OTB Subscribers

OTB’s syndication feed had been steadily marching toward 10,000 subscribers as of yesterday. Today, it’s down considerably:

Feedburner Stats OTB

Was it something I said?

FILED UNDER: General
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Bithead says:

    I suspect what you’re seeing is an automatic clearing of lists of people who haven’t picked up subscriptions of late.

  2. James Joyner says:

    Nah, it’s some glitch in their reporting. The vast majority of my subscribers are via something called Activeweave Stickis and it’s not polling this morning.

  3. Bithead says:

    interesting .

    As you know, I use Bloglines rather heavily, for the purpose of catching stories as they come up. One thing I’ve noticed about that services that subscriptions have a tendency to rise rather slowly, as a part of a natural subscriptions buildup, and then have a tendency to fall very quickly during what appears from here to be an automatic cleanup process.

    You know, come to think of it, the only problem that I have with it , is that there is no direct commenting process from it. (Chuckle) If it did that, you’d not be getting any hits from me at all…

    You know, that brings up a point that I’ve been thinking about for a while. It counts, directly on the site, obviously only reveal a portion of the overall readership. Syndication subscription levels, are nice, but I have a suspicion that they only show part of the story.

    Is there ever going to be a way for us to figure out exactly who’s reading us, I wonder? It would seem to be a central question to those of us who are dependent on traffic and the ad revenue it generates.

  4. James Joyner says:

    Is there ever going to be a way for us to figure out exactly who’s reading us, I wonder? It would seem to be a central question to those of us who are dependent on traffic and the ad revenue it generates.

    Feedburner is the closest thing that’s available in that regard right now.

    I quit providing full feeds to combat sploggers who were stealing my content and killing my search results. I anticipated a fall-off in RSS subscribers as a result but it didn’t happen.

    I’ve long been torn on the RSS phenomenon. Increasingly, that’s how I read others’ sites. But, even with some ads running on my own feeds, they generate next to no direct revenue and presumably sap away readers who would otherwise come directly to the site and create ad impressions.

  5. I too use RSS to more efficiently go through weblogs. Yes, it reduces the traffic from people who use RSS to filter, but the people who do click or link because they’re interested in the post should be easier to be targeted by advertisers.

  6. John Snore says:

    I look at this site almost every day. But I have absolutely no idea of what you are talking about in this post.

  7. James Joyner says:

    I have absolutely no idea of what you are talking about in this post.

    This site, like most on the Web these days, provides a syndication feed to which people can subscribe. The idea is to get the highlights of the sites you like in a single place to make keeping track of them easier and signaling you when there’s something to click over to read.

  8. Bithead says:

    James; (for John) that’s correct. Sorry, I slipped into shop talk…

    The question that I was asking of James, John, had to do with the idea that most web sites calculate the amount of readers to a site by a script of some sort of test directly to the web page. Sometimes this is a site meter, a system which my site uses, and I’m not sure what James is using, here.

    In any event, those counters get bypassed and do not reflect readership when users pick up feeds from systems like Bloglines, and other RSS type feeders.

    (RSS stands for really Simple Syndication)

    Feedburner is one RSS capture service which runs a stripped down (Sorta) version of most blogs, which people can pick up more directly with something called an RSS reader. by what James is saying, feed burner also gives one the option of having a count. They are, so that people that actually are read James is typed output counted. That way, he has a better idea of how many readers he has.

    To illustrate the problem, look at the counter on the bottom of this page. (Pull the slider on the right side of your browser all the way down) You’ll notice that there’s a counter down there, which reads something on the order of just under 20 million hits. (By the way, James, do you ever projectionist to 120 million is supposed to occur? )

    What we’re saying is that those 20 million hits are only counting the people that have his webpage directly, and does not include some of the RSS services.

    James has apparently found some mitigation for that problem. Does that give you a better idea of what it is we’re discussing?