Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Feasting eyeballs, hidden readers

I was recently thinking about giving my blog a make over. The green paint has started peeling off the virtual walls. But after Patrix told me that he (like most avid blog readers) preferred to read my posts in the comfort of his cozy RSS reader rather than virtually traveling all the way to my grungy old blog, I realized that renovating my blog would be a pointless exercise. So I promptly enabled access to entire posts via RSS feed and began to ponder about the bloggeristic future.

Now that RSS feed is becoming the norm, is designing good looking web pages going to become a thing of the past? What about statistics on blog readership? How can the bloggers judge their blogs popularity? All technorati does is rank according to the number of referrals from other blogs and maybe page views (I am not certain) but those who are using RSS feed will not be counted by sitemeter or technorati…or will they?

I wonder if I will suffer from the empty blog syndrome ‘coz now I won’t be able to get so much as footprints of my readers in the form of sitemeter stats of number of visits and sorts. Even with a good readership following, I will still have the feeling of having a monologue with the virtual green walls. Are there ways in which I can get stats on these ghost readers? I should be entitled to get the stats on the RSS readers, after all I feed them. Or all I can do is sing…

Hello Hello Hello
Is there anybody out there?
Just click if you can read this.
Is there anyone home?

Come on, now.
I hear you’re reading posts.
If you know why I complain,


Click on the mouse again.
Relax.
I need some information first.
Just the basic stats
Can you identify yourself?


There are no stats and you are receding.
A distant ships smoke on the horizon.
You are only coming through in waves.
Your lips move but I cant hear what you’re sayin.
When I was a child I had a sitemeter.
My hands felt just like two balloons.
Now I got the stats once again.
The low visit numbers I do not understand.
This is not how I am.
I have become comfortably numb.


Ok.
Just a little mouse click. [ping]
Therell be no more --aaaaaahhhhh!
But you may feel a little sick.


Can you click again?
I do believe its working. good.
That’ll keep the stats going.
Look at the hit count grow.


There are no stats, you are receding.
A distant ships smoke on the horizon.
You are only coming through in waves.
Your lips move but I cant hear what youre sayin.
When I was a child I caught a fleeting glimpse,
Out of the corner of my eye.
I turned to look but it was gone.
I cannot put my finger on it now.
The child is grown, the stats are gone.
I have become comfortably numb.

22 comments:

Nobody said...

i'm not much into rss right now(also not much into IT now), but i guess the current sitemeters wont count the number of times ur article's been read thru rss feeds.
but, i can guarantee somebody is working out (or has already worked out) how to tackle this issue.

so dont worry, it'll be fixed soon.
anyway u'll have atleast 1 page hit per day from me . :)

ashu said...

Hello from an old Sulekha/DSS (least-active) member! Switched to RSS more than an year ago to keep track of all the blogs I (want to) read. This is just to 'ping' you and make aware of my readership. Keep up the good writing :)

Patrix said...

Much thanks for full feeds :)

Regarding keeping accurate statistics, you can direct your feed through Feedburner which gives you an excellent feed count.

And as far as luring your feed readers to your blog, make them want to comment and trust me, regular and loyal readers drop in once in a while to have a dekho if not comment :)

Amalesh said...

Hahahahah....That was amazing, Comfortable Numb!

Btw: I read your blog on your website, and not on the RSS...

TP said...

ah yes ..

heard of feed burner?

http://www.feedburner.com/fb/a/home

I guess there is fraternity of such feed trackers.

I think this adds another level of indirection to your feeds, which possibly means that old needs to be discontinued. Havent done much research on this though.

@m@r said...

Hey, I use bloglines .. and thanks a bunch for the full feeds :D

We shall knock on ur door, once every so often to know we exist and tht we love every word (taken with a pinch of sugar, offcourse! :P) you write!

raghu said...

$1,348,121.52.
thats quiet a bit na?
i use google reader so i keep comin to your blog! :D
that next button just rocks

Shag said...

As long as I am here u can be assured of atleast 4-5 hits on your blog for each post . . . :))

BadMan said...

I do use RSS to get the updates on blog i follow, but generally prefer to read them on website itself unless i dont like the template.
Your blog has one of the best templates so please dont change the color. :)

And if I can add.. you are a gifted writer .
Thanks for writing.

The Pilgrim said...

Brilliant! Comfortably Numb.

Joy Forever said...

That song's amazing! You may give your blog a makeover if you wish. At least I'll be visiting it. Alternatively, pack so many goodies into your page (other than your posts) that people flock to it.

Crystal blur said...

Nobody,
I am in the same boat as you as far as RSS feed goes but as they say, if you can't beat them, join them. So currently I am reading up on this stuff. Thanks for clicking in everyday :)

Ashu,
Sulekha! :-O So it takes Pink Floyd to coax you out :)

Patrix,
So here is my question about Feedburner. Will it give me information about readers who have already been using RSS feed, b4 I register with feedburner? What about people who use google reader, will their stats also be incuded? Okay okay, I will go dig up some wikipedia article :)

Amalesh,
Yeah, wasn't that the perfect song? It was almost like Pink Floyd knew I would need it for my blog ;) So cool...one vote for a coat of fresh paint.

tp,
I've heard about feedburner but I still have a bunch of questions about it as I was asking Patrix. But I will go do my research, now that I know feedburner is the best way to get the stats...or is it?

@m@r,
Yeah, I am thinking of taking attendance once every month ;)

raghu,
Oh god! Blogworth is a joke! In comments section of an old post of mine, one of the readers (was it cruel intentions?) said that blogworth can be easily manipulated. Intrigued, I tinkered with it and couldn't believe how easy that was. I put up that ridiculously large number to make it obvious that it was hacked. Anyhow, Google reader requires you to visit the posts?

shag,
Thanks! Am ready to buy some fresh paint now.

badman,
Don't worry I won't repaint it to red walls with blue script. Thanks for the encouragement :)

pilgrim,
hehe...thanks

joy forever,
Cool, now I am looking forward to the make over. That is interesting though...what kind of goodies are you talking about?

another brick in the wall said...

u hav one reader in me for sure who keeps coming to ths page everytime i log on 2 the net.. so yea.. me keeps it tickin 3 times a day at least :S

and 10/10 for creativity :)

Cruel Intentions said...

Shine on You Crazy Diamond

Drunken Master said...

RSS is too impersonal for me.

How does this song relate to your post? Beth Gibbons is just hypnotic!

"Covered by the blind belief
That fantasies of sinful screens
Bear the facts, assume the dye
End the vows no need to lie, enjoy
Take a ride, take a shot now

Cos nobody loves me
Its true
Not like you do

Who-oo am I, what and why
Cos all I have left is my memories of yesterday
Ohh these sour times"

Rahul said...

I don't know about technocrati and stuff like that, but Wordpress does count RSS usage.

another brick in the wall said...

oh.. wont log on for 10 days now.. exams n all.. so hope theres another brick in ths world who'll do the needful :P

raghu said...

ya theres a next button extension in firefox which works like stumbleupon..just keep pressing next and it takes you to the nexy unread blog post.. :D
i use it cos i dont like reading in that google reader environment

Crystal blur said...

ABITW,
Hope you kick ass on your egg-jams. Hope to see you around soon :)

CI,
Thanks...wait a minute did you just call me crazy? Chintu: Grrrr ;)

drunken master,
I feel the same way but I guess it is a pain in the ass if you are following a whole bunch of blogs. As far as the song goes, nice lyrics but I didn't intend the post to be as sad as the song.

rahul,
I am going to go for feedburner and see what it has to offer.

raghu,
Oh thats a cool feature. I will try that out. Thanks for the tip.

Anonymous said...

Floyd weeps! :)

Joy Forever said...

After saying "I'll be visiting your blog" I vanished without a trace for so long! Shame on me.
Actually I was a bit stuck up. I hope to be regular from now on.

By goodies I meant the things that people would come to see... say like the Weatherpixie on my blog (sorry for the blogwhoring) or the link to Flickr albums (I got the idea from your blog), or the links to interesting sites... like the newseum site, or the Harry Potter sites that I have in my blog. I once thought of putting a virtual pet puppy in the sidebar but he was too attention seeking so I dropped the idea.

another brick in the wall said...

thank u thank u.. hope i did everyone proud.. me back n kLicking ;)