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FeedBurn, Baby, FeedBurn

How many people read this blog?

Who knows. Our hosting service says about 50,000 unique visitors come each day. That’s a lot of people — but when our traffic is analyzed by other companies, the number is considerably less.

The other day, I noticed something strange. The little box in the right-hand margin of this page that lists the number of RSS subscribers, via our FeedBurner feed, had jumped from about 14,000 to 42,000. Surely, I thought, this was an error.

But it wasn’t. According to the FeedBurner blog, the FeedBurner numbers as of last Saturday now include people who subscribe to blogs through Google Reader and Google Personalized Homepage. It may be that some of our subscribers actually subscribe to blog “packages,” and not the Freakonomics blog in particular. Even so, we suddenly have three times more feed traffic than we thought.

So: thanks to FeedBurner, Google, and of course you 28,000 previously uncounted readers. This is the most exciting data revision since the I.R.S.’s discovery that seven million declared dependents were in fact phantom deductions.