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RSS Feeds Better than E-Mail? Not for Marketing, Bunky?.

March 16th, 2005 by Bob Bly

In a recent survey, copywriter Nick Usborne asked readers of Excess Voice, his newsletter about writing online, whether they prefer RSS feeds or e-zines.

The results:

* 49% had no idea what an RSS feed is.
* 31% said they are RSS fans and prefer it to e-zines.
* 20% said they subscribe to some RSS feeds, but don?t see it replacing e-zines.

What caught my eye here is that almost 7 out of 10 readers of an e-zine about online writing either didn’t know what an RSS feed is, or knew but preferred e-zines.

?E-zines give you an intangible benefit simply because they appear in someone?s inbox at a particular moment,? comments Nick. ?With RSS, you run the risk of losing that sense of immediacy, of being in the reader?s mind in the here and now.?

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 16th, 2005 at 3:38 pm and is filed under Blogging. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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    While I completely understand how RSS Feeds aren’t extremely useful as a marketing tool at this point (due, I believe, to their lack of pervasiveness yet), I think it is probably too early to rule them out or denegrate them to a sub-ezine level.

    For example, until about a month ago, I had heard of RSS Feeds (from my programmer brother) but had no clue about them. However, since I’ve found out about them, as much as possible, I’ve cancelled ezine subscriptions that duplicate RSS Feeds.

    I love the feeds!

    I think what may be more telling for future usage of RSS Feeds is the higher percentage of respondents who know about RSS Feeds and prefer them (over those who know them and don’t see the (possible) usage as replacement of ezines).

    I suggest Nick re-take this survey 6 months from now, 12 months from now, and again at 18 and 24 months. I suspect he’ll get different results.

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    Would somebody quit talking about RSS feeds and say what the heck it (or they?) is (are?)!

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