my feed reading readers are accessing this site through web browsers or online web page aggregators or social bookmarking services like Blogline. The rest of the statistics are a combination of web and email program feed readers or stand alone feed readers.

    Interesting statistics.

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