There is an old blog about how people interact with blogs.
If you have read it, it goes over the fact that the RSS feeds will not allow the enduser to see the comments that are added after the post. The user will typically get the RSS feed directly from their reader, and just select the one that they want to view, and rarely if ever will they go to the blog posting itself. It is only at the site of the posting that anyone can make a comment, or read comments, and often glean some other opinions (and possible align with some comments).
Now within WordPress, and other blogging tools, you can peruse other blogs right from your own dashboard.
It used to be that the reader would sign up to receive the blog via email.
Is this still being done? Are there any bloggers that are still using this method of interacting with their readers?
How effective is it, and how much attrition occurs over time?
With RSS feeds and the option to "scan news" most readers are doing just that. There is so much competition for the readers interests that most bloggers will agree, if you can reach them at all, it is a great thing. The quickest way to get new readers will probably be the best. My brother once said to me that if you want the hardest job done in the easiest way, give it to the laziest person on your crew. We have to consider this axiom when trying to sign up new readers. Is it as easy as possible for the laziest of all the blog readers out there to sign on? If it is, then we likely have the proper way to interact with them. After all, we are all just trying to help others and hopefully our words are doing that for our readership.