The Blog of Kendall

Observations and Interests of Kendall Schoenrock – Web 2.0, Startups, Technology, & Other Fun Stuff

May 28, 2007

Feedburners Flawless First Impression

Written by
Kendall Schoenrock

Ok, I admit it. Like so many others out there, I make first impression snap judgments. I make snap judgments when I meet people, when I review companies, authors, blogsรขโ‚ฌยฆ nearly everything. This is especially true when I am surfing the net. I find that I am normally correct about my snap judgments and force myself take serious note when I am wrong. It is a valuable skill to quickly determine if the source is worth an investment of time. Let’s face it; there is a lot of crap out there.

Until recently, I have not given much thought to how I go about making the judgments when revewing a new blog, I was just aware that I was making them. I came across a post discussing the RSS feed count that made me stop and give this blogger first impression process some thought. The post was discussing the logic behind publishing or hiding the rss feed count and the impact this count has on feed subscription.

Some readers are more likely to subscribe to a blog if it has a large subscriber base. This is probably true because a large feed count somehow validates the readability and worth of a blog in some way.

Before I go much further, let me take a moment to explain what I am talking about. FeedBurner.com is a company that I use that helps blogs and websites broadcast their information to readers using a technology called RSS (Really Simple Syndication). I previously posted a short video that explains RSS and why it is a much better way of staying on top of the information overload.

My RSS feed and FeedBurner count can be found at the top of the sidebar under the orange RSS icon. The FeedBurner count shows the number of people who are currently subscribed to a my feed or more plainly, the number of people who get pushed this information when it is published. When people subscribe to a specific blog the number goes up. When they unsubscribe, the number goes down.

Many pro-bloggers chimed in on other posts that unless you have 200+ readers in your count, it is unwise to publish this number. The logic being that if people see a lower number they are more likely to move on. More importantly that this number is vital to your blog’s first impression.

While reading these posts I chuckled to myself as I have always published my number. It has slowly risen from just a handful of readers to 30-40+ over the past few months My count has always been far below the suggested 200 level and up until now I paid little attention.

Maybe there is some truth to the magic 200 number. Perhaps I would have a higher chance of interviewing VIP’s if they saw a larger count number. Perhaps it would be easier to get greater numbers of user comments and a larger, more valuable group discussion. The balance to this argument is content. It does not matter how many people you have subscribed, you can only keep them with great content.

So here is my new goal. By the end of June, I want 200 RSS subscribers. I will continue to openly post my numbers and I hope this is an achievable goal. We will find out. Oh, and if you have not done so already, please subscribe to my feed!

7 comments for this post.

  1. Comment from Toby DiPasquale on May 29th, 2007 :

    I don’t know about that 200 number. Personally, I never consider the number of sub’s to a feed before deciding whether to sub myself or not. I tend to speculatively sub some feeds and then drop the ones that end up being not very interesting, long term.

    200 seems sort of a magic number, as well. I wonder why 100 isn’t just as good, given the human prediliction towards century affinities.

    I hope you get to your goal, though: this blog has some pretty interesting and zany stuff in it.

  2. Comment from Kendall on May 29th, 2007 :

    Thanks Toby! I hope I can keep you around with some of my “zany stuff.” I think there has to be some logic with increased subscriptions with the masses… if you have 100, or 200+ isn’t that indicating that those others also like the work? We’ll see. Thanks for reading err.. i mean subscribing! ๐Ÿ™‚

    -Kendall

  3. Comment from Jonathan-C. Phillips on May 30th, 2007 :

    Hey Kendall! Hope everything is going good on your end! ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’ve never really bothered displaying my feed count, I mention my RSS subscribers count on my “advertise” page, but still I think it’s a nice way to get people to subscribe to your feed (the bigger the number, the more people will say “umm, popular blog, maybe i should read it too, just gotta keep the content interesting enough for people to stay), even just displaying my feed stats on my advertise page helped a lot, even if it’s not the feedburner widget thing.

    Good luck on the 200 subscribers, it is definitly doable ๐Ÿ™‚ I already grabbed your feed!

    Take care

  4. Comment from Kendall Schoenrock on May 30th, 2007 :

    Hi Jonathan,

    Thanks for the comment and thanks for the feed support. Glad to see you stopping by. I’ve not really gotten into advertisement yet, but perhaps I should take a look. Thanks for the support.

    Kendall

  5. Comment from Christopher B. on June 5th, 2007 :

    I haven’t paid much attention to it either. I am also very new to the blogging. Now that I am fully up and back in business, I believe this to be one great tool. I will soon hopefully start to build my amount through my customers. I subscribed to yours when it was around 24 now 100 people later cool….you must be doing something right. Glad to see it growing. Any tips on blogging are welcome

  6. Comment from Kendall on June 5th, 2007 :

    Hi Christopher!

    Thanks for reading (and subscribing!). I would say that one of the most important tips I can give a new blogger is to actively respond to every comment post. If you’re asking for a conversation actually have a conversation. I’ve been to way to many blogs that get a single comment and no response. Nothing turns me off more than a comment that I leave for someone that goes unanswered.

    Keep in touch Chris. I’m glad to meet another reader. Oh, can you post everyone a link to your blog? Thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚

    -Kendall

  7. Pingback from Update on September 11th, 2007 :

    […] each and everyone of you.ร‚ Check out my post on RSS and it’s flawless first impression over here.ร‚ Check back soon as I have some great interviews and posts in the queue.ร‚ I look forward to your […]

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