More ex-users than current RSS users in Japan

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Have you ever used an RSS Reader? graph of japanese statisticsIt’s been a while since I’ve seen a survey on RSS feed reading habits, but looking at the data in this survey by iBridge Research Plus and reported on by japan.internet.net perhaps the reason is a lack of interest.

Demographics

On the 17th of August 2009 300 members of the iBridge Research Plus monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 50.7% of the sample were male, 17.7% in their twenties, 31.7% in their thirties, 30.7% in their forties, 15.7% in their fifties, and 4.3% in their sixties.

I’d be lost without my reader, Google Reader. I actually get just about the same number of feed readers as web site visitors per day, and if I exclude feed readers who click through, my RSS feed is most probably the more popular way of reading What Japan Thinks. If you’re not already subscribed, check out the links on the top left to see what I’m on about!

For the benefit of my Mum, using an RSS reader means you don’t need to set mine or my brother’s site as your home page!
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Just a quick note about my RSS feed

I’ve moved (or more correctly, Google told me I have to move!) my RSS feed to http://feedproxy.google.com/WhatJapanThinks, and I have signed up for advertisements within the feed.

For posts over 100 words or so you should see one Google ad at the bottom. I’ll run them for a month and if they aren’t doing much, I’ll ditch them. Hope you don’t mind. If you notice any problems, please give me a shout.

Thanks,
Ken Y-N

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RSS widely unknown, few power users

Do you use RSS? graph of japanese statisticsI get the impression that iShare’s monitor panel is relatively web-savvy, but the results from a recent survey into RSS (Really Simple Syndication, or Rich Site Summary) indicates that there is still relatively little use.

Demographics

Over the 4th and 5th of September 2008 309 members of the CLUB BBQ free email service completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 58.3% of the sample were male, 12.9% in their twenties, 43.4% in their thirties, 32.4% in their forties, and 11.3% in their teens or aged fifty or older.

One of the most powerful ways to use RSS is through Google Blog Search and Google News; after typing in the search you want to make, look at the left-hand column and find the “RSS” link. This gives you a link that can be pasted into a suitable RSS reader (I use Google Reader) and every time a new blog post or news story that matches that search appears the results appear in your reader.

Finally, you can get both this blog and the latest comments through RSS.
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RSS reader awareness and usage in Japan

What Japan Thinks RSS subscribers graph

Here’s a subject that I haven’t seen a survey on for a while; goo Research used to do a regular monthly survey up until last year when they dropped it and replaced it with a Wikipedia one. The topic, as reported on by japan.internet.com, was RSS readers.

Demographics

Between the 7th and 11th of March 2008 1,100 members of the goo Research online monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 53.0% of the sample were male, 12.0% in their teens, 22.7% in their twenties, 21.4% in their thirties, 16.2% in their forties, and 27.6% aged fifty or older.

Pictured above is my statistics from my RSS feed at FeedBurner for Thursday the 15th of May 2008, my highest ever susbscriber count of 1,991; to each of you I say thank you very much!

I couldn’t blog without RSS – I use Google Reader, and for example to find news for my Trusted Computing blog I have subscribed to half a dozen Google blog and news searches, so whenever a new story appears I get an automatic reminder. On the other hand, for this site half my sources do not offer feeds, which is a bit of a pain.
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goo’s 13th RSS Survey: only one in eight Japanese users

What do you think about ads in RSS feeds? graph of japanese opinionjapan.internet.com reported on goo Research’s 13th monthly RSS usage survey. Over four days at the end of January and start of February they interviewed 1,078 members of their internet monitor group. The demographics were 52.9% male, 15.7% in their teens, 19.8% in their twenties, 18.2% in their thirties, 17.4% in their forties, 16.8% in their fifties, and 11.2% in their sixties.

Although the number of people who have used RSS readers has increased slightly since the last survey, the actual numbers of active users has actually decreased by about 1.6 percentage points. The reasons for this change are not discussed within the presented results, although this could just be an insignificant statistical fluctuation.

As for visiting sites that are in my reader, as most of them are blogs I do tend to often visit, as I may want to follow the comments. I do in fact subscribe to the comment RSS feeds of my most favourite site, but will always click through when I see an interesting comment just so I can see it in context.
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Site performance and more advertisements

I must apologise for the terrible performance of my web site this week; I’ve had trouble posting stories, so no doubt a lot of you have also had issues connecting, as the noticable drop in my visitor count seems to suggest. Unfortunately it seems to be a hopefully passing problem with my provider, so please bear with me whilst they fix the issues.

This is also a good opportunity for me to remind you that you can get all the latest postings through my RSS feed, and also keep up to date with the comments, avoiding most of the problems surrounding site slowness.

You may also have noticed on the right-hand column that I’ve added a new advertising block for Text Link Ads, which hopefully will add some small advertising text links. If you’re interested in their service from the advertiser side, note that you can also get a bonus $100 in FREE links by spending $25 on advertising. Note that both the links are affiliate links – I get $25 if you sign up. Although currently there is no advertisement category for Japan (as far as I can see) on their web site, if a few of my fellow Japan bloggers sign up, perhaps we can get Japan added as a top-level category.

Finally, to tie the two subjects together, I’ve noticed that a few sites now have small text ads in their RSS feeds. What are your views on them? Would you mind them in my feed? Of the ones I’ve seen, I don’t find them offensive but I do find them not terribly worthwhile.

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Still less than one in five Japanese web users are also RSS users

Has RSS usage changed the number of viewed sites? graph of japanese opinionjapan.internet.com recently reported on goo Research’s 12th regular monthly survey into RSS issues. 1,062 people from their monitor group, 51.6% female, completed the private internet-based poll. 1.7% of the sample was in thier teens, 20.6% in their twenties, 40.8% in their thirties, 23.1% in their forties, 10.2% in their fifties, and 3.7% aged sixty or older.

For those of you unfamiliar with the concept of RSS, the BBC has a simple introduction to what it is and why you may want to use it. I know from looking at my own statistics, I probably have as many, if not more, readers through my RSS feed than by bookmark referers and possibly even visitors through links from other sites, although both are beaten by people coming in through search engines.

One big selling point for RSS and web-based services like Bloglines is that I can keep perfectly up to date across multiple machines.
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Three quarters of feed readers don’t mind ads in them

What do you think about adverts in RSS feeds? graph of japanese opinionjapan.internet.com, in conjunction with goo Research, published the results of the 9th regular monthly survey on RSS usage. 1,013 members of the goo Research monitor group from all over Japan replied to the private internet-based survey. 56.2% of the sample was female, 2.5% were teenagers, 22.4% in their twenties, 40.6% in their thirties, 23.6% in their forties, 8.3% in their fifties, and 2.7% aged sixty or over.

I can’t say I’ve ever spotted an RSS feed with adverts in it, even though there is a Google program for AdSense for this, and there is another service whose name escapes me right now that offers a similar service. As for visiting sites with feeds, I only do so if I feel the need to comment on a post or look at who might have commented on it. Looking at my log files, I can tell from my LiveJournal feed that just 5% of the readers actually visit my site!
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RSS readers still not penetrating Japanese market

Do you want to use an RSS reader? graph of japanese opinionjapan.internet.com, in conjunction with goo Research, recently carried out their eighth regular survey on internet tool usage. They interviewed by means of an internet-based questionnaire 1,071 (the text says 1,071, but later calculations suggest that the sample size is actually 1,037; 1,071 seems to have been the sample size for the previous survey!) people from all over Japan towards the end of March. The sample consisted of 56.0% female, and the age breakdown was 2.7% in their teens, 23.8% in their twenties, 39.3% in their thirties, 22.6% in their forties, 9.2% in their fifties, and 2.3% sixty or older.

I have previously translated their fifth survey on tools, and in these four months the percentage of RSS reader users has climbed just 1.5 percentage points, or an increase of around 10% in four months. Although this seems like a significant relative increase, looking at the reasons why people do not use them the top answer was that people see little need for them. I also saw little need to begin with, but once I started using one I wondered why I hadn’t begun earlier. I subscribe mostly to blogs that update once every day or so; higher-frequency news sites give too much information, I feel, and using filtering might cause me to miss stuff, so I just use bookmarks for my news requirements.
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