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You aren't important

According to some, your blog isn't important unless a certain number of Bloglines members subscribe. The exact value of subscribers required is a matter of some debate, but let's not worry too much about that: obviously Slashdot (50,000 or more subscribers) is important, but my Aplawrence.com (2 Bloglines subscribers) isn't.

But as we used to say in grade school, "Who died and made you the boss?"

Fact is, if I extract GET's of my rss feed from my logs for just the past seven days, strip out everything but IP address, and run that through "sort -u" to eliminate duplicates, I end up wit more than 1800 "subscribers" who (on average) checked for updates five times daily. Makes that silly "2 subscribers" at Bloglines look pretty inaccurate, doesn't it?

Of course one can argue that some of this traffic is just the various feed sites like Bloglines updating themselves, and of course that's true. But it's also obviously true that Aplawrence.com is more important than Bloglines thinks it is, and by all logic, that same truth must apply to a heck of a lot of other sites too. Not everyone who uses RSS is a Bloglines subscriber and in fact not everyone belongs to any aggregation service at all. Some of us are quite happy to manage our own subscriptions. You could even say that those who don't use aggregators might represent the geekier side of the aisle, and therefore their opinions might be more significant than those who need aggregators, at least to some.

So - do you consider your site "unimportant" if it hasn't garnered a bunch of Blogline subscribers? Or (as I do), perhaps you think it's maybe Bloglines that isn't all that important?

Reference: How Many Feeds Really Matter: Part 2, New Numbers from the Bloglines Database

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The less accurate your mental model of a given process is, the less accurate is any guess you make about its malfunction. (Tony Lawrence)

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