An interesting thing happened recently. I was playing around with Andrew Grumet’s tool based on the information in Share Your OPML and discovered that a number of people still subscribe to old feeds. This has direct impact on what stats can look like.
While I do receive a fair amount of traffic on the RSS feeds (collectively, about 60,000 requests a day), it is hard to know which ones are new requests vs. which ones are regular subscribers. Going beyond that, it is also hard to know whether someone actually reads the stuff. HTML email allows for this kind of tracking but RSS is not mature enough to provide rich data that could be of use to marketers or stats fans like myself.
While the subscription to category feeds gives me an idea as to what people are interested in (and shows how few people are interested in my personal life, confirming a deep-seated suspicion that I’m as boring in the virtual world as I am in the real one 🙂 ), it is hard to know whether people subscribed, read, or clicked on links. I guess I could set up some tracking info to trap that information but I’m sure that it would infuriate some people.