Ranchero Cellars

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Ranchero Cellars is a small winery, based in Paso Robles.  When visiting for Hospice du Rhone this year, I made it a point to visit with Amy Butler, owner and winemaker for Ranchero on the recommendation of some local friends.

Why RSS feeds are my FrienEmy

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I”m a blogger.  I blog.  That means I read blogs.  Hundreds of them.  It’s impossible for me to keep up every day, but when I find a few spare minutes, I can be found on Google Reader or on my smartphone, iPad or other device that lets me read RSS feeds catching up on the news of the day. What’s the problem with this?  RSS feeds.  I used to think that feeds were awesome, and made my life streamlined and cozy.  However, as I gather more and more blogs to read, and information that I find useful, I am beginning to hate feeds, and more so – blogs in general.  Why?  Because of the partial post feed.  A partial post feed is essential a teaser; a blip from the full article on the blog that catches you attention, and hopefully forces you to click through to the actually blog page – thereby forcing you to be counted amongst the “readers” on the blog.  THe problem I have with this is that I, like many felling media junkies, are not going click through to 500 individual blogs – let alone blog posts – on any sort of regular basis. With the advent of smart devices to aggregate reads, and thee fastest selling download apps being RSS readers and magazine syndication posts for these feeds, the snipped post is obsolete.  What is a girl to do if she wants to maintain a somewhat accurate count of the number of “readers” she has?  A combination of feed subscribers and unique visitors will give you a fairly decent high level view of this.  As someone put in a response to my Facebook post about this though – subscribers do not equal readers.  That might be true, but what defines a “READER”?  If you incorporate page views vs unique visitors, add in returning visitors, and divide by the sum total length of each page view, yo might if you are lucky get a number something like pi.  NOT particularly useful in the real world. Since numbers are primarily a game, and the BEST (well ok most popular really because who defines “best”) blogs have guesstamates of accurate readership, why all the fuss and scardy cat behavior in using partial posts?  I’m not convinced there is a logical reason for it unless you are really trying to hide (a valid reason), track someone down (another valid reason), or stick it to the man. Fortunately there ARE tools out there that give you a well rounded picture.  Most blog feeds are on Feedburner, a google underling.  Currently, you can use Google Analytics to track most blog traffic, and also log in to Feedburner to view RSS traffic.  After doing some digging, since it’s a pain for me, I found a few possible solutions.  On possible solution includes hiding some code in your RSS feed so you can track it separate in Analytics.  I’m still working on that one.  There are some additional ways to get the results, but i’m still trying to […]