Tuesday, May 25, 2004

RSS Usage Statistics

RSS Usage Statistics


How many people read this weblog using RSS? And how is it possible for us to find out about those users? Obviously, websites that rely on advertising have a significant problem is their content is available through an avenue that bypasses that of the ad-displaying medium. While I can figure out how ads can be inserted into an RSS file, and am not necessarily opposed to it, I am not really sure how statistics about RSS use can be generated. Let's consider the two most obvious problems. For those who rely on 3rd party http-based counters, such as Sitemeter, a text-only RSS medium is not generating any hits. Those who host their own weblogs, or at least have access to raw HTTP logs could, concievably, see how many hosts download the RSS feed. However, there is no way to find if any item, or which items, in the feed have actually been read.

What are people doing to address this measurement problem?

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