Feeds

Public unaware of RSS

Can't be rssed

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

The majority of regular blog readers are completely unaware of Really Simple Syndication (RSS) and the amount of passion the technology excites, it seems.

A Nielsen/Netratings' survey of 1,000 regular blog readers found 66 per cent do not understand RSS and have never even heard of the technology. Twenty three per cent claimed they understood RSS but did not use it.

That's a reality check for Silicon Valley technologists and venture capitalists debating and investing in RSS.

Last week, it emerged Microsoft will re-name RSS in the next version of its Internet Explorer (IE) browser and Windows Vista operating system to make it more, er, consumer friendly. Microsoft is using "web feeds" as a substitute name for RSS in the current IE beta.

Venture capitalists (VCs) and enthusiasts from the communications industry, meanwhile, announced ambitious plans for a $100m fund to invest in RSS in June. The fund will focus on news aggregation, blogs, search engines and applications capable of aggregating data for use in the financial and medical sectors.

Despite strong evidence of a huge knowledge gap and need for greater education surrounding RSS, there are some encouraging signs for VCs and start-ups. Eleven per cent of blog readers use RSS to sort through a growing tangle of blog and information feeds, according to Nielsen/Netratings. Nearly five percent use feed aggregation software and more than six per cent use a feed from an aggregating web site to monitor blog feeds.

"While RSS is an established technology, the growing popularity of blogs has catapulted RSS into the spotlight as a content personalization tool," Nielsen/Netratings senior research manager Jon Gibs said in a statement.

Blog traffic is up, too. The top fifty blogging and blog-related sites have grown 31 per cent to 29.3m unique visitors since the start of the year, accounting for one fifth of the internet's traffic. Microsoft's MSN Spaces was top with 947 per cent growth, while Fark.com and Blogger were second and third with 63 per cent and 45 per cent increases respectively.

Nielson believes these sites will ultimately lack the kinds of traffic that large advertising networks manage to draw, but that advertisers can still leverage bloggers to influence their peers in niche markets. "By associating their message with the blog's image, advertisers can legitimize new trends," Gibs said.®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
Inside the Hekaton: SQL Server 2014's database engine deconstructed
Nadella's database sqares the circle of cheap memory vs speed
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
IRS boss on XP migration: 'Classic fix the airplane while you're flying it attempt'
Plus: Condoleezza Rice at Dropbox 'maybe she can find ... weapons of mass destruction'
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.