Feedburner Adds Friendfeed – Subscriber Data For Socialstreaming and Lifestreaming

Chris Cree spotted today that Friendfeed subscribers are now counted towards Feedburner stats.

Friendfeed Now Counted In Feedburner

Friendfeed Now Counted In Feedburner

It can make quite a striking difference with Feedburner if you have a few followers there.


But even this doesn’t really account for the shifting sands in online attention.

The latter half of this post was originally published Mar 21, 2008 @ 20:38

Since then Twitter has for many people emerged as the primary way they read RSS feeds, combined with various forms of lifestreaming.

The first time I see tweets and blog posts often is also on services such as Blogcatalog’s dashboard or even Mybloglog (though that can sometimes lag a little on updates these days)

Current Calculation Problems

  • Blogcatalog & Mybloglog numbers are just as relevant as Friendfeed
  • Twitter numbers are probably more relevant than any Lifestreaming service
  • Facebook subscribers are still not counted
  • Aweber & Feedblitz, along with Feedburners own RSS to Email service are included, but they are the only ones I know about. Where is the Getresponse support Simon? Infusionsoft should really offer something as well, though they don’t offer RSS to email – I am not sure about Mailchimp

The onus really is on the developers of these other platforms to report numbers to Feedburner, but I have no idea how that can be managed with Facebook and Twitter.

With both Facebook and Twitter there are 2 significant problems

  • The data doesn’t always come from an RSS feed – individual Facebook apps programmers use various methods to pull data, and often Facebook items come from other sources. The source on Twitter could be any one of the many RSS to Twitter services, but equally could be a WordPress plugin.
  • Items get shared – shared items in Google reader have often affected Feedburner data in the past, how does this work with retweets?

It is good to see services like Postrank now feature within Feedburner stats, as they provide various ways to filter RSS content on multiple topics, and then include only the best items for you to read.
(Niche marketers will probably find a way to make best use of that)

Note: I do have specific strategic reasons why I don’t currently display any RSS subscription options, or even an email subscription box.
This post used to have lots of comments, but Disqus hasn’t managed to sync them after 2 days.

It is amazing how long it takes for things to catch up, the following was written over 15 months ago, and the numbers are really still totally inaccurate

Originally published Mar 21, 2008 @ 20:38

I have been digging around in my Feedburner stats to see how various social streaming and life streaming applications I use are reporting data to Feedburner.


Currently reports as:-

Section:- Feedreader & Aggregator
Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; FriendFeedBot/0.1; +http://friendfeed.com/about/bot)

5 subscribers


Currently reports as:-

Section:- Bot
Blogcatalog bot

1 hit


I am not sure which Yahoo service they are reporting as, so I am listing a few possibilities

Currently reports as:-

Section:- Feed Readers and Aggregators
My Yahoo
A web-based newsreader that allows you to select and manage RSS headlines within a My Yahoo! account.
42 subscribers

There is also Yahoo! Slurp and Yahoo Test Bot – both listed as bots

Is Lifestreaming Subscribing?

Here are some reasons Lifestreaming should count as a subscription

  • Personal – with most applications views can be attributed to individual users
  • Selected – unlike meme trackers, someone has made a specific choice to read your content
  • Trackable – if necessary it would be possible to identify only active users
  • Traffic – traffic from lifestreaming is quite visible, though it is hard to determine if it comes from a RSS subscription link, or when someone tweets about you, or maybe from being Stumbled or dugg
  • Email – Friendfeed sends subscriptions by email too – does that make it 2 subscriptions?
  • Active – people are actually using these services more and more, and subscription data would thus be a useful representation

There are some aspects I am not sure should be counted, but are probably more valuable data than from many feedreaders

  • Profile views – MyBlogLog, Blogcatalog and Friendfeed all allow visitors to view content before deciding to subscribe to it in some way – whist no long term commitment is made, a lot of this activity can be attributed to individual unique users, thus could be counted as a subscriber in some way.
  • Shared Social Media Links – as mentioned before, when links to your site appear having been dugg, stumbled or shared in Google Reader – whilst this can result in traffic, it might not be something that can be counted as it is not necessarily related to the RSS feed, but to the permalink.
  • MyBlogLog Topics – this is based upon their tagging system (I have wanted it to link to content for ages – make sure you update and cleanup your tags) – I don’t think it would be appropriate for this data to end up in RSS subscription stats
  • BlogCatalog Social Search – also recently introduced and whilst it doesn’t have RSS yet (nudge Daniel) I can see this happening in the future – again this is a search much like you would have on Technorati or Google Blogsearch

RSS Bankruptcy

Depending on how you use these sites, they can add or subtract to the total information overload you are subjecting yourself to. I am not sure whether my own usage patterns are typical, but I find I am using Social and lifestreaming more than RSS Readers.

I have 1000s of unread items in my RSS readers, though on a lifestreaming service I am not reading every item either.

If the conversation is moving away from blogs there needs to be a way to measure it, track it and possibly respond to it.

I still am not sure how to react to the new item sharing feature introduced today on Blogcatalog, where someone can share items to people following them on the Dashboard, and to their Shared widget, and leave a comment.
When I first heard that this was going to be coming just a few days ago, I immediately thought that I would be vocally against it, but it is like a Stumbleupon review or a Delicious bookmark – it is not trying to start a new conversation, just tell someone why you are sharing the link.

The problem is that people will only share content using a certain number of different methods. Isn’t it best to use the one that is most likely to be seen across multiple networks?

Disclaimer: I consult a little with Blogcatalog


After a little exploring it appears Friendfeed posted about this earlier on their blog and there is further coverage on Louis Gray

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  1. says

    Thanks for the nudge. there are now RSS feeds for the social search to compliment the feeds for almost all of our other searches.

    As far as the sharing feature, we wanted to keep it as sharing and not as review/discussion feature. I think those kind of comments belong on the site itself not a third-party service. We still encourage people to digg and stumble the things they like, Tthe sharing feature just makes it quick and easy to pass along a link to your followers and is a lead up to something much larger. stay tuned!

  2. says

    Is MyBlogLog really that great, is it really needed? I try it while I write this here. I could not find the trick?!

    PS: I notice you DoFollow – nice. I also do on my blog!

  3. Teasastips says

    this is good news. I had all but thought my feedburner stuff as being left in the dark ages of marketing.

  4. says

    Most of the feed subscribers are of Google feed fetcher, they have covered most of the feed part. I had no idea about the feed and all. This post gives a proper knowledge.

  5. says

    In my case I have modest feed subscriber totals but am very active on social media sites, especially Twitter & FriendFeed. So this morning's change was a significant bump up in my numbers.

    It is a challenge to really capture how broad a reach a site really has. There are getting to be just too many vectors content can travel down between the publisher and the consumer. Though you'd think Facebook blog followers should be fairly easy for Google to capture in Feedburner.

  6. says

    I've yet to setup a feedburner account, but I think it might be a good choice for my brand of companies once we establish a stronger blogging presence on the web.

    I'm glad to hear that Blogcatalog isn't trying to implement commenting from within their own site – there are already too many mediums that splinter conversations across the web. I'd love to see standardization in how we communicate, since the various RSS/feed aggregating sites are ways to mitigate the problem of having multiple sites that do virtually the exact same thing. Open source, portable solutions for all!

  7. says

    Blogcatalog have had a dashboard / livestreaming interface for 15 months or so

    Feedblitz is a newer option for feed management and stats

  8. says

    Thanks for stopping by, really appreciate the comment on mybloglog. I was reading your post, great info because a lot of people do not realize how powerful a blog really is and how far it can reach huge numbers of people that are really looking for your information. I look forward to networking with you in the future..

    Thanks again..

  9. says

    I was actually into feedburner, even before google had bought it out. I was having so much trouble with getting the ads to show when pointing at my dns – though a few months after I submitted a ticket about it, the bug was finally fixed and all was well. This is a great application, and I suggest using it!

  10. Mark Edison says

    It is a challenge to really capture how broad a reach a site really has. There are getting to be just too many vectors content can travel down between the publisher and the consumer. Though you'd think Facebook blog followers should be fairly easy for Google to capture in Feedburner.

  11. says

    I've been a member of Blog Catalog for some time and really like the user activity tracking. However, I think it could stand some improvement because the discussion section stands apart from the blog activities of the members. Friendfeed is great (among others in its niche) but it would be nice to see a tighter integration between activitiy tracking, tweeting, blog catalog's discussion, and blogging.

    I've been taking notes on some specs I'd like to see. Maybe one of these days I would have the time to get it developed into a prototype.

  12. says

    great another way to get obsessed with status updates! No, but seriously this is a good way to expand your subscriber list. I have been using twitter along with some popup email request, but with little to no luck. Hopefully this will push me over to at least 200 new subscribers.

  13. says

    You did indeed totally thrash this topic. Thanks for letting me know Andy. So, are feedburner figure less indicative than a year ago (or more)?

    Twitter and Facebook usage is per item while feed count has always been about whole feed use. If I break up my feed into 12 items and announce new items to another service as they reach the feed is the person that reads the item on the service reading my feed or just my headline?

    How do we redefine reach?

  14. says

    There are all types of problems

    I know for instance that if I switched to partial feeds, I would get more clicks from Google Reader, but I might send less traffic to other sites.

    In many ways twitter followers can drive a lot more traffic to a site on popular content than probably still read my feed

  15. says

    There are all types of problems

    I know for instance that if I switched to partial feeds, I would get more clicks from Google Reader, but I might send less traffic to other sites.

    In many ways twitter followers can drive a lot more traffic to a site on popular content than probably still read my feed

  16. dianabol says

    Andy, How important is twitter for traffic? i love reading your articles, and ive now read alot of posts reference twitter, and whilst i do see that it is important, is it really imperative for decent traffic?
    If i can get by without it to be honest im going too, since im not the most socialble person on the web, but if you feel it will benefit me enormously then ill have no choice and to make the step up!

  17. Tim says


    this is not directly related, but: do you still recommend using feedburner for people who start a new blog?
    I have recently read people complaining about feedburner. I have a fresh block and am not sure if feedburner is the best option to handle my RSS?


  18. says

    You could take a look at Feedblitz, though I am still using Feedburner for now… I would love to have more options with far more control.