Last week we reported on our site statistics after going to a full RSS feed. The results were disappointing; our numbers went down. We said we’d continue the experiment for another week to see if the trend was reversed once more people heard about the option of viewing all CogDaily content in RSS feeds.
Now, after another week of full RSS feeds, we have more results to report. These results confirm what we found last week: while RSS subscriptions are up, page views are down:
The dotted line represents the date we switched to full RSS feeds, and as you can see, the trend continues. Last week was a bit of a light posting week due to a computer glitch losing one of our Research posts, but even accounting for that the numbers are still lower. Here’s the graph of several different stats using z-scores to make them comparable:
As you can see, the overall trend has been downward. So over the short term, there’s a fair bit of evidence that full RSS feeds reduce activity on a blog.
This little experiment doesn’t really address the long-term issues, and we are still very actively considering the possibility of instituting permanent full RSS feeds for Cognitive Daily supported by small ads in the feeds themselves. However, a number of issues would need to be worked both by Greta and me and by ScienceBlogs.com, and so for the time being we’re going to switch back to the old, partial feeds. We think partial feeds still offer a number of advantages for readers — and, of course, you can always come to Cognitive Daily to get the full post.