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May 15, 2006

Last Thursday, venture capitalist Josh Kopelman set off a bit of a memeo-stir by arguing that "too many [Web 2.0] companies are targeting an audience of 53,651." 53,651 represents the number of tech-obsessed subscribers to the TechCrunch blog. I should say "represented." I just visited TechCrunch and found that the number of subscribers has plummeted to a mere 47,381.


That's a drop of 11.7 percent over the course of a single weekend! Has the Web 2.0 crash begun, or has the hurdle for startup success been lowered once again? Do we sell, or do we buy?


Or it could be that the techcrunch redesign REALLY ticked off some people.

This is quite an important issue. If Web2.0 entrepreuers realize that they have the most to gain by ignoring Web 2.0 pundits and just focusing on actually making a useful product that appeases the masses (instead of making a me-too product with the hopes of getting a user base with one mention on techcrunch), then we could see an early crash of the current web 2.0 model of (1) throw together a quick/dirty alpha of a product (2) get mentioned on techcrunch, and (3) sit back and become the next big thing in a matter of mere weeks.

Posted by: moataz at May 15, 2006 11:19 AM

That count is the number of feed readers counted by Feedburner.com over the past 24 hours. It doesn't include web readership, which is a LOT higher. Feed readership is cyclical over a weekly period; check back Wednesday, it'll be well over 50K again.

Posted by: Liam @ Web 2.5 Blog at May 15, 2006 01:29 PM

Liam, yes, we're talking about subscribers not total readers.

Posted by: Nick Carr at May 15, 2006 02:03 PM

FB numbers often fluctuate, I believe because it is based on estimated number of people accessing a feed in their feed reader each day. Or maybe not, since it's all an estimate anyway, based on the reported behavior of feed readers, etc. Of course feed readers are unlikely to have noticed a site redesign. Sell or buy? Tough call.

Posted by: Marshall Kirkpatrick at May 15, 2006 09:29 PM

You know, something told me that I wasn't going to get a good answer to that question. So much for the TechCrunch Feedburner Indicator.

Posted by: Nick Carr at May 15, 2006 11:01 PM

nick, if i'm not mistaken, the way they calculate the subscriber stats is by counting the number of unique requests made for the rss feed (unique referral IPs ) during a 24 hour period (or probably taking a moving average over a 7-day period), hence the fluctuation. This is pretty normal, I think ....

Posted by: saurab at May 16, 2006 04:10 AM

Hi, Nick. The stats are back up at 55,480 as of monday.

FeedBurner stats typically hit a periodic low during weekends and a high on mondays or tuesdays. It's mostly because of the desktop RSS readers that are used at work. Those readers only access the feedburner feeds during weekdays because PCs at work aren't used over weekends. Your number 11.7% is rather representative of the share of desktop RSS readers in the RSS reader market.

Posted by: Danny Kim at May 16, 2006 12:12 PM

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