This has always been a problem. The one solution I know of is feedburner, another would be to look at your logs, but this shows the various news aggregators that will hit your feed as well as a request each time they come around(sometimes every 20 minutes). You can log in to bloglines and see how many people subscribe to your feed on there, but that is only limited to blogline subscribers, which has a limited marketshare.
So the short answer: there is no easy way that I know of.
If your feed content is really just a teaser to another page, you can offer your feed url as a special redirect url that contains a counter within it.
Alternatively, if you develop the feed in a scripting language like ASP or PHP, just embed a counter script within the ASP/PHP that outputs the RSS.
Thank you asp4bunnies
i don't think this is the solution that will work for me. I am doing news syndication and the pages are available to public view even without access through RSS.
I have noticed that newsgotor leaves a browser id name the log file including the number of subscribers.
NewsGatorOnline/2.0 (http://www.newsgator.com; 19 subscribers)"
this would be nice if other services would practice the same...
> this would be nice if other services would practice the same...
At the moment, unfortunatly, the most part of newsreaders use a simple User Agent IE or Mozilla like.
This make log reading really hard.
I usually provide RSS content with php or asp script and, before sending the content to the client, I log all information I need, as asp4bunnies suggested before.
Bloglines and Yahoo leave the number of subscribers as well.
Feedburner, though, does a really good job of counting -- it checks user-agents and IP-addresses and tries to separate it all out.
On the other hand, sometimes you just have to let go and say: I put this out there on the web, and some people are reading it. Counting the exact number doesn't really make a difference.
I think in time all standard log analizers will have the feature of counting your feed stats as rss becomes more popular.
FeedBurner is a good service, imho. They have decent tracking capabilities for RSS feeds - they let you know what readers are reading it, what they're clicking on, etc. Plus, if you have high traffic, people hit their servers, not yours. On the negative side, if they go down, your feed goes down. I don't know of this happening yet, though.
They claim to have had 99.9% uptime over the last few months.
Unless you're CNN, though, it's not as vital if your latest item on the RSS feed gets delayed by a few hours. It will just show up in the user's aggregator a few hours later. No lost sales.
[qoute]This has always been a problem.[/quote]
when there is a market need there is a place for a new product.