What Do RSS Subscriber Numbers Really Tell Us?
For many bloggers, RSS subscriber numbers are a fun and useful way to get an approximate read on how many “loyal customers” they have. For others, however, RSS numbers take on a greater significance, impacting such things as advertiser and investor relationships, as well as a web site’s perceived influence.
For example, when you visit TechCrunch and note that it has north of two million RSS subscribers according to its FeedBurner chicklet, it stands to impress and make you give its articles a degree of consideration that you may not lend to web publications with a lower subscriber count.
So this is all to say that RSS subscriber numbers are a pretty big deal on the Internet. But how are RSS subscriber numbers calculated, can they be trusted, and what do they really tell us? And while FeedBurner is certainly the industry leader in “burning” RSS feeds for web publishers and providing subscriber counts, what are the alternatives?
Unfortunately, there’s no easy or simple way at present to provide RSS subscriber numbers other than as an approximate snapshot of how many people are actively subscribed to a feed at any given point in time.
Confused yet? The FeedBlitz blog (FeedBlitz is a Feedburner competitor) does the best job I’ve seen in explaining how subscriber counts are tallied in a piece called “On RSS Subscriber Counts and FeedBurner Metrics…
(read the rest of this piece at Web Worker Daily)