Got Subscribers? – A RSS Rant

Lately I’ve become a bit tired of all the plugin-making, new-feature-adding and programming in general, probably because I’m currently out of exciting and easy to implement ideas. This leads me to procrastination finding alternate modes of time-wasting, like obsessing over stats. And somehow that activity gave me a new idea and made me enthusiastic enough to start work on yet another plugin. More on that in a moment.

One of the numbers that I check daily is the RSS feed subscriber count. Despite the fact that I never actually expected to get any subscribers (low posting frequency and a lack of topical focus are just two reasons for this), it appears that this blog has still managed to somehow attract ~50 readers. The number fluctuates a little, but there’s no obvious trend. I wonder why that is…

Did I mention I was obsessing over stats? Looking at the RSS subscriber graphs that Feedburner displays one can only see the general trend, if any, but some of the finer details are simply not available. There are two features that I thought would be useful :

  • Subscriber gain / loss. The total subscriber count doesn’t really reflect this. I want to know how many readers subscribed and how many unsubscribed from my RSS feed on any given day. I’m paranoid that way.
  • Blog posts plotted on the graphs. That would help me see the correlation between specific posts and subscriber count changes. Sure, I can do this manually, but I’m not only paranoid, I’m also lazy :P

After searching briefly for existing scripts and finding nothing I fired up my local web server, started Crimson Editor and began work on a new WP plugin that would implement the features mentioned above. In fact, a partially functional version is already running on this blog, tracking you! Muahahahha! … Well, only if you’ve subscribed to the RSS feed, and it only stores the IP address and access times anyway.

I will let it run for a week or so to see how it performs, and release it when I think it’s complete/stable enough. So there’s no download link yet.

In other news, the year is coming to an end. Due to this, and other, varied and unquestionably strange reasons, my posts will probably be more philosophical/ranty than usual during the next few weeks. You have been warned ;)

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One Response to “Got Subscribers? – A RSS Rant”

  1. […] I wrote before, most feed stats tools only show the sum total subscriber count. Conversely, this plugin tries to […]

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