Only 4% Knowingly Use RSS - So What

“Those 4% of early adopters are more likely to be influencers”

Slashdot has posted that Of Internet Users, Only 4% Knowingly Use RSS and I’m kind of wondering so what?

Its an interesting enough statistic but this is still pretty new stuff and those 4% of early adopters are more likely to be influencers (I remember reading about six months ago). Scobes, in a post called The Anti-RSS Hype, challenges:

In the meantime, you try to read 743 Web sites in a browser. Go ahead and try. I dare you.

And that statistic is ‘knowingly use the technology’. I think a lot of users don’t know they’re reading blogs as opposed to websites either - if there’s actually a real difference (a blog is a website but a website isn’t a blog as such). Lets look at the statistics in one to three years and see what the story is I guess.

I’m always a bit flabbergasted as to what to say about statistics and we all know they’re notoriously easy to manipulate one way or the other. Also what numbers are we talking here again? I mean if 4% of Internet users came to my blog how many visitors would I have again?

2 Responses to “Only 4% Knowingly Use RSS - So What”

  1. Keith Says:

    I am new to the business blog scene, I didn’t even know the term RSS before reading this entry. But even I can see the value of promoting your business to even 4% of the internet community. It is more than advertising because if you have creative and informative ideas on your site, then you will easily maintain a series of regular bloggers. Dedicating even a small amount of time to blogging and learning about things like RSS is clearly worth the time and effort. So hype or no hype, blogging is a step into the future.

    Daneik Corporation

  2. nortypig Says:

    Hi Keith
    Too true. Blogging gives you the direct communication link to your customers and other stakeholders so you can create relationships. Look how effective Microsoft have been at the blogging scene, I think they’ve excelled against my previous bias in this particular area.

    Similarly RSS, the ability for interested stakeholders to subscribe and be automatically informed of updates, is a marketing boom! The hard part is getting someone to subscribe I guess… I think when it becomes more of a user abstraction where they use it but don’t know what it is and don’t need to know anything about the details, I think then it will grow massively.

    I had a professor at uni who is on the Tasmanian government board for handing out Information Technology innovation grants and he used to be the head of the Information Systems Department at the uni. Only late last year I mentioned RSS in a project I was doing for his unit and he kept saying he just didn’t get it. I think the simple part makes some people shut off a bit too.

    But considering RSS is so easy to achieve Keith and has these benefits from a marketing perspective it has to be about the cheapest thing you can do bang for your buck. Similarly, if I had a site selling gold watches and jewellery for instance it would be so handy to have any new updates just automatically highlighted to loyal customers.

    Simple Sharing Extensions is another exciting development in the RSS department. Whereas RSS is one direction SSE is bidirectional.

    Cheers Keith and thanks for commenting here, glad to see you’ve caught the train. Jeffrey Zeldman wrote a good article a while ago now that asked

    The question isn’t, “Should your business have a blog?” Of course your business should have a blog. The much more interesting question is, “Should your blog have a business?”