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RSS Feed Count should never be considered as a factor to determine Advertising Cost

10 Feb 2008 | The Blogsphere |  11 comments
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Overview
Deimos is truly sick and tired of seeing suggestions for RSS Feed Count to be used as a factor for determining the Advertising Cost on EntreCard Widgets, because Advertising Cost ought to be based on the amount of traffic a site has and RSS Feed Count never was, never will be a valid measure of the amount of traffic a site has.

Note
Different people have very different opinions, point of views etc. To each their own.

I originally wanted to post this in the Official EntreCard Forums, then it gotten so long I decided to claim the post for myself and publish it on my own site instead.

Yes, I believe this is my first controversial EntreCard Forum Topic, or at least I hope it has enough controversy in it to be considered controversial.

The First Strike
This topic is a direct stab at this topic which has fallen into the second page.
http://entrecard.com/forums/1/2303/#p=23

The original starting post:

The Entrecard value for ads has too much dependency on how many cards you drop, as this relates to how many others drop on your card.

It would be a better idea to also incorporate other factors like RSS readership, Alexa or traffic stats.

The ending post:

I did suggest the use of a combination of factors, to minimize discrepancies.

I do not know what factors is being referred to, but I do see “combination of factors” up there, and RSS Feed Count could very well be one of those factors that is still being suggested to be used as a factor for determining Advertising Cost on EntreCard Widgets.

Look at it this way, if the Advertising Cost of a site is determined by the amount of Traffic a site has, then factors which indicate the amount of traffic that a site has should be used.

RSS Feed Count does not indicate how much traffic a site has at all, never was, never will.

RSS Feed Count Facts
Facts do not lie, check out the following:

1. RSS Feed Count is easily manipulated
Create a new email account, subscribe to email, RSS Feed Count increased by one.

2. RSS Readers do not visit the site
This is especially true for sites with high RSS Feed Count but little or not comments.

3. RSS Readers do not read the content even though they subscribed
Not everyone has the time to read 2,000++ articles a day.

There are probably more, but the above mentioned three (3) should suffice for now.

Feedback from the EntreCard Forum
1. Phirate @ phirate.com said:

Number of drops doesn’t indicate how much traffic a site has either. In fact, nothing does, with the possible exception of Impressions. But Impressions don’t say anything about the click-through rate, which is only indicated by clicks..which don’t say anything about how many of those clicks will convert..

In other words, there are no perfect metrics. At best, we can obtain a reasonably balanced assessment of what people believe are generally important. Number of subscribers is an indicator, it does not correlate perfectly but it is helpful, in conjunction with other numbers.

That said, there has been some discussion as to whether we want to rely on any single number anyway. Perhaps we could be better off having a set of say, 4, independent numbers for each site.

Thoughts encouraged.

2. Turnip @ turnipofpower.com said:

Click through rate is silly. Most entrecarders don’t run ads. They run logos to reinforce their brand. You can find my blog post on this to get people’s reactions. However, some people do run ads. An ad is a call to action, like “click here to download a free ringtone or enter a contest”. So those people may care about click throughs, but most don’t.

Whether promoting my brand, or running ads, there are some metrics I’d like to know. Project Wonderful stats give me all I need to know. I want to know: 1. How many unique visitors read the site daily. 2. How many non-entrecarders vs entrecarders read the site daily. And that is all I need to know. Sure, demographics like women vs men, age groups, and so on would be nice, but nobody gives you that. Everything else is meaningless gaming. RSS, alexa, pagerank. None of that matters. To use RSS is foolish at best. Unless you buy stock in feedburner and require everyone to convert all feeds to their service, how would you know how many RSS suscribers I have?

Deimos’s Thoughts
I totally fail to understand why some people believe that RSS Feed Count should be used as a factor to determine the Advertising Cost on EntreCard Widgets, given the above mentioned facts. It is just basic common sense, is it that hard for them to comprehend?

Deimos Asks
Do you agree, disagree or simply do not give a poke about this topic?


11 Comments

  1. 10th February 2008 
    8:49 am         

    Bendz
    said the following:

    YEH I I AGREE WITH YOU.

    well, if they make new rules, then I could always play a new game. nyahahh

  2. 10th February 2008 
    12:08 pm         

    Lee
    said the following:

    I see it from both sides. But for EC I agree with you because some sites have such a high RSS count but NO comments and few page views. A lot of sites I read I only read on Google Reader and do not go to the site unless I feel the need to comment.

    I think the system is perfect how it is right now.

  3. 10th February 2008 
    2:09 pm         

    turnip
    said the following:

    did you read john chow’s guest post today? It talks about bloggers, liars, and RSS feeds. Something to read and consider that fits right in with your article.

  4. 10th February 2008 
    4:34 pm         

    Deimos Tel`Arin
    said the following:

    @Bendz:
    Bad boy! 😯
    Don’t game. ➡

    =========================================================

    @Lee:
    Even if they factor in Alexa, it will only further benefit me, Turnip and many more. 😀

    =========================================================

    @Turnip:
    Thanks for letting me know about that yo! 😉
    Well, I guess honesty is indeed the best policy aye? 🙂

    =========================================================

  5. 10th February 2008 
    7:10 pm         

    Geek Riddles
    said the following:

    Mate I wouldn’t worry about it, at least not about the RSS subscribers. The Entrecard folks are smart people 🙂

    Any algorithm for calculating the cost of ads that would take other factors into account would be simply stupid. It would mean that a site which has, say, 100K subscribers and millions of views can put the entrecard widget somewhere where nobody ever sees it, nobody ever dropped anything there, they wouldn’t bother dropping cards either, but still because their other factors are so high it would cost a ridiculous amount to advertise there.

    Entrecard folks already figured these things out, that’s why the algorithm is as it is. It’s probably not perfect, but I can’t think of how it can be improved.

    It surprises me that someone can think their ad should worth more just because they have more RSS subscribers. He he, it’s not even real money 🙂

    Anyways, as I said mate, don’t worry, be happy. It’s the best thing you can do for your health 😉

  6. 11th February 2008 
    12:40 am         

    BaseGuardian
    said the following:

    Personally,I agree with you. I dont subscribe your RSS, but I bookmark it in my browser 🙄

  7. 11th February 2008 
    9:09 am         

    Deimos Tel`Arin
    said the following:

    @Riddler:
    No worry la, thanks for the concern and feedback yo! 😛
    Well, more and more folks are selling EntreCredits for real world moolah though. 😯
    Thanks again for everything! 😉

    ======================================================

    @BaseGuardian:
    Thanks for the support. 🙂
    Regarding RSS, I would not encourage folks to subscribe to my site though. ➡
    My site’s content is way too varied for subscribers to handle. 😆

    ======================================================

  8. 11th February 2008 
    10:33 am         

    techsnack
    said the following:

    I agree with you. But i still hope to get high number of RSS readers. Just to make sure that people like my posts….

  9. 12th February 2008 
    11:12 pm         

    blogzilla
    said the following:

    I agree with sites that may not have many readers, but have a ton of comments. I think people commenting is more important because that is the result of your work.

Please do not spam. Thank you.

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