Tuesday 22 June 2010


I've recently updated to have Blogger run all my RSS requests through Feedburner. You probably haven't noticed any difference. If you're reading in a reader and click through to the site, it'll route the request through Feedburner: copying the link from your RSS reader then is a bit messier than before.

If anybody's noticed any problems, let me know.

Google's Webmaster Tools previously told me my subscriber numbers, at least for folks using Google Reader - about 290 (259 via the main ATOM feed). Feedburner says it's about 380 across the different readers with a "reach" (number of visitors accessing via RSS on an average day) of 186. Since only 6% of RSS reads resulted in clicks, StatCounter understates things by about 175 daily visits: Offsetting's StatCounter numbers are about 56% of actual visits, so we'd need multiply my StatCounter figures by 1.78 to get the more accurate number of overall visits.

On the basis of the StatCounter numbers, Offsetting Behaviour was the 15th most read New Zealand blog in May, but we here seem to have a lot more RSS readers relative to StatCounter numbers as compared to other NZ blogs: Kiwiblog gets about 7,800 daily visitors with 1042 folks who subscribe via Google Reader. If his clickthrough proportions and "reach as proportion of Google Reader subscriber" proportions are like mine, we'd need to multiply his figures by 1.09 to get the more accurate figure. For well over 10 times the daily visits, he has only about three times the number of subscribers, as far as Google Reader can tell.

AntiDismal whinges endlessly about his low reader numbers. But his RSS subscriptions - around 90 according to Google Reader - are on par with HomePaddock: a top-10 NZ blog. AntiDismal's RSS multiplier would be 1.46; HomePaddock, about 1.14.

A couple of competing hypotheses, indistinguishable from current data:
  • Kiwi readers tend not to use aggregators compared to other folks, and both Paul and I have relatively high proportions of non-NZ readers
  • Kiwis use aggregators other than Google
For the bloggers who earn their coin via site ads, the RSS figures don't matter a whit unless they've put ads in their feed; if anything, it's a minus as those readers don't normally see the ads. But for the folks who do it for the approbation, which is a function of reader quality, reader numbers, and perceived influence, figuring out that your stats undercounted things by a fair bit can be a bit of a pleasant shock. I already knew that readers here are of very high quality; I'm glad to see there are more of you than I'd previously thought.


  1. I think RSS use differs by industry. My blog is focused on tertiary ed and people access it Mon-Fri. I have 130-150 Sitemeter visits during weekdays but about 100-110 RSS feeds via Feedburner (and 50-60 reach).

  2. Oh such RSS feed click-through bait. With all those praise of your readers and controversial comparisons to other blogs.

    But you don't seem to have any advertising anywhere on your page, thus maybe your here for the discussion not the 'riches' of blogging.

  3. Do read the link on the greatness of my readers. I just love that Ami Glazer piece....

    I cannot imagine that the level of traffic I'm getting warrants putting up ads. Were I anywhere in KiwiBlog's traffic, it probably would be worth the hassle. As is, not so much.