Yahoo and Ipsos Insight have released a study on RSS. (In pdf). Looking at RSS usage inthe US, it shows that many people who are using RSS do not know they are going so.
- Awareness of RSS is quite low among Internet users. 12% of users are aware of
RSS, and 4% have knowingly used RSS.
- 27% of Internet users consume RSS syndicated content on personalized start
pages (e.g., My Yahoo!, My MSN) without knowing that RSS is the enabling
- 28% of Internet users are aware of podcasting, but only 2% currently subscribe
- Even tech-savvy “Aware RSS Users” prefer to access RSS feeds via user-friendly,
browser-based experiences (e.g., My Yahoo!, Firefox, My MSN).
- My Yahoo! has the highest awareness and use of any RSS-enabled product.
As a tool, it is working best when people do not know (or care) what the tool is, just what it can do for them. Convenience and ease of use are the sellers. Make the nuts and bolts invisible and just let it happen, make it easy and seamless for people to subscribe.
Another study out this week is the Edelman/Technorati study of bloggers. A self-selecting survey, it looks at why people blog, the trust factor that can be engendered thought the use of blogging and the interaction between companies and bloggers. Over 800 bloggers responded, over half from the US, and over 90% from English speakers so the use of results for business blogging can only be for certain markets. Unfortunately, there’s no analysis yet, but that is supposed to be coming.
In answer to why people blog, the biggest reponse was about being an authority in the field, followed closely by a record of thoughts (this blog obviously falls into the 2nd category, there being no ‘field’ here!) But when it comes to company interactions, people appear to want interactions – or at least free product. The contact would be trusted more if direct from the company, reflecting on PR being perceived as spin; the moot trusted contacts would be those employees who blog. Agree – I’d be happier talking to someone who believes in the product (they still work for the comany!) rather than those who are paid to promote it in a second way and also the contact would be better coming from soemone who understands the blogging world and how it is made up of people instead of consumers.
Finally, Google have released their RSS aggregator. Still feels very much in beta, I’m just not getting a feel for it. The lack of organisation in the listing pane, with new articles presented in date/time order as a single stream would not suit the number of feeds I read, I prefer to read sections separately instead of everything in order. I don’t see a way of rearanging the view or arranging the subscriptions. One ot keep an eye on, but no instant winner.