Remember my post 3 months ago that analysed Bloglines subscriber stats? Well I thought I’d review the numbers. You can blame Seb Paquet for this 😉 Why? Because he’s just posted something on his weblog for the first time in over 3 months, which got me thinking about how his time away from blogging affected his stats. It turns out his Bloglines subscriber numbers have increased by 25% over the last 3 months, despite him not posting a single new entry! A similar story for Mark Pilgrim, who has all but turned his back on blogging – yet his stats are up 31%.

You’ll notice my own stats have increased by 73%, but that’s only the rose-tinted view. My subscriber numbers in Bloglines have increased by 58, which may sound good (and it is!) but it’s the second-lowest number in this group. So in terms of raw numbers, the rich are getting richer. I’d term myself a working class blogger struggling to lift himself up into the middle classes. 😉

Some provisos about these stats. The biggie is that some bloggers have a variety of RSS feeds and so the one I am tracking here may not be their primary feed. Or an alternative feed to the one I’m tracking may be the one getting all the new subscribers. So the numbers below are by no means authoritative.

I really wish Bloglines would aggregate all of a person’s RSS feeds into 1 combined feed, for subscriber-tracking purposes. Or even better, open up their API to tracking subscribers.

There are other provisos – e.g. the number of subscribers says absolutely nothing about the quality of a blog’s content. I must stress this, because it’s something I always keep in mind when deciding whether to subscribe to someone. i.e. I don’t subscribe because they’re popular, I subscribe because I want to read their content.

And of course, Bloglines is not the only RSS Aggregator in town (I found out the other day that I have 8 Yahoo! subscribers – you can pick that info up by looking at your server logs).

Bearing in mind then that these stats are not authoritative and may in fact be misleading, there are still some interesting trends. The fact that Seb continued to grow his subscriber base despite not posting during the last 3 months is one of them. And it’s also possible the folks with 0-150 Bloglines subscribers are growing at a better rate than those bloggers with 1000-odd subscribers – e.g. myself, Dina, Paolo. One way to counter the ‘rich getting richer’ theory perhaps? I don’t know…

Needless to say, I’d be interested in your comments on these stats.

Bloglines Subscribers Table, July-Oct 04 (version 2)



Update: An hour after I posted this, I’ve noticed what looks like a correction to the Bloglines subscriber database. Most of the bloggers in the table above have dropped 4-5 subscribers just in the last hour – including myself, as I’m now on 137 (was 141). And e.g. Dina has dropped to 209 (was 214), Paolo 200 (was 205), Lilia 851 (was 857), Seb 704 (was 708). This is all just in the last hour! Hmm, I wonder if Bloglines does semi-regular “cleaning” to remove duplicates and other anomalies?

Update 2: Because the Bloglines subscriber database was seemingly cleansed an hour after I published my number-crunching (see Cesar’s comment below for the probable explanation), I decided to re-do the numbers today. Most of the people in the 0-1000 range lost 4-5 subscribers, so our percentages have dropped. But interestingly I noticed a few of the political blogs increased, I suppose due to the presidential debates. Anyway, more food for thought…