Wednesday, October 26, 2005

XML Button for Subscribing to RSS Feeds

Yahoo! and Ipsos Insight have authored a white paper on RSS. Some interesting findings in this study:
  • 27% of Internet users use RSS, but don't know it (personalized start pages like My Yahoo!).
  • My Yahoo! has the highest awareness and use of any RSS-enabled product.
  • Internet users that are aware that they use RSS subscribe to an average of 6.6 feeds.
  • Internet users that are aware that they use RSS spend an average of 4.1 hours per week reading their feeds.
  • Of the 62% of Internet users, only 38% have actually clicked on the XML button.
  • Of all of the Internet users that have clicked on the XML button, 27% copied the URL into their RSS reader, 26% clicked on another button to copy the URL into their RSS reader, 26% left the site, 5% copied the code into their RSS reader, and 22% aren't sure what they did.
Although this study was done for Yahoo!, I can believe that theirs is the most popular RSS product. However, the average number of feeds seems low. On the other hand, I deal primarily with librarians and we may just normally subscribe to more. The most helpful statistics, however, are in the last bullet. There has to be a more intuitive way to get people to use RSS feeds. The XML/RSS buttons are not helpful. Words aren't much better -- "syndicate this site." But what is a better way that would apply to more than just one reader? [from beSpacific]

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