A collaborative stats project using Feedburner data was launched on this blog yesterday. It's an informal project, but I really hope the blogosphere gets behind it. I've even brought out the old Uncle Sam Needs You! image :-)

Basically we need: a) your Feedburner data, and/or b) your analysis. It would also be cool if you linked to this project in order to promote it (of course that also promotes my blog, but I see nothing wrong with that ;-).

Thinking big... Anil Dash proposed in the comments to my post yesterday an even more ambitious project:

"...what I'd love to see is generalized stats that abstract the results from Feedburner, Technorati API, Bloglines API, Google API, and all the rest of the services in order to give me one collective number that I could use to do analysis and comparisons."

A great idea and if the current Feedburner stats collaboration works out - i.e. people in the blogosphere get involved - then perhaps what Anil suggested will be Phase 2. This could grow into a full-fledged Open Source RSS Statistics project! [ed: settle down Richard...]

Back to the present, I like how Jon Udell described our current effort:

"Typically a survey will collect your data and, maybe, show you aggregate results. The idea here is to do things in a decentralized and transparent way. Owners of data who are willing to release it post XML packets in an agreed-upon format, using an agreed-upon metadata tag. Nobody owns the aggregate data, anybody can collect and analyze it."

Amen to that. Also a big thanks to Dick and Eric from Feedburner for their help in setting this up. Their post on it is here.

One Final Pitch

I see Steve Rubel has published his Sitemeter traffic stats today. I invited him in the comments of that post to participate in our Feedburner stats project. And I'd like to extend that invitation to everyone else in the blogosphere:

1. If you use Feedburner, please consider volunteering your data (or send it to me by email if you don't want it to be public). It doesn't matter if you have 10 or 100 or 1,000 or 10,000 subscribers - all data is equally important.

2. If you don't use Feedburner, you can still contribute by analyzing the data. I'm particularly keen on getting some neat visualizations.

3. Even if you don't do either of the above, you can help by publicising this project. Blog it, baby!

As Jon said, we're not sure how this is going to turn out. I'm a bit afraid that only a few people will contribute their data. My hope of course is that loads of people participate - because the more people that get involved, the more useful the resulting RSS statistics will be.