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21st January 2006

RSS: the best technology for marketing after all

There are lies, damn lies and statistics.

And the figures on RSS usage are a case in point. Information Week reporter Mitch Wagner writes

KnowNow, a vendor of technology that uses RSS, says that many people use RSS and are unaware that they’re doing so. They took issue with a statistic I quoted from Forrester, which found in a September study that only 6% of Internet users are using RSS. KnowNow countered with a white paper from Yahoo that says 31% of Internet users are using RSS–they just don’t know it. They’re using personalized start pages, such as My Yahoo and My MSN. That’s pretty encouraging news to RSS advocates.

He makes a good point that this is consistent with how most web users feel about technologies that power the online actions they take every day. Ask most users about HTML or POP3 and they’ll stare at you blankly. But they use email avidly and browse the net and buy online all the time.

Several readers took me to task for not explaining what RSS is and how they could get started using it, writes Wagner.

Here is a great reference on RSS basics.

You can find a tutorial there to help you understand RSS.

You can find more good reference materials on RSS here – a whitepaper on the Business Case for RSS and a free RSS reader to get you started.

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