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Calling Feedburner…

Given how quickly my colleague and I have received replies from the good folks over at Feedburner previously, I’m going to post my question here and see how quick it gets picked up. You hear me, Feedburner? This is a test ;)

Basically, the issue is with my Bloglines metrics. Bloglines is telling me I have 31 subscribers currently, which I’m psyched about, and for the most part Feedburner has tracked that number. But within the past few days it’s jumped significantly two or three times, and now Feedburner tells me I have 54 readers on Bloglines. For the math challenged among you, that’s a discrepancy of 23 readers. It also says that

This circulation number is calculated across 4 different aliases for your feed.

So my question is this: what aliases? Are these the old feed addresses that I’m transparently redirecting over to my burned feed? If so, why doesn’t Bloglines count those (I know Feedburner can’t answer that one)? If not, what are they?

Hardly a critical issue, of course, but I am curious as to whether the new subscribers I’ve picked up are merely log phantoms or real people.

Either way, more and more people are making their way over here, so thanks to all you newcomers for stopping by.

Categories: RedMonk Miscellaneous.

  • http://www.redmonk.com/sogrady sogrady

    Hi Michael – thanks for checking in. Spot on, I think. I'd considered that, but didn't give it much thought b/c I was – in theory – repointing anyone coming to pick up the old, deprecated feeds over to Feedburner.

    But I just added the other feeds in Bloglines, and sure enough there are 18 more folks picking up the feeds. Now what I don't get is on the Bloglines side, why these numbers aren't aggregated. I could understand it if in fact they were all separate feeds, but I've confirmed (by checking to see whether they were spliced or not) that they are in fact all being served up by Feedburner.

    Given that fact, I'd hope that sooner or later Bloglines would be giving me the same number Feedburner does. I can ask everyone to standardize on one feed, but of course I can't mandate it.

    But that's all the bad news. Good news is that more and more people are stopping by than ever, which is great.

  • http://www.siliconbeat.com Michael Bazeley

    I’m guessing here, but here goes anyway: Bloglines only shows you the number of subscribers *per feed.* You’re using Movable Type, so you probably have three feeds, any of which someone could subscribe to. So you need to check all three feeds through Bloglines to get the total number of subscribers (or check your user logs, if you can). Feedburner’s number of 54 readers is probably for all three feeds. Your 31 number is probably just for one. Caveat: I’ve never used feedburner, so I could be completely wrong here.

  • http://www.feedburner.com matt shobe

    Stephen,

    We did indeed introduce an enhancement to our statistics tracking to help more accurately reflect your traffic across multiple “alias” feeds. Your three feeds really represent a single circulation body. Even if you are redirecting all three original feeds to us, Bloglines still does not aggregate the traffic — it sees the original URLs as individual user requests, and therefore, separate traffic totals.

    FeedBurner now reconciles multiple Bloglines feeds that resolve to a single FB feed to aggregate your traffic picture. That 54 really should be closer to the total you’ve got out there.

    Looks like I just missed the 12 hour post-to-response window. Drat!

  • http://www.redmonk.com/sogrady sogrady

    Thanks for the final word – the problem lies not with you guys, but with Bloglines. A good problem, but one I’d like to see them fix – as many other MT users would, I bet.

    As for the response time, just remember, you beat Bloglines.

    One quick question – was this enhancement covered in an update from Feedburner? If not, it should be, because I’m sure other folks will be asking about it.

    But overall, thx for the enhancement and the response. You guys rock.

  • http://www.bloglines.com Mark Fletcher

    Thanks for the comments about Bloglines. It’s a tricky thing for us to combine subscriber stats over multiple feeds. Many people have seperate feeds on purpose; these will correspond to different categories on their blog, or to comments, etc. And they want to have the individual subscriber numbers for each of those feeds. That said, we’re looking at ways of providing more control to feed owners.

  • http://www.redmonk.com/sogrady sogrady

    Appreciate both the comments and the complexity of the situation, Mark. And don’t get me wrong – I’m a big Bloglines fan, and have written up a blogging HowTo using Bloglines as the aggregator of choice.

    But in cases such as mine, where the title of the feeds are the same, the content and the links are the same – to the letter – I’d love for them to be combined and reflected as the single feed they are.

    Given that you might have customers preferring otherwise, maybe it should be an optional selection, but I’m sure there are a ton of MT users out there whose Bloglines subscription numbers don’t reflect their true reader size.

    Either way, appreciate you taking the time to weigh in.