The Feed count numbers – should I show or not to show them on my blog? Originally, I didn’t think about it much and simply displayed my Feedburner stats within a week or two of launching this blog. I personally liked seeing feed numbers on other blogs, and if they didn’t have them I was wondering – why not. I also find it easier to subscribe to the blog that has the number displayed because I don’t have to search where the heck is that RSS subscription link on this blog.

Published RSS feed numbers never influenced my subscription to their blogs. I subscribe to blogs that I find interesting and worth spending my time reading them. There are several blogs in my RSS reader that have a very small number of RSS subscribers or with an unknown to me number. Frankly, I’m very glad for finding these undiscovered by many reading gems.

On the other hand, I also had a couple of blogs with very high RSS count, plus I liked a couple of their posts, but later I was getting bored with their posts or not finding them useful anymore, so I’ve unsubscribed from them.

Lately several bloggers started talking on this topic and DoshDosh is attempting to study the impact of Feed count on Blog Feed Subscriptions. Judging by the response, there are much more CONs than PROs.

So now I’m pondering whether or not I should experiment with the Feed Count on this blog. What do you think – should I take it down for a month or so and study the impact of it? As you can see, after three months of blogging I have less than a hundred of RSS subscribers. Do you really think that many people judge blogs by their Feed count numbers, do you? Are you confident in that the high RSS feed count influences people to subscribe to that blog?

It would be appreciable to find out why did you, personally, subscribe to my RSS feed? What is your personal experience with the Feed count?

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20 Insightful Bits in response to “Show or Not to Show: That is The Question”

  1. I noticed it and found it interesting from a personal perspective but it made no difference to me when I subscribed.

    I subscribed it because of one thing. You wrote about something I found interesting in a way that was engaging (don’t ask me which one).

    I can understand if some people want to read more popular blogs because of the perception that the person is a greater authority, or want to comment where they will get noticed, but these things don’t concern me.

  2. ibit

    Thank you, Andrew. No I won’t ask you which post attracted you to subscribe to my blog, but I’m surely glad you did.

  3. LGR

    I have been pondering this very same topic lately. I don’t show my RSS feed subscription count on my blog, partly because I have only been blogging for two months, and partly because I don’t know if I want to show it. I want people to subscribe and make the RSS subscription button easy to see, but I don’t want the feed number either high or low to influence whether people subscribe or don’t subscribe. I have to wonder if some of those “A List” bloggers show their feed count simply to show off. I suppose if I had 20,000 subscribers I would want to show off as well, but I would hope that I will not change that policy if by some miracle I got that many subscribers.

  4. I personally like it. If the site has a low feed count, sometimes I investigate why. I never subscribe because of the count, but it shows me that the site is growing rather than fading away.

  5. I’m in the same boat as you with a blog that’s not even 3 months old — and it looks like we have about the same number of subscribers.

    I show mine. But mostly for myself — I’m a stats freak. When I post, I usually visit the main page to check that something didn’t go weird with the new content. Then it’s easy for me to check my feed stats at the same time without having to go to Feedburner. I think people may find the stat interesting, but most don’t subscribe just because of the number.

    I also show the number of visitors currently on my site, along with number of visitors in the last 24 hours and number of pageloads in the last 24 hours. I do that for the same reasons as the feed stat — mostly for myself so I can get a quick overview of how the day is going.

    I’m going to stick to my guns on this. If it deters visitors from subscribing or even from coming back — good. Those aren’t the readers I’m interested in. I want people to come back for the content.

    If I visit a new blog I like and it shows a low subscription (less than 100), the first thing I look at is how far back the archives go. If it’s less than 6 months or so, I’m usually pretty happy that I found a new resource.

  6. ibit

    Thanks everyone for your comments.

    Brian, I did notice the recent jump in your RSS numbers and was very happy for you – finally, you’re getting the recognition you deserve!
    Actually, you’ve expressed one of my reasons for displaying my RSS feed count – it’s easier for me to keep track of my RSS numbers without having to go to Feedburner page (btw, often I have some weird login problems there, I’m not sure if anyone else is experiencing them).

  7. Thanks for participating in the Feedcount meme, ibit. Keeping the feed count up will probably be a good idea because you’ve had it all along.

    I’ve never put up the feedcount once for Dosh Dosh and that’s probably why I decided to keep it that way until I reach a number that I’m satisfied with :)

  8. ibit

    thanks for the suggestion, Maki and good luck with reaching the highly satisfying RSS number for your blog :-)

  9. Subscribed for the same reason Andrew did (and no, don’t ask me which post).
    I generally dislike counters of any kind (whether they show subscriptions, pageviews or whatever) though it is interesting to subscribe to the blog that is still young.

    How subscription counter affects your blog? Who knows, you can experiment but there is huge experiment needed to get proper results. You can turn it off for a while to see, but you’ll have to do that again once you have thousands of subscriptions. Anyway, share the results with us.

  10. ibit

    Dandellion, thanks for your confidence that one day I’ll have thousands of subscribers :-) For sure, I will share the results with you all should I decide to experiment with the RSS feed count. And knowing my curious nature, I’d probably try it out.

    … and no, I won’t ask you which post… even though I’m curious, I do respect your privacy…

  11. I subscribed because your posts inspire me in a creative way, and I’m not very creative. :) I think the first post I read from yours before I subscribed was about color. I’ve been hooked ever since.

  12. ibit

    Thank you so much, Ronald. I think you made me blush, and I don’t blush that often :-)

  13. I subscribed because I liked the content.
    As of now, I don’t display the numbers on my blog, like many here, unless I get some good count. My blog’s just 3 months old… still in infancy.
    Putting the numbers will really influence readers to subscribe, but I don’t think it’s any good. A reader mustn’t subscribe thinking that “O! There are a lot of subscribers here… It must be good”. He/She should read through some posts, and only if he/she thinks that a particular blog is worth subscribing to, he/she should. This is my view.

  14. the first line in the above comment should have been ‘I subscribed to your blog because I liked the content’

  15. ibit

    Thank you, Shankar. I think you were the first commenter on my blog, and definitely the first one who linked to my site.
    Good luck with increasing your blog’s readership!

  16. Thanks, IBit.

  17. I like to see the number but it has no influence on whether I subscribe or not. The only thing that effects the decision to subscribe or not is content.

  18. ibit

    Thanks, Joey – my thoughts exactly…

  19. Jess

    I’m really glad that you showed it. It also matches the colors on your page! :)

  1. The Feed Count Meme: Studying the Impact of Feed Count on Blog Feed Subscriptions

    [...] Ibit – Inspiration Bit Published RSS feed numbers never influenced my subscription to their blogs. I subscribe to blogs that I find interesting and worth spending my time reading them [...]

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Hi, I'm Vivien. Thanks for visiting my Inspiration Bit. I often find myself scouring the internet looking for either answers to many questions I have or websites that inspire me, sites that I can learn from. On what topics you might ask — any topics that interest me, anything from web design to typography and art, from blogging to entrepreneurship, from programming to open source.
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