Thursday, December 01, 2005

On Blogging and Site Statistics

I just added Site Meter to my site (I had previously used StatCounter, and still discretely do). This was inspired by the "Where do your visitors come from" meme that has been circulating. Only Site Meter allows you to produce that nifty pie chart with a country-by-country breakdown.

That got me to thinking about visitor stats and how people read blogs. A lot folks (myself included) view blogs through their rss feeds using some sort of news reader (I use the online service Bloglines). I have chosen to make my entire entries available through the evolgen feed, whereas other people only supply a summary (or short excerpt).

If the entire entry is available in my news reader, I hardly ever visit many of the blogs I read regularly. The exception being when I would like to leave a comment, if something does not display correctly in the news reader, or if I plan to link to an entry from another blog. If a site only provides a summary in their feed, however, I find myself visiting that site more often simply because it's required if I would like to read the entire article. For these sites, I usually only read the summaries unless an entry piques my interest enough to cause me to visit the website and read the entire article.

In summary, if you provide a complete entry in your site feed, I will read more of your writing, but I will not visit your website very often. If you only provide a summary, I will not read as many of your blog entries, but I will visit your site more often. Do my readers agree with me on this? Also, it seems that a good way to inflate your site statistics is to only make summaries available through your feed so that you also get visits from the readers using rss feeds.


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