I got to wondering about browsers vs. aggregators coming to my blog. I'm going to assume that anyone who hits http://jeremy.zawodny.com/blog/ is a browser and anyone who hits http://jeremy.zawodny.com/blog/index.rdf is an aggregator. It's simple and I have the data for a more detailed analysis, but that's not the point.

So, in the last 24 hours, /blog/ has had 1,012 hits while /blog/index.rdf has had 3,170. I know from past checks that I have roughly 240 unique visitors to /blog/index.rdf each day, so that number makes sense. But the surprisingly high number of visitors to my blog home page (as opposed to individual posts, which is what most aggregator users seem to hit) makes me wonder.

I just always figured that most folks used aggregators. But apparently most folks who read my blog use their browser. I suspect that the folks who read lots of blgos (20 or more?) are all using aggregators whilte the others just have a link to me on their personal "start page" so they hit it a few times each day.

Someday I'll break the numbers down with some heuristics to try and get a clearer picture.

What I'm really wondering is this: Is my blog unusual in this repsect? Or to most folks see this? I've not seen it discussed much, so it's hard to really know.

Posted by jzawodn at February 09, 2003 09:43 PM

Reader Comments
# john said:


Here's a post I posted recently with some annecdotal information:

Some Data on RSS Readers

Useful info or not?

I haven't really gotten deep into the data but will eventually.

on February 9, 2003 09:59 PM
# Tom said:

That's been the case in my site. Far and away most of my readers get to my site through a web browser.

on February 9, 2003 11:53 PM
# Ronaldo said:

A lot of people use services like blo.gs watch lists. That may explain part of the hits to your blog's homepage.

on February 10, 2003 04:15 AM
# Adam Keys said:

One thing to consider is that I read your feed, but when I see something interesting, I open the whole entry page or, usually, your home page. So you sorta get a double hit there. Now, if you published your entire entries in your feeds, then I'd probably stick with reading you entirely in ye' old aggregator. For this very reason I'm probably going to change my MT templates to put my whole entries in my feeds.

on February 10, 2003 06:29 AM
# Harald said:

An obvious question, but have you eliminated all of the search engine traffic from your /blog/ statistics? That's where the majority of my front-page hits come from...

on February 10, 2003 07:15 AM
# Tim A said:

I almost always visit your blog after getting a snippet of your entry from my aggregator so you would have to weed out people like me from your stats somehow.

on February 10, 2003 07:59 AM
# Scott Johnson said:

And now for the contrarian -- I *never* use an aggregator. No real reason save that they don't feel right. Certainly I do have an aggregator but I tend to just meander through BlogSpace. My guess is that a lot of people don't like aggregators all that much but don't speak up because "aggregators are c00l".

on February 10, 2003 08:43 AM
# Dan Isaacs said:

I'm not too high on the aggregators right now, but mostly b/c so many people (myself included) don't have decent RSS feeds. So you get one line and a title. It's frustrating to read.

What I ought do is trim the bad feeds from the reader, and just use it for the ones that work. And Web the rest.

on February 10, 2003 09:18 AM
# Chris Winters said:

I agree with Scott, although I defined what "feels right" is a little more on my site.

on February 11, 2003 05:01 AM
# Kenneth said:

So is the solution to maintain a summary feed and a whole front page rdf feed? I figure that the rdf is used to keep up on news items, and if you're interested you click through. Recently I've considered adding a complete feed to supplement the summary, but now I'm not sure which should be the default at index.xml or index.rdf...

on February 11, 2003 06:56 AM
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