RSS is everywhere, but nobody gives a damn. Or rather, according to Yahoo! and Ipsos outside of the geeky blogger/web content crowds the awareness of RSS by Internet users is low and those who consume RSS are likely to be doing so, quite unawares.
A recent and flattering white paper by Yahoo's Joshua Grossnickle and some folks from Ipsos Insight, a marketing research group, reports on and summarizes what they've learned from Yahoo's usage data and Ipsos' surveys.Highlights of the findings include:
* Awareness of RSS is quite low among Internet users. 12% of users are aware of RSS, and 4% have knowingly used RSS.
* 27% of Internet users consume RSS syndicated content on personalized start pages (e.g., My Yahoo!, My MSN) without knowing that RSS is the enabling technology.
* 28% of Internet users are aware of podcasting, but only 2% currently subscribe to podcasts.
* Even tech-savvy â€œAware RSS Usersâ€ prefer to access RSS feeds via user-friendly, browser-based experiences (e.g., My Yahoo!, Firefox, My MSN).
* My Yahoo! has the highest awareness and use of any RSS-enabled product.
Rok Hrastnik has done a nice review of the paper entitled Analyzing the New Yahoo RSS Whitepaper for Marketers. Some less flattering commentary and discussion can be found at the (recently acquired by AOL) Weblogs, Inc. unofficial yahoo blog, and the original white paper can be downloaded from Yahoo!.