elderly fried teenage roses

Feed stats are no more. Boo hoo.

I don’t know which is worse, the mixed-metaphor-fest that is the post itself (feed stats were elderly fried teenage roses? yeah, often thought the same thing myself) or the closing of comments after only 200 of them. You can’t handle 200 ‘we don’t dig this’ comments? Poor flower. I can’t imagine the kind of nightmares news.livejournal.com/ would give you:

Let’s just hope you never get any truly passionate users, eh?

Anyway, people are much more upset about this than they were about Snap Preview. My feeling is that this is because the target audience for this place is new enough to blogging to be impressed by silly little popup windows and obsessed with stats. Stats are hugely important to newbies. They would rather have you conjure up some numbers out of thin air telling them they are read and loved, than hang around waiting for true and accurate figures which will probably tell them that they are not.

Unlike Snap Preview or ads, the presence of useless feed stats didn’t bother those who weren’t interested in them, but their removal was guaranteed to upset those who were. Bad misjudgement of your demographic. I hope this doesn’t become a habit.

10 Comments »

  1. feed stats were elderly fried teenage roses?

    I’m trying to combine those into something that makes sense. Maybe feed stats were a sunburned teenager with progeria with a family who would benefit from his death (life insurance policy?).

  2. Kevin said

    It wasn’t until after feed stats were taken down that we learned they were so inaccurate. I for one, would like them back, but of course only if they are pretty accurate. I would like to see WordPress.com give a high priority to fixing up the feed stats code and re-implementing it within a few weeks.

    I think you are wrong when you suggest that it is mostly newbies who would care about feed stats. I think newbies would be more concerned about blog stats and more technically inclined and longer-term users would be more concerned about feed stats. My reason for thinking this is that feeds are a slightly more technically advanced topic and a much newer concept to most people than webpages. I think feed stats, if properly implemented, can give a user an idea as to how many loyal readers he has better than blog stats. For example, if a user has around 100 hits a day on blog stats for a few months and then about 200 hits for two weeks he might think that his readership has gone up. And one would expect that to be reflected in feed stats too, people who read one’s blog via a feedreader being a subset of overall readers. However, if he did not see the feed stats increase, he could probably safely assume that his newfound readership is going to be shortlived, and after two weeks time he’d probably see a decrease in the number of page hits he gets. In other words, feed stats can be a more stable measure of readership than blog stats.

  3. I would like to see WordPress.com give a high priority to fixing up the feed stats code and re-implementing it within a few weeks.

    Currently I think they’re giving a high priority to implementing flashier, more visible stuff like related posts and Adsense widgets. Something had to give. Besides, there are so many feed readers and feed formats out there that accurate feed stats are pretty much a pipe dream. They must have wasted a lot of time trying to fix it before giving it up as a bad job.

  4. Kevin said

    Similarly, there are so many bots and spiders and aggregators and cachers out there that blog stats are pretty much a pipe dream. Why don’t they just throw in the towel already?

  5. Why don’t they just throw in the towel already?

    Um, because their demographic loves stats so much?🙂

    You are asking Automattic to devote further time and resources to a task they have just admitted they have already failed. They wouldn’t have removed the feature if they seriously thought it was fixable. While I don’t think the withdrawal was handled particularly well, in retrospect I don’t really know what else they could have done.

  6. tuffy said

    What Kevin said. The reason I’m interested in feed stats is that I regard those people as loyal readers. My blog stats are more a reflection of who found my site thru search engines or referrals.

  7. engtech said

    I’m hoping they offer proper FeedBurner integrated support so that we can just use the FeedBurner (now owned by Google) stats packages.

    Here’s more on why FeedBurner stats are so much better than the old wordpress.com stats (posted around a week before the wordpress.com feed stats were removed)

  8. I think the end result will be FeedBurner integrated support so that we can just use the FeedBurner (now owned by Google) stats packages.

  9. drmike said

    What bothers me about the losing of the feed stats is the volunteers in the support forum were the ones who took the abuse when Matt turned off the comments.

    Also bothered me that folks didn’t read the “send in feedback and make your complaint there, not here” posts. I would think that bloggers were intellegent folks. Guess not.

    What also bothered me is that it’s common knowledge that they were broken, didn’t return the correct numbers and folks still wanted to see them.

    Oh, by the way, thanks for the Not Staff logos.🙂

  10. […] team (especially their forum volunteers, who while are quite WordPress literate can be offensive and rude to those they disagree with, “I would think that bloggers were intellegent folks. Guess […]

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