Newsfeeds and Open Source Statistics: The Shot Heard 'Round the World
Open Source RSS Statistics.
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
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
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
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. [Read/Write Web]