I also wonder if external web stat collectors treat a hit on the popup as a hit on the blog. Someone here opined the hits from using the carousel are not counted by outside stat compilers. I have no idea how any of this really works.
@ronscubadiver, the external stats collection is quite simple. You create an account on somewhere like statcounter and they give you a unique url that you embed in your site. In this case mine is on a widget on my blog so that it is 'served' every time somebody loads my FULL blog page. The URL points to an image or something similar at the external stats company. They can then count the number of hits on that image and provide you with the relevent stats. WordPress use the exact same process but they use Quantcast .
In the case of my statcounter stats, they only count up if a user loads the original page of my blog which shows the widgets as I don't think I can add the statcount URL anywhere else, well certainly not so conveniently.
I did notice that the new reader popup does indeed have a Quantcast URL in it so it would imply that WordPress will be getting stats recorded for all hits on this new popup as well as from the original post. The same is true of the attachment pages I think. Hence the reason that WordPress will shows stats that include hits on attachment pages when viewed within the carousel whereas my statcounter won't as the widgets weren't served up for each picture load.
HOWEVER my understanding is that advertisers pay out based on the number of times an advert is 'served' to the user. I have not seen adverts on the carousel, I've only seen them on the original blog page so I can't see how you would be getting any ad revenue from hits recorded on all the images in a gallery or the popup (which also currently doesn't appear to have an advert in it) as your users would only get served an advert on the initial load of the original full blog post. Maybe a wordpress engineer could confirm this???
I was contemplating upgrading my wordpress account and then applying for the ads packahe in order to cover the costs but speaking to a few people they said the ads would not earn anything significant until I had at least 10K genuine page loads a month. Currently I have less than that even though WP shows significantly more so I'm not sure. I can't really find anywhere that explains what WP pay out in ad revenue based on a volume of hits so I can't tell what revenue I may potentially earn.
I assume this popup will have ads in it for external users as otherwise peoples ad revenue will drop like a stone unless they set SUMMARY only in the feeds setting to force people to visit the full blog page?
So many questions, so few answers from Wordrpress! :-)