WS Subscriber Stats – Experimental Plugin

I’ve started up two longterm projects at the same time (one is top secret linkbait stuff, the other just top secret πŸ˜‰ ), so I don’t have much time/ideas for new posts at the moment. Irrespective of that, there is one plugin that I have been working on and testing for a while – my feed subscriber gain/loss tracker – and I have decided to make it available now. It’s still largely an experimental contraption, but I probably won’t have the time to improve it in the near future.

Feel free to try it out (at your own risk).

What Does It Do?

As I wrote before, most feed stats tools only show the sum total subscriber count. Conversely, this plugin tries to calculate how many new subscribers you have gained or lost on any particular day. These statistics are displayed in a nice Flash chart. The chart also shows how many posts you’ve made each day, plus the title of the first post. This can help you correlate your subscriber count changes with your posting activity and topic choice.

How It Works

This plugin adds a small, invisible image to your RSS feed. Anytime someone reads a post, the image is loaded and the reader’s IP and the time of the event are noted in the database. Instead of logging all hits, the plugin only saves the first and last time an IP address has been encountered.

The number of subscribers gained on a particular day is calculated by how many IP addresses were first encountered on that date. The number of lost subscribers = how many IPs were last seen on that day. Obviously this is not very accurate when looking at the last few days, because most of your active subscribers would show up as “last seen/lost” for the current date. The statistics can also be skewed by sploggers scraping your RSS feed and republishing it on their own blogs.

Well, that’s why it’s called “experimental”.

Update : I just made a small modification to weed out most splog-generated hits – and the chart actually makes sense now πŸ™‚ For example, I can see that my humorous post about unconventional ways to lose weight generated a notable spike in my subscriber count.

Download (69 Kb)

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