FeedBurner Goes Live With LiveHits


May 23, 2006

I was so surprised to get on my FeedBurner stats this morning and see a new tab, Live Hits.

Here’s what FeedBurner wrote about it, by way of explanation:

Why does it matter?

Hits don’t always correspond to subscribers, but they’re still important. Especially when they come from a web browser.

Potential subscribers are likely to “hit” your feed in their web browser when they click a “subscribe” link on your web site or discover your feed in a search engine. While these people are not counted as Subscribers (but will be the moment they get hooked on your content and start viewing it with a feed reader), they have nonetheless seen your feed, and we count these exposures as Hits

To really understand what this was, of course, I had to write John Zeratsky at FeedBurner (John, I hope your boss reads this so she knows how incredibly responsive you are…) John explained that anytime anything (a person or a bot) hits your feed, it shows up in a rolling, live fashion (they only show the last 25.) You can use it to be sure your feed is working. You can guess that someone is probably considering subscribing to your feed if the user agent is
Internet Explorer or Firefox Live Bookmarks (or other browsers. Those are the two that I have and could try.) John pointed out that it’s fun, too — you can click on your blog to start the subscription, refresh your other window (the one with your FeedBurner live stats) and see your own hit.

Robbin Steif