NewsGator subscriber counts

I’ve noticed a few posts around the web (here’s the latest) expressing a bit of confusion about how NewsGator (and NetNewsWire, FeedDemon, NewsGator Inbox, and NewsGator Go!) subscriber counts are reported. So here’s the skinny.

When FeedDemon, NetNewsWire, or NewsGator Inbox are running in stand-alone mode, that is with sync NOT enabled, they will retrieve feeds directly from the source using their own user-agent. When you look in your Feedburner (or other) stats, you’ll see these show up as NetNewsWire, FeedDemon, etc.

When NewsGator Online retrieves your feed, it reports total subscriber count as part of the user-agent. It’s retrieving your feed once on behalf of lots of users.

Now here’s the part that causes confusion. When FeedDemon, NetNewsWire, or NewsGator Inbox ARE in sync mode (which is the default mode unless turned off), they will retrieve the content from NewsGator Online’s feed store; they will NOT retrieve content from the source. When you look at your Feedburner stats (or whatever you’re using to determine RSS reader distribution), these subscribers will be reported as NewsGator Online users.

Related to this, you will never see NewsGator Go! in your stats – this is because Go! only works in sync mode, and always retrieves content through NewsGator Online…and thus subscriber counts are reported as part of the online counts.

If a single user uses (say) FeedDemon, Inbox, Go!, and NewsGator Online all synced together, they’ll be reported to you as a single subscriber – not as 4 subscribers.

Folks have asked us if we could split out the statistics, to more “accurately” report statistics for the individual client applications. This is actually harder than it sounds, due to the seamless nature of our sync platform. Our system knows if a user is using, say, NetNewsWire and Go! both; however, it’s usually unknown which of those applications a user is going to use to read a specific piece of content in advance. We could report one user for both apps, but this would overstate our subscriber counts. So essentially we compromise, and report them all as NewsGator Online – which is sometimes confusing, but accurately counts users, rather than applications.

6 thoughts on “NewsGator subscriber counts

  1. Pingback: NewsGator subscriber counts | Library Stuff

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  3. Greg Leffler

    This is basically the perfect way to do this, and as a website owner I’m happy to see that this is how you report the stats.

    (That, and NewsGator syncing is pretty awesome!)

  4. Douglas E. Welch

    On a related note, NewsGator seems to be reporting a large number of subscribers to one of my blogs from NewsGator, but internally it shows far fewer.

    Feedburner shows 1393 subs to from NewsGator, but internally NewsGator shows 4. It has really been throwing off my stats and I wonder if there is some way to get this corrected.



  5. gregr Post author

    Doug – the problem is there are multiple aliases (URL’s) for your feeds in our system, but they’re being rolled up together at FeedBurner. I’ll email you with details.

  6. Pingback: Shawn Blanc » NewsGator subscriber counts

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