How many RSS readers do you have?

The other day -based upon some twitter messages I was doing with some friends- I thought about how many RSS readers I have for my frontpage. I didnt feel like investigating /all/ possible RSS readers since every taxonomy item in Drupal (the CMS under this site) is a RSS feed and since since only very few people are subscribed to these feeds; most follow the frontpage.

The problems with RSS readers is that big aggegator sites get the RSS feed on behalf of multiple people, just counting readers does not do the job. Fortunately, bigger sites mention how many people are reading the feed, like this in the headers:

(+http://www.google.com/feedfetcher.html; 12 subscribers;

The other problem is that I have three RSS feed URL's for one and the same feed:

/myblog/atom/feed
/myblog/node/feed
/myblog/rss.xml

So I run the following code on an access log of half a day:

[root@tug httpd]# grep "/rss.xml" access_log | awk '{print $1, $11, $12, $13, $14, $15, $16}' | sort | uniq -c | sort -rn | more
[root@tug httpd]# grep "/myblog/node/feed" access_log | awk '{print $1, $11, $12, $13, $14, $15, $16}' | sort | uniq -c | sort -rn | more
[root@tug httpd]# grep "/myblog/atom/feed" access_log | awk '{print $1, $11, $12, $13, $14, $15, $16}' | sort | uniq -c | sort -rn | more

(note: Most RSS readers grab the feed muliple times per day. I dont count them via the onliners above and having only half a day of sampling data is not that bad)

Then count the "on behalf of xxx subscribers" by hand and...

I couldn't believe it, in half a day I have some 554 subscribers! Wowsers!

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Fantastic Tip!

Nice tip! I never considered looking in my logs before to see how my RSS was doing...

I tried this on my to get an "all day view". I had to tweak it because my VPS rotates the logs daily and archives them in GZip form...

gunzip -c thingy-ma-jig.co.uk_log.1.gz | grep "feed" | awk '{print $1, $11, $12, $13, $14, $15, $16}' | sort | uniq -c | sort -rn | more

I'm loving the way you got it to sort them in reverse order! VERY, VERY handy tip!

Interestingly I've found someone who is using a linux RSS client called Liferea which appears to be hitting my site once an hour for updates. Thats optimistic with my rate of posting ;-)