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.


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.

Research results

Q1: Do you use RSS? (Sample size=309)

Yes (to SQs)24.9%27.8%20.9%
Don’t know what RSS is26.9%22.2%33.3%

Q1SQ1: What tools do you use to read RSS? (Sample size=77, multiple answer)

Web browser59.7%
Web service42.9%
Stand-alone application16.9%

Q1SQ2: About how many RSS feeds do you read? (Sample size=77)

One to four35.1%
Five to nine24.7%
Ten to nineteen15.6%
Twenty to twenty-nine9.1%
Thirty to forty-nine3.9%
Fifty or more11.7%

Q1SQ3: What kinds of RSS feeds do you read? (Sample size=77, multiple answer)

News, media75.3%
Blog, personal site67.5%
Community (BBS, etc)24.7%
Business information (press releases, etc)16.9%
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