People are speculating that Shoemoney was using fake figures all month but looking at the cached versions of his page in Google that wasn’t the case. Another tactic might have been having a seperate feed just for email users and redirecting it on the last day but again Google cache rules this out.
Looking at the data below it seems that while Shoemoney has more subscribers the “reach” metric (showing the number of people who either read the feed or clicked through to the blog post) is almost the same as Johns.
Just for fun lets look back at the same data for September to see who has really won the contest.
From this data it seems that although Shoemoney has gained the most subscribers John Chow has had a ten-fold increase in the number of people who actually read his feed. I know which one I’d rather have.
Back in 1999 web developers used to be able to double the number of hits a site was getting by just adding a few 1 pixel clear gif images to every page. Management saw that hits were up and everybody was happy. Then, a couple of years later, people started to track unique visitors and suddenly hits didn’t matter any more. Should subscribers go the same way as hits or is Shoemoney a worthy winner?