[development] Module to Track RSS Subscribers

Nick Lewis nick at smartcampaigns.com
Mon Jan 16 22:45:50 UTC 2006

John Handelaar wrote:

> Nick Lewis wrote:
>> Hi folks, I'm in the early stages of building a set of scripts that 
>> parse out info about hits to a site's RSS feed. The goal is to 
>> trasmogrify what is now only viewable as thousands of anonymous hits 
>> to node/feed to a list of total hits to node/feed by ip address. My 
>> hope is that this will be the foundation for a module/feature that 
>> gives me a ballpark idea of how many RSS subscribers I actually have.
> How about amending the feed's link URLs?
> eg  node/5  becomes feedtracker/{sessionid}/node/5

Holy jumpin Jesus that is a good idea!!!!!! One problem.... I have no 
idea how to implement it.... I could probably figure it out with some 

John, could you be more specific as to why AOL IP addresses have made 
your life miserable? If it just skews the results, blocking a bunch of 
subscribers to one IP I think I and others would be able to *live with 

Khalid, or anyone else, what's the better approach in your opinion?

Note that John's idea kind of rules out the possibility of this being 
part of a core module. Also note that by approaching it as an extension 
to statistics, we could use the same scripting to tackle the much missed 
feature of being able to track page hits by hostname. However, for the 
purpose, tracking the actual reading patterns of RSS subscribers is more 
useful than merely tracking how many times they've accessed the feeds.

Also regarding your notes of IP being imperfect -- well, yes, but I 
nevertheless think that it at least gives a picture of your RSS readers, 
albeit a distorted one. But I still think something is better than 
nothing in this case. Also, would not selecting * from  [access table]  
WHERE  timestamp > than [ recorded timestamp of last table scan] on the 
cron run be the least expensive way possible? Bear in mind that I'm 
relatively new to programming mysql.  Will now check out xtracker, do 
some research into John's idea, and do some testing....

Nick Lewis

> A module can log and 302-redirect "clicks".  This rather depends
> on aggregators being trackable by session ID, which I have no knowledge
> of at all.
> But ferchrissakes *please* don't go anywhere near IP addresses.  The
> number of things which I've had to clean up in my life because a site
> happens to have lots of (eg) AOL users [1] is turning me grey before
> my time.
> jh
> [1]  Before replying with something regarding RSS and AOL, read that
>      again and notice I said 'eg' as well.

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