- How long ago did you look at your RSS reader?
- How often do you do so?
- Why has this changed from 2 years ago, if at all ?
I was idly wondering whether there is still a point to setting an exercise in my library tech unit that gets students to subscribe and watch a few RSS feeds. I send out the message above on three of my Twitter accounts and obviously touched a nerve – around thirty people responded. (Not everyone answered each bit of the question).
My prediction? Twitter had turned RSS readers into roadkill. No-one was looking at RSS any more and anyhow, no-one is blogging any more.
Nope. 20 out of 33 check their RSS reader at least daily. Yes, around a third (31%) reported looking at the readers less than 2 years ago. 24% reported no change, but 27% reported an increase.
I know the people who responded and I guess that about 1/3 of those who were looking more did not really use RSS a couple of years ago.
Many of the comments attribute the way they use Twitter to a decrease or to a change in RSS reading patterns. Some now read more, but by skimming headlines. Others use RSS for “newspaper style” in-depth reading and Twitter for the more shallow quick links. Generally people reported RSS reading as a more social activity than two years ago – either obtaining new feeds via Twitter, pushing out a lot of links from their readers to Twitter, or just sharing via their RSS reader. Changes – of circumstances, jobs, interests and the patterns of blogging for the feeds they had followed – all were reported to change RSS reading habits.
So – the RSS exercise stays on the course, but maybe I should consider emphasising the sharing possibilities that using an RSS reader can involve?
The comment I most enjoyed, however, came from one of my followers immediately AFTER he had answered my question. His comment:
I just sent the best out of context tweet ever.
… because he had just tweeted:
@libsmatter 1 hr ago, many times a day, more than I did 2 yrs ago because now I have a smart phone
Oh dear. I then read back over some of the other responses, equally out of context. I’m sorry…. I laughed….
(AND A BONUS FOR THE COMMENT BOX BELOW – DID YOU READ THIS POST VIA RSS READER OR FROM A TWITTER LINK… ?)