goo Research, along with japan.internet.com carried out their fifth survey on the usage of internet tools. 1,044 people from all over the country, 42.43% male, filled out an internet-based questionnaire in mid-November regarding their usage of internet tools. The age demographics of the survey was 2.30% in their teens, 23.95% in their twenties, 40.61% in their thirties, 22.32% in their forties, 7.85% in their fifties, and finally 2.97% sixty or older.
My personal usage of internet tools is relatively low, I think, even though I run this blog. Feedburner and BlogLines fulfil most of my RSS-related requirements, and Google deskbar is useful too, but since I am a big Opera fan, add-in browser toolbars are not available, but not really needed either. I’m not sure about the exact definition of Alert Services that is used; does setting Windows Update (or any of the numerous other apps that have their own updater) to automatic checking count as using such a service?
Note also that the most popular reason for using a particular RSS service is that a site recommends it. From a blogger’s point of view, does this suggest that we really should jump onto the bandwagons and push our feed links more strongly at our readers? However, after noticing this post on Performancing (the whole site is a recommended read) I wonder if as bloggers we should concentrate as much on a mail feed as on RSS, especially given that over 50% more of the people surveyed here used mail alert services compared to RSS readers.
As a cross-reference, I found a post by Joi Ito regarding this topic with figures from mid June or earlier. RSS readership has grown 50% in just six months, and those not knowing what a blog is has fallen to a quarter of what is was before, according to a recent survey.
Q1: Which of the following internet tools are you using or have you used? (Sample size=1,044, multiple answer)
Browser tool bar (search, dictionary, translation, etc) 72.51% IP telephone 33.17% Instant messenger 32.87% Desktop search 32.67% Alert service (notification to PC tool, mail, mobile phone mail, etc of latest information) 21.71% RSS reader 13.05% Don’t know any of the above 7.67%
Looking over the history of all five surveys on tool usage, only desktop search has increased by more than 10%. All the rest have been basically static, although awareness has increased a bit, with three percentage points fewer people not knowing about any of the tools. Use of IP telephony is quite high, but one key factor is that in Japan Yahoo! BB very heavily promotes their VoIP phone-based package.
Q2: How satisfied are you with the functions of the alert services you use? (Sample size=227, multiple answer)
Very satisfied Rather satisfied Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied Rather dissatisfied Very dissatisfied Can get alert notification on many different device types 22.02% 37.61% 37.61% 2.05% 0.45% Can get alert notification in many different applications 16.06% 35.32% 45.41% 2.05% 0.45% Amount of information in alert notifications 15.60% 37.16% 38.53% 7.80% 0.92% Alert notification interval or frequency 14.22% 40.83% 34.40% 9.17% 1.38% Settings or customisations 11.47% 37.16% 40.83% 10.09% 0.45%
Q3: How satisfied are you with the functions of the VoIP telephony solution that you use? (Sample size=346, multiple answer)
Very satisfied Rather satisfied Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied Rather dissatisfied Very dissatisfied Call pricing 26.73% 46.55% 22.22% 4.28% 0.0% Ease of use 17.42% 42.34% 28.23% 9.61% 2.40% Voice quality 15.02% 37.24% 23.42% 18.32% 5.01% Call stability or reliability 12.31% 33.03% 27.63% 22.52% 4.50% Access to emergency services 4.20% 13.81% 55.86% 13.51% 12.61%
Q4: Which of the following RSS readers do you use? (Sample size=131, multiple answer)
goo RSS reader 30.53% My Yahoo! 28.24% RSS bar 9.16% Firefox 7.63% Bloglines 4.58% Headline-Deskbar 3.82% Rabbit Ticker 3.05% Thunderbird 3.05% Headline-Reader 2.29% Parabona mini 1.53% Other 25.19%
When asked why they chose particular readers, 53 (40.46%) people said because it was recommended by the sites they used and 46 said it was ease of use. Amongst the other answers, 19 (14.5%) said the articles were easy to read, 18 because the design was good, and 10 because all the latest information was gathered together.
Q5: What genres do you read in your RSS reader? (Sample size=131, multiple answer)
News 56.49% Everyday lifestyle stuff 35.11% Diary or columns 29.77% Business or economics 22.90% Computer or internet 22.90% Sports 21.37% Film or music 13.74% Money or financial 11.45% Shopping 9.92% Travel 6.11% Eating out 5.34% Gaming 4.58% Jobs 3.82% Homes or real estate 2.29% Science or the arts 2.29% Pet 2.29% Other 5.34%