Guestimating blog feed readers

June 17, 2005

I don't have any fancy way of finding out how many people read my RSS feed, but one way of getting a rough idea is by assuming that every reader downloads the feed every hour. From my web stats I can see how many times my rss feed has been downloaded in a month. So assume I had 100,000 hits on my rss feed in 30 days (720 hours):

100,000 / 720 ~= 138 readers

This is pretty rough but it gives me a better metric than 100,000 hits.

FeedBurner actually does a good job of solving this problem. But I want to keep my feed on my server for now.

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Put an image in your feed; I tossed a site-meter image in mine because I'm to lazy to work up my own tracking image; but the concept is simple. The "image" only gets pulled from your server when someone views your feed in a feed reader. (of course not all will display the image, but most do; especially bloglines). Check out the stats for my feed image
Thanks Jehiah, I have thought about doing that, just never got around to it.
You can use some mod_rewrite voodoo to do the FeedBurner switch transparently. I just wrote about it here:
Whoa.. I hope there's an easier way to get the number of feed readers without using feedburner. :D

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