Wednesday, May 15, 2002

RSS Subscriptions and Traffic Monitoring

Here’s an interesting thought: to the extent that page views are a barometer of your site’s popularity, the RSS feed of your site actually contributes to fewer people viewing your site. In other words, people get my posts delivered to their desktop if they subscribe to my RSS feed – meaning that they don’t have any reason to visit my site. I thought about this not in the context of my own site, but when I realized today that I have stopped going to News. com – after visiting several times a day for years.

This is both good and bad: the fact that the News Aggregator has so substantially changed my browsing habits (for the better) is good. But if I’m C|Net, I’m annoyed: fewer eyeballs mean fewer ad dollars. And it’s not as if the ad market is exactly robust these days.

Translated to the Radio Community world: has there been any thought to incorporating rss.xml file reads into traffic reporting? Certainly seems like it would be a more accurate reflection of how many people are reading your site. In fact, doesn’t the fact that someone has subscribed to a feed explicitly endorse that site even more than a link to it does?


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