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I'm running a website, and would like to get a better idea how many subscribers I have. I can check the number of subscribers on Google Reader for my two feeds (RSS and Atom). I also have access to my server logs, so I sometimes collect all the IP addresses that access the feeds over a month or so and do a uniq.

Is that an accurate way of doing this? Are there other feed aggregators that I need to take into account? Any pitfalls when just going by IP address?

I've also thought about embedding an image in the feeds to get a better count. But do all feed readers load images automatically?

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2 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Switch your feed to use Google Feed Burner and these stats will be generated automatically for you.

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That's not really an option, since I would need to switch over all my current subscribers. –  Robert Kosara Apr 20 '10 at 13:50
    
@Robert - in a way, you would know which ones care enough to keep following. –  Gnoupi Apr 20 '10 at 14:05
    
Depending on how your feed is set you can replace your existing feed with a redirect to FeedBurner (this is easy in WordPress askapache.com/htaccess/…) –  Shevek Apr 20 '10 at 14:52
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Turns out there's a very clever module for Drupal (which I use) that redirects everybody except FeedBurner to FeedBurner. That seems to be the perfect solution. drupal.org/project/feedburner –  Robert Kosara Apr 20 '10 at 15:48
    
@Goupi: good point, but I'd rather not risk losing lots of people ;) –  Robert Kosara Apr 20 '10 at 15:49
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Well, IP addresses have their ups and downs. Most home clients (dial-up, broadband, etc) will have frequently changing IP addresses. And those accessing from behind a corporate firewall will often all have the same IP or range of IP addresses, regardless of how many are actually connecting. So going only by IP is not a really good indicator. You can use it to make a guesstimate, but that's purely what it is.

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