Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Cheating in RSS Feed Subscriptions?

Everybody knows the importance of lists and rankings. Or maybe I should rephrase that into "People just love lists and rankings". The lists itself are not important, but the relative positioning of Scientists, Journals, Universities, Companies and even Bloggers or Twitterers amongst their "competitors" gives their presence a visual positioning. Everybody wants to find its right place in the world. To show off that what théy do is being measured as valuable. The number of sites to calculate the hard currency value of your web presence are growing rapidly! The position can be shown easily everywhere, and can be used for many purposes. It is pretty normal to put those counters and banners all over your blog (and I do it too). By accident I experienced that a brand new Feedburner count, had 100+ subscribers within a day! The New Books RSS feed from the Central Medical Library actually got those counts because I added it to the CMB QuickSearch Library Toolbar! The count is scanned once a day, and in fact values each and every Toolbar active in any browser at that time. By channeling my blog feed through Feedburner and replacing that feed into our Library Toolbars (we also have a special Student Library Toolbar) my Feedburner count for the blog changed within 2 days from 140 into 348. The stats of the Feed show that a great part of them come from "Outlook 2007"!? There is a statement that says: "This number may be inflated, since some requests from Internet Explorer 7 also identify themselves in this manner" What does this mean? Are this the Toolbars open in Internet Explorer 7? I can not imagine that much people read my feed in Outlook. More info on "cheating"with Feedburner counts
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