…there’s no doubt that Marginal Revolution and Freakonomics are, by far, the most popular economics blogs. If you look at their Google Reader subscriber numbers, Marginal Revolution has 72,378 subscribers, while Freakonomics has a few different feeds with 78,462 subscribers in total.

That’s from Felix Salmon, it’s actually a lot more than I had thought.


Tyler, have you thought of signing up for the Feedburner(bought by Google earlier this year) service? It's analytics tool to track subscriber data to your RSS feeds, also can help you monetize your feeds, I think.

ah, the article says MR is popular among non-econ techy types. Should read before I write.

What Felix Salmon talks about is the number of feed subscribers using either Google Reader or iGoogle. If you need to spot the total number of all your feed subscribers (Web-based and PC-based), download your daily raw logs file, then ask your browser to find for the words "subscribers" and "users", and add up all the figures given by the various Web-based feed readers. As for the PC-based feed subscribers, as it is impossible to know (for the layperson like me), I suggest to take 50% of the number of the Web-based feed readers (as we know that PC-based feed readers are less popular than Web-based ones). Now, add these two figures and you get the total number of your feed subscribers --well, a good estimation.

By any count, using FeedBurner or not (as Barry Ritholtz suggested at Portfolio), Marginal Revolution is clearly the most popular economics blog on Earth. And all the others but Freakonomics are far, far, far, far behind.

Rishi, you are right, I saw more than 500 messages to the post where they announced the partial feed move, and all commenters were saying they would unsubscribe.

fwiw, i subscribe to both, but barely ever click through to read the full freakonomics posts. I read the full MR posts every time. if this is typical (and comments at freakonomics suggest it is) then the subscription numbers would bias in favour of freakonomics.

MR only. I rely on you to link over there when it's interesting.

Better book reviews here.

Don't pay attention to those numbers. They are wrong. Check out the number of readers for Instapundit, by far the most popular blog out there. it has only 2,116 readers. Wizbang only 225. That is not representative of reader numbers by any stretch of the imagination. Something else is going on when Marginal Revolution has 72,378 subscribers in Google Reader alone.

I remember seeing a paper a while back ranking graduate programs in economics, and Chicago ended up being ranked around 20 or so. So, Charlie's point about instapundit reminds me of that - if your ranking is putting Instapundit at the bottom like that, then it's probably a bad ranking.

I am a fan of MR, but maybe I will be bad and point out some limits here.
On Gongol's rankings he does it by traffic, which Freakonomics does not keep
track of apparently. Both The Big Picture and Calculated Risk come in ahead
of MR. Obviously MR is near the top on all three scales, Schiff's technorati
based one where MR is second to Freakonomics, as well as certainly Salmon's
feed subscriber measure, as well as Gongol's actual traffic one (does his
include the subscriber feeds?). So, you're doing fine, but it is hard to see
exactly how these various measures relate, and some other blogs are all over
the place when one compares their standing on one list ranking versus another,
e.g. the relatively new econospeak, 63rd on Schiff, but 25th and 28th on Gongol
(and I don't know about Salmon, since the link does not have the full list).

As for why Marginal Revolution has more feed subscribers than InstaPundit (at least feed subscribers using either iGoogle or Google Reader), one explanation is that Marginal Revolution (and not InstaPundit) is proposed as the default choice of the "Thinkers" bundle. In Google Reader, nearby "add subscription", click on "browse", and then click on "other bundles" and spot the list of blogs under "Thinkers".

The general idea, as Felix Salmon said, is that Marginal Revolution is 'cachet' for the tech crowd like the Google people.

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