Did Bloglines Purge Its Subscription Rolls?

I just noticed that the number of subscribers at Bloglines recently fell sharply. (I use RSS4Lib Feedstats tool to track my blog’s readership via RSS.) On September 27, Bloglines was reporting a total of 872 subscribers to the RSS and Atom feeds from my blog (see details). This number is consistent — Bloglines has reported a gradually growing number of readers, adding a few each week, over the past months. On September 28, there were only 565 subscribers (see details) to the two feeds, according to Bloglines.
Bloglines reports the number of users who read each feed in the server log files. For example, the Bloglines crawler passed through earlier today and left this log line: - - [06/Oct/2008:08:12:38 -0700] "GET /index.xml HTTP/1.1" 304 - "-" "Bloglines/3.1 (http://www.bloglines.com; 527 subscribers)"
The number of Bloglines subscribers went down for both RSS and Atom (from 796 to 527 and 56 to 38, respectively). These lower numbers have stayed consistent since 9/27/2008, which makes me think it’s not just a transient error. Interestingly, the numbers reported for each feed within the Bloglines web site have not changed. (See Bloglines’ list of RSS and Atom subscribers, neither of which has been updated.) The web site’s numbers have always lagged the Bloglines crawler’s numbers by a week or more, so the discrepancy itself is probably not significant.
Has anyone else noticed that Bloglines subscriber numbers took a dive a couple weeks ago? Can anyone with a long-dormant Bloglines account confirm that it has been purged?

3 thoughts on “Did Bloglines Purge Its Subscription Rolls?”

  1. I noticed this too (even though I don’t get the numbers you do :). I always believed that Bloglines had a lot of duplicate subscriptions. It seemed that once someone subscribed, it stayed subscribed. I think many people are moving to other readers and bloglines hadn’t reflected it. Just my two cents.

  2. Hi Ken, I just logged into my long-dormant Bloglines account and found it just as I’d left it (although with lots of unread feeds). Interestingly my RSS4Lib subscription still says there are currently 790 subscribers.
    P.S. I use Bloglines these days.

  3. Thanks, CW. Interesting that my hypothesis about stagnant Bloglines accounts may not be right. Perhaps they’ve just made inactive users’ accounts, well, inactive from the subscriber count point of view?

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