The Lost Weekend with Feedburner

I’m a Feedburner fan and run this blog’s RSS through the service so I can gain some sense of traffic trends. Per Peter Kim’s M20 measurement criteria, I made my RSS subs visible with this badge that tallies my feed subscribers.

Every weekend about ten percent of my subscribers seem to unsubscribe or vanish. By Tuesday, they return.

So what happened to the 43 mystery subs? And why do they go away every Saturday?

Author: David Churbuck

Cape Codder with an itch to write

0 thoughts on “The Lost Weekend with Feedburner”

  1. Doesn’t your traffic drop on a similar ratio during weekends as well?

    As less people access their computers on weekends you get less feedburner hits on Saturdays. FeedBurner knows I’m a reader because my iGoogle tells my feedreader to go fetch your feed at FeedBurner, if I don’t use iGoogle, I’m one less user. Same applies to all readers on the known universe.

    Remember: normal people tend NOT to use computers on weekends (shame on them!).

  2. Wait, Feedburner purports to show subscribers, not total RSS hits. Right? So that count is based on pulls, not initial “add to aggregator” subscriptions? Duh, I think you are right

  3. David –

    Esteban’s right: since RSS is an inherently anonymous medium, there’s no way for us to know if Alice, Bill or Carol are subscribed on a given day. Web-based aggregators report their numbers to us, and those numbers are not likely to fluctuate much on weekends. But desktop-based aggregators will, because, as Esteban notes, some people appear to turn their computers off on weekends.

    I have no idea who those people are. But the data seems to suggest they exist.

    For more than you ever hoped to know about this subject, check out this interview I did with Darren at ProBlogger last year:

    http://www.problogger.net/archives/2007/08/16/why-does-my-feedburner-subscriber-count-fluctuate/

    –Rick

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