Photo Credit: Photopia
No offense to my loyal RSS readers, but it’s time others know that claims of having thousands of RSS readers is a farce.
Often, on big name blogs they will post or brag that they have 15,000 +/- RSS readers. No, they don’t. They have that many subscribers to their blog.
Subscribing to a blog and reading the posts is two different things.
Case in point. I subscribe to approximately 40 blogs. Do I read them all? No!
Why did I subscribe?
1) I have a handful of blogs I subscribe to that I read and comment on religiously.
2) I subscribe to my “New Blogger Of The Week” blogs, so I can follow their progress.
3) If I like an article on a particular blog, I will often use RSS as a “bookmark” so I can go back later and read the post.
4) I subscribe to a couple of the big named blogs, but do not read every post they write. I scan the titles, and read what interests me.
5) I often forget to unsubscribe to blogs that lost my interest, but on their site, I am still being counted.
Why others subscribe or want high numbers
1) Some, will use RSS full feeds to plagiarize a whole post. This, however, should not stop you from providing full feeds to your loyal readers.
2) Some will use your post as the grand schema for a post of their own by putting a slight twist to it….not plagiarism, but sometimes they walk a fine line.
3) Others will subscribe so they can say, for example, “I subscribe to John Chow’s blog”…an ego thing? Or following the “herd”? Peer Pressure?
4) Big name bloggers have been known to have contests to “get the most subscribers”. This gets them a big number in their “RSS Reader” box”… a boost to their ego, but not necessarily any more actual readers to their blog.
5) Advertisers apparently love to advertise on sites with large RSS “numbers”, and, for those high numbers, the author will often receive more money. Should we tell them the truth?
And, lastly, RSS feed numbers can also be manually manipulated.
So the next time you see a blog claiming they have 10,000+ RSS readers, remember this post. And for goodness sake, (did I just say that?), don’t ever let those numbers intimidate you and make think you’re not doing a good job with your blog.
Although you may not understand all there is to know about RSS feeds, I highly recommend installing a feed on your site. Many will only read blogs via a feed. Install one and learn the details later.
For those who are confused about RSS feeds, I highly recommend an article written by Hunter, where he explains this subject in great detail. His article is titled:Using RSS To Manage Information Flow
Do you have a RSS feed on your site?
If so, have you tested it to make sure it works?
Why do you subscribe or unsubscribe to blogs?
Do you use full or partial feeds?