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Definition of RSS Impressions Discussion

Impression Definiton for RSS

5:19 pm on Jul 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

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How are Impressions going to be tracked for RSS feeds? Since many feeds are going to be read through desktop readers, will it be hard to track?

What would be considered as an impression? News opened? News Opened for a duration of time? Simply a downloaded feed to a reader = an impression?

I believe that for RSS to become widely spread and used, companies will need to see the benefits and conversions.

Any suggestions / ideas are always appreciated!

8:41 pm on Aug 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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That's a great question!

I'm not aware of any tracking software currently available that focuses on RSS. That doesn't mean the isn't any, just that I've never run across any.

With that being said, the only way I'm able to track it is with hits on the file. Since I do podcasting stuff, I'm able to look at how many times the .mp3 file was downloaded to see who is actually getting the podcast (as opposed to just requesting it via their podcast software).

I imagine you could embed a 1x1 image link in the feed? Or something like that? Not sure how it would look with a reader, but it may be a simple way to see how many times that image was viewed?

2:47 pm on Aug 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

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The biggest problem is figuring out what an impression actually consists of. You got two big hurdles:

1. Everyone behind a corporate firewall looks the same to your feed.

2. Everyone on dynamic IPs looks different.

So that's problems at both ends of your curve. I tend to ignore that traffic and focus only on the people who visit the feed with a reasonable frequency when producing metrics.

If you're in NewsGator or Yahoo or Bloglines, they provide some reasonable metrics in your log reports in their browser agent identification.

The other big issue is readers that check on a timetable. 20 impressions a day from one person, what does that mean? They may never have seen the content.

4:17 pm on Aug 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for all your replies, i'm getting a clearer image of what to look for. In the past I've seen (i believe from feedster) to show how many readers are subscribed. How is this measured, and is it still as inaccurate as impression tracking?

I'm assuming it uses pixel tracking like most.