Two years ago, I created my blog. I played around making it look attractive and appealing. I wrote my first post. I hit ‘publish’. All I needed was some readers to come along and enjoy my first story. 

How does a blogger attract readers to a new blog?  I did some reading and tried a few suggestions... I joined Twitter, set up a Facebook page, read about tags and search engines and key words… and eventually I came across Feedjit, live traffic feed:

Simply add the Live Traffic Feed and instantly start seeing who is visiting your site as they arrive.

Feedjit Pro lets you see your visitor’s journey from beginning to end and understand how they experienced your site…

Was this a tool that would help me analyse my stats in order to blog better and attract more readers?

Although I considered it, I never did get around to installing Feedjit on my blog.

But just recently I have noticed Feedjit everywhere, including many of my favourite blogs. And so I have been thinking once again about Feedjit and wondering about its role in blogging…

I arrive at a blog. I look in the sidebar. Ah! My presence has been discovered. There I am: ‘a visitor from Hobbiton...' I know there are many visitors from Hobbiton. I’m not the only one. But somehow I get the feeling Feedjit knows exactly who I am. That’s very disconcerting.  I feel a little like the gadget is spying on me.  

While I’ve been writing this post, I hopped over to the Feedjit website. Apparently I could have my readers’ names included in the feed:

You can see all anonymous visitors arriving in real-time and the identities of Feedjit members who visit your site.

I didn’t notice this option last time I looked at Feedjit. I’m not sure how that works. Perhaps it’s an option for the paid version?

Imagine: Sue Elvis from Hobbiton viewed The Pros and Cons of Feedjit, ten minutes ago. Yes, the gadget can even tell  a blogger exactly what posts I read. Yes, that really does make me feel I am under the microscope.

But I’ve been looking at Feedjit with my reader’s hat on. What if I look at it through my blogger’s eyes? Is it a useful addition to my blog?

I’m no longer interested in gathering information from my readers in order to increase traffic to my blog. Stats no longer consume me. But there are times when I get just a little bit curious about who’s reading my posts.  Anyone can hop over to my site and read my stories. They can come right in and share my family and I don’t even know they’ve been. That’s a strange feeling. Perhaps Feedjit would ensure everyone left a calling card when they dropped in. No more secret visits. But would readers feel I have placed a spy eye in my side bar? Will they avoid my blog? And shouldn't I expect anonymous readers if I choose to blog publicly? 

Are you a blogger who has Feedjit? Does it have any advantages? And how do you feel as a reader when you see your details (however anonymously) recorded for all to share?

Should I install Feedjit? Do I really need it or is it a waste of time? If you have time to stop and share, I'd really love to hear your opinion.

Post a Comment

  1. As a reader I always feel a under the looking glass when "A visitor from Lilleby, Denmark has arrived via Blabla" pops up in the side bar. I have changed the settings of my computer to show only Denmark as where I live. It's still trying to guess though, sometimes with amusing results ;)
    As a blogger - albeit in a much smaller scale than you - I don't feel the need to know who and where and why any more than Bloggers own stats page can tell me. I would feel I was trying to peek into something private if I looked for more, especially names combined with info about what and when.
    Sorry for inadequate English.

    1. Uglemor,

      I must have a look at the settings on my computer too. My location is recorded as 'Hobbiton' Australia, when we actually live some distance from 'Hobbiton'. But even that approximate location worries me.

      Just like you, I don't think I need to know who, where and why readers are coming to my blog. I'm only a small blogger in the big scheme of things and I'm not trying to market a product and make a living out of my blog. I guess also, I want my blog to be a safe place for readers to come, especially people who are looking for grief support. We write and we share and we don't really know who we are connecting with, but that's okay. Yes, I wouldn't want to invade someone's privacy just to satisfy a momentary curiosity.

      Inadequate English? Uglemor, I am in awe of your ability to speak and write two languages. I would never have know that English isn't your first language if I hadn't visited your blog and shared your posts. Your English is excellent!

      God bless!

    2. Thanks for your kind words, Danish is a small country with only 6 mill. inhabitants, so we have to learn foreign languages to survive. And oh dear, Hobbiton really exists. I thought it was a cover up for your real city's name ;) What a wonderful place to live.

    3. Uglemor,

      I am so sorry. I have confused you. No, I don't really live in Hobbiton. I just thought it was a lovely name to substitute for where I do live. I guess it's not giving anything away if I tell everyone that we live within driving distance of Sydney but we don't live in the city. Choosing a code name for Sydney seemed appropriate for a post on privacy. At least it did when I was writing. Now I just think I've confused everyone!

      Uglemor, you made me curious: I just went and looked up Australia's current population: 22,789,661. So we have almost 4 times the population you have. Hobbiton a wonderful place to live? Denmark sounds wonderful to me!

  2. Sue, I rarely visit a site with a Feedjit gadget, anymore. It makes me feel spied on. Privacy is one reason why I find myself drifting away from blogging. I think that you do need to expect unknown people to descend on your blog if you blog publically. It's not always nice to think that you don't know who's there - even unknown visits by friends can be disconcerting - but do we have a right to track people's moves? That's scary!

    Great, thought-provoking post, Sue:-)

    1. Vicky,

      Yes, strangers can pop in and read our posts and we don't know who they are. But you are so right: If we blog publicly we have to expect that. We could always choose to make our blogs private.

      I sometimes find visits by friends disconcerting too. Occasionally a friend will know something about my life that could only have been found out by reading my blog and I'll think, "Hey! I didn't know such-and-such reads my blog. I wonder why she didn't stop and say hello." Of course friends have as much right to read quietly as anyone else...

      "do we have a right to track people's moves?" That's become the way of the world. We are tracked all the time. Yes, no need to add to it unnecessarily. It IS scary.

      Thank you for sharing!

  3. Sue, I, too, feel spied on when I visit a site with a Feedjit gadget. And after reading your post, it makes me feel even more vulnerable. I didn't realize it was that specific in its tracking. Wow. Very informative post.

    1. Stephanie,

      It's interesting to hear you and others feel spied on. It's not just me!

      I am not going to be putting Feedjit on my blog because I don't want my readers to feel spied on. Perhaps Feedjit could have the opposite result from that intended? Bloggers might install it to increase traffic to their blogs, but find it discourages visitors because it makes them feel like they are being watched.

      Most of the Feedjit feeds I have seen record location, time arrived on the blog, time spent there and posts read. I've never actually seen readers' names in the feeds, but according to the Feedjit website it's possible. Reading the little exercept I put in my post - "You can see all anonymous visitors arriving in real-time and the identities of Feedjit members who visit your site" - it says identities of Feedjit MEMBERS. Perhaps the names of only certain people will show up. But why would anyone sign up to have their names in a feed? I suppose there has to be a good reason... I just can't see it.

      Thanks for stopping and commenting! It's an interesting discussion.

  4. This is interesting, Sue. (The comments too.) I'm not sure I like those Feedjit feeds either. Even though they don't give an exact location they still make me a bit wary. I was pleased after I moved because whenever I visited a site that had Feedjit I noticed the location was way off (wrong

    1. Mary,

      I found the comments interesting too! No one seems to like Feedjit, at least no one has stopped to say they do.

      So pleased to hear Feedjit isn't as clever as I thought. Wrong state? I haven't had that happen yet. But it never gets my location exactly right as we don't like in a city. There's something to be said for living in an insignificant place. We're just not important enough to be on the map.

      I once tried to change my location on my computer but it wouldn't let me. I hate it when computers don't do what we tell them!

      So nice to chat!

      God bless.

  5. My whole state is insignificant I guess :) Sidney alone has more than 4 times the population of my entire state!

    1. Mary,

      I think I'd love to live in your state. Sydney is a beautiful city but I hate crowded places. I much prefer insignificant!


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