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  1. I notice that we have been given a new line graph called 'Feed' or something to that effect. It says: 'The line chart above shows an estimated number of people who read your feed each day.'

    I don't understand this. I've never consciously created a 'feed' for anyone to read. By 'feed' are they referring to the posts I create?

    When it indicates, on the line graph, 'three readers', does that mean that only '3 people' have gone to my site that day but that they could have created 20 views?

    I notice that I had six referers but thirteen views and one reader. How do I make sense of all of this?


  2. One person visiting the main page of your site might click the comments link to read the comments for a specific post, click back to your main page, check out your ABOUT page, and then leave. That person would represent one visitor or reader and four views of your pages. (You see that three readers could easily stack up 20 views or hits.) That's what makes hit counters such useless measures of site activity. The number of unique visitors or readers is what really counts.

    Referers are the pages that are linked to your site that people used to get there. For instance, this page is a referer for your site, because your name automatically links to your blog in this forum. I clicked it for a quick view and then came back to the forum.

    Your feed stats are a totally different thing. That has to do with how many people are viewing the RSS feed from your blog. All WP blogs are fed out (syndicated) automatically. (I don't know if that can be shut off with the privacy options, because I don't use them.) These feeds allow people with RSS readers (web-based or desktop) to read your blog automatically and be updated whenever you update your content. These feeds can also used to create dynamic content in other people's websites.

    I hope that's not way more info than you were looking for.

  3. Exactly what I was looking for; succinctly stated. Thanks. A further question: When people with RSS readers read my blog automatically, does it mean that a particular post of mine gets sent directly to their reader on their desktop or do they have to come directly to my site to read a post?

    What do you mean when you say 'These feeds can also be used to create dynamic content..."?

    If I want to be alerted to updates to particular blogs, do I download an RSS feeder to my computer?

    When I see a 'trackback' button on another person's blog, does it give me the opportunity, if I press it, to be alerted to updates to comments that may be placed on a particular post?

    Is 'trackback' the same as 'permalink'?

    Right above this field there is a hypertext which says 'RSS feed for this thread.' Does that mean that if I click on that text it will allow my to automatically have an alert as to when this thread has been updated? Hmmm...I think I'll try it right now.


  4. I tried the hypertext above, mentioned earlier. it lead me to a 'The Page Cannot Be Displayed' page. What's that about? Do I need to download a reader first? Any recommendations?


  5. RSS basics, permalinks, and trackbacks have been handled elsewhere in these forums and probably in the WP FAQ as well, so this thread may get closed by the admins.

    As far as web use of RSS feeds, that may or may not have been covered. Here's a really super basic introduction:

    When you post to your blog, that content goes into a database hosted on WP. That database then feeds the content back out to your site pages in a format readable by a standard web browser. ( Hence, people can surf the web and find and read your posts. That database also feeds the same content out in XML format ( for RSS readers to receive as syndicated content. Currently, the majority of people read RSS feeds through online readers like My Google or My Yahoo.

    Someone with a website who likes your content and thinks that it will help their site can build a page to access your RSS feed and display it on their site. (Your feed is syndicated unless you opted to make it private.) Such pages include links back to the content source of the feed (in this case your site) as well as links to each of the individual post pages from that feed. These will show up on your site as Trackbacks, and you'll know about them.

    Generally, this kind of syndication is a sign of a really great blog, and many bloggers actively work toward making their content useable in just this way. It's a huge and still growing trend as web developers are on a constant lookout for great dynamic content (free doesn't hurt either) to enhance their own sites. Blogs, especially high content, audience targeted ones, are the perfect answer.

  6. Thanks for your great reply. When you say 'high content, audience targeted' do you mean blogs in which there are a lot of posts of high quality?


  7. Well, that's what I mean when I say it, but you know how things are. ;>

    Whatever sells and catches people's attention...

  8. this thread is really useful abt explaining feeds, but i just have to ask this even though common sense might have guessed it: if your feed stats says nine readers, does that mean 9 ppl are subcribing to your feed? how come it fluctuates from day to day, cos sometimes i have only one reader from the feed stats. how does that work?

  9. ? can anyone help? am quite stumped by this feed stuff.

  10. Yeah I would like to know whey it jumps around so much.

    I don't understand what they really mean.

  11. I have a feeling that it is counting readers based on how often the feed is accessed. For example, I know that one of my feed readers is a blog aggregator which pulls the feed every 2 hours. So my guess is that every time the feed is polled, it is being counted as a reader.

  12. vivian: so if let's say u only have 1 reader, and that reader log in twice so it will be seen as 2 readers in the stats?

  13. sulz: I think that is the case. I think it is based on the number of times the feed is polled. Unless they are tracking the polling based on source (in which case I have more readers via RSS than I thought I did)

  14. Wish I could help you on this one, but even with 25+ years of computer experience, I'm still new to RSS feed stats. I really don't know whether it counts a "reader" as a person actually looking at my posts in their on- or offline feed reader or if it's counting feed aggregators polling my feed for new content.

  15. thanks for your replies vivian and ptvguy, at least i know the feed stats are no indication of my readers

  16. Well, they are readers, Sulz. They're just not sitting there looking at your blog. They're using their feed readers instead of a browser.

  17. drmike: what i was trying to say was the number of readers - left that out. because vivian and ptvguy said the number of feeds doesn't reflect the amount of readers one has "based on the number of times the feed is polled"? btw is it possible to track who are subscribing the feeds? so curious

  18. I don't see a way with what we have here of keeping track. Just what they're using to pull the feeds.

  19. I have the same question as sulz. If people use RSS readers to read my blog, why do the feed stats fluctuate so much from day to day?

    Just checked my stats today, today it shows 24. I find it hard to believe so many people are reading my feed right now. Reason being I 'm mostly posting personal stuff that would make sense/interest only 4-5 people around the world.

  20. Also remember that these update services (ie technorati, bloglines, etc) check for updates via the RSS feed. That's probably included in that account.

    As to the different amounts on different days, please don't always read their blogs every day I would think. Please we all know how often technorati is down, don't we? ;)

  21. Got a point there. ;) Now I have another I didn't post at all. Yet I see my feed stats are close to where they were yesterday(when I posted a bit). I thought there'd be no RSS readers pulling anything since there's nothing to pull?


  22. Another question I have...when I edit previous posts(esp from previous days), do the RSS readers pick up on that and pull the edited posts again so the interested parties can read the updated versions?

  23. Depends on how they get those feeds.

    If they pull them directly from your blog live, yes.

    If they pull them from a service, it depends. Some services could cache their feeds and/ or just update the latest posts.

  24. I 'm not sure what ''pulling directly from my blog live'' means. Care to elaborate? :)

    How about my previous question? About the feed stats showing high even without posts? What does that mean?

  25. If someone is sitting at their PC and uses their own personal reader that pulls your feed directly from your site, then chances are they'll get the edited post.

    If instead they pull a feed from a service, it's hit and miss depending on how the service handles your feed. Most probably cache in some form.

    As to your other question, it's probably people (and maybe services as well) looking to see if you've updated.

  26. I 'm not sure what a personal reader is. :)

    Also, both personal readers and often do they pull? As soon as I 've updated or does it happen at regular intervals thruout the day?

  27. how often do they pull?

    Individual - Whenever they sit down at their PCs and request them.

    Services - Either when you publish a post and WordPress sends out a notification or 'ping' saying that you have or at various times during the day. It's really up to them.

  28. I promise this is gonna be my last Feeds question for a long time. :)

    Sooo...Today I made my first post on my blog since I deleted my previous entries(about a week ago). Before posting my Feeds stats were down to zero. Immediately after posting it went up to 9. Is that the WordPress sending out my post to the various services OR is it people who happened to come across my blog in the previous days(when there were a couple of posts there) and for some reason subscribed to my feed for whenever I 'd be posting again?

  29. I don't know. What does your Dashboard -> Feed Stats page tell you? :)

    The second graph should tell you what is pulling it. I'm voting for ping services though like technorati and the rest.

  30. Hello again - I recently added Feedburner to my sidebar with a button link, which looked fine. Thanks again drmike. I also decided to add a button for google reader in the text box. Now I have the nasty little rss button inserting itself in addition to the rss feed button and rss comments icons that come with WP (not sure if this is peculiar to Regulus). But it is a part of the icon, not all of it, and I can't seem to get rid of it. It sems to be in the Meta.

    The odd thing is that this "piece" of the icon goes to my syndicated Google reader. I would love to get rid of the rss icons (all of them) but if I am unable to then I would at least like to delete the "icon piece". I can use my button links, which look nicer. I'd appreciate any help as to how to remedy this. Thanks.

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