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RSS usage survey

Microsoft have released a survey of 1354 users on their RSS consumption habits. Although not a massive number of subjects we can still glean some interesting results.

The results are based on Chinese users so the results will be biased towards asian users. We can see this reflected in the top 3 RSS readers as Zhuaxia is the second most popular reader, Bloglines being the most popular and the more recent Google reader coming in third.

Lots of feeds

It seems that people like to read lots of feeds with a third of users with over 100 feeds and over a third of users checking their RSS reader 5 or more times a day. I would presume most of the respondents of the survey have a tech related background and are using RSS to keep up to date and for research purposes.

A significant proportion of users appear to check their feeds at the start of the day, lunchtime and in the evening for about half an hour at a time. These users also have there own blogs and share information they find via their blog and also via social bookmarking sites.

RSS for sharing

It looks like publishing RSS feeds are a good idea if you have a techie audience as they tend to share their RSS discoveries with others. This is probably not that surprising as RSS is a great tool for disseminating information and also harvesting information for your own research.

Where to find RSS Feeds

When you want to find an RSS feed on a particular subject where do you look. Just for you I have put together a short list of where to hunt down that feed you are looking for.

RSS and the major search engines

Yahoo news provides a selection of mainstream news topics if you are after something general. You can get a bit more of a custom feed by doing a search. This will return a news feed that can be subscribed to using your favourite RSS reader.

While Yahoo can be good for general news you will not find many niche sources in there as the news is taken from mainstream publications.

Google blog search allows you to search its index of blogs. With most blogs now offering an RSS feed of their content this is a quick way to find what you are looking for.

Searches you perform on a particular subject through blog search can also be subscribed to. This is useful if you want to find new blogs and hence RSS feed covering your topic of interest.

MSN also provides a syndicated content directory of RSS feeds. Like Yahoo these are from mainstream sources.

MSN also provides a feed search which looks like it could be promising. It works much like a normal search engine except that it returns RSS feeds rather than web pages. This is probably the best offering from the major search engines.

RSS feeds in the directories

And finally not forgetting the RSS directories that have been with us from the beginning. Rather helpfully there is a list of RSS directories right here at Newsniche and it is sorted by Google page rank.

Feed Icons

The standard has been established for RSS feed icons. It seems gone are the days of the small orange rectangle.

The new icon is, you guessed it small and orange but this time square. Rather than RSS emblazoned across it there is now a dot with two curved lines. I think to represent a broadcast signal.

You can get the icon for your site from Feed Icons where they offer a range of sizes and file types.

Good use of RSS

As a regular reader of Wendy's blog I would like to point to her latest blog post on RSS. Wendy is using RSS to publish a weekly tips feed which she has publicised through forums and email lists.

Wendy has reported that she now has significant traffic coming in from other sites due to her RSS activities. This is an excellent example of the use of RSS. Go ahead and read the article.

Feed Shark

Feed Shark is a service that notifies several RSS ,blog and podcast directories. All you need to do is enter your details, select the services you wish to notify and then submit.

openSubscriber

openSubscriber describes itself as a mail-to-web gateway which archives and displays public mailing lists. There are RSS versions of the mailing lists that it makes available.

PheedCentral

PheedCentral describes itself as an RSS Information portal. PheedCentral contains information about RSS and links to RSS resources.

Ping-o-Matic

The blog ping service PingoMatic allows you to ping multiple services to let then know that your blog or RSS feed has been updated. This is especially useful if you bloging software does not handle automatic pings. Ping-o-Matic allows you to inform many services including FeedBurner and Syndic8 from just one source saving you the time and monotony of having to do it youself.

RSS Compendium

RSS compendium is a site full of RSS related tools and resources similar to NewsNiche. Scott has provided a very comprehensive site for those of you researching RSS.

Feed2JS

This tool will help you format a feeds display with the information you want to use on your web site. All you need to enter is the URL for the RSS source, and select the desired options.

RSS Ads

An ad service for those who want to buy and sell advertising space in RSS feeds. You can buy advertising in RSS news feeds or sell ad space in your own feeds.

RSS Calendar

An interesting free service if you have a lot of scheduled events. RSS Calendar allows you to create an RSS feed that acts as a calendar.

RSScache

If you publish RSS feeds RSScache can help reduce your bandwidth usage by acting as a cache for your RSS feeds.

Feed Direct

Using Feed Direct you can feeds to your site chosen from a selection of various topics. The service is free but the feeds contain ads.

Quick RSS Feeds

QuickRSSFeeds offers a free service where you can convert an RSS feed into javascript so that you can display the feed on your site by pasting the javascript code into your web page.

Newsletters By RSS

This free service transforms your email newsletter into an RSS feed.

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