As I mentioned recently, I've switched to pointing RSS subscribers to FeedBurner . That's starting to accumulate data and is confirming something I already suspected:
Most of you don't come here by way of RSS.
I'm referring to the "regulars", of course, the folks who stop by at least weekly to see what's new. Only about 20% of you use RSS (or use RSS with this site anyway).
At first blush, that seems odd. RSS readers are readily available now and the latest browsers almost always have some capability of reading feeds (Firefox's "Live Bookmarks", for example). The usefulness of RSS seems obvious: you get notified when there are new postings at sites you have interests in, so you don't need to "check in".
When I look at my own web surfing habits, RSS certainly does play a big role, but (and this may surprise you) I don't use it every day. I don't even LOOK at my RSS site lists every day.
Huh? So here I am extolling the virtues of RSS, but I don't even use it every day? What's up with that?
Well, part of it is that the sites I do visit daily always have new content. Why bother to put them in an RSS feed when I'm always going to visit daily anyway? A similar argument applies to sites I might visit once a week or so - I'm less interested, obviously, and they may not have quite so much to say as the "dailys", but I know there will be new content so again why bother with RSS?
That dependability thing may be why so few of you use RSS here: this site almost always publishes something new every day, so you may feel as I do above.
The sites I do use RSS for are sometimes the ones with infrequent postings but mostly those who post on multiple subjects of which only a small sub-set are of interest to me. I use RSS to weed out what I don't care about rather than as a trigger for the things I do have high interest in.
So what's your story? If you use RSS for this site, is it for the convenience of notification or is it a filtering tool as it is for me? If you don't use RSS, is it because you are coming anyway or because you just never got into using it at all?
Opinions are requested, and thanks for reading.
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More Articles by Anthony Lawrence © 2012-07-19 Anthony Lawrence
Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. (Helen Keller)