RSS Consumption

November 01, 2006

Posted in Web Industry.

“Ninety percent of RSS users opt to read the feed content entirely in the aggregator environment.” Pheedo

When I started this blog, I wanted to get people to come to my site. I figured that the RSS feed would have a teaser paragraph for each article, and readers would come to the site for the rest.

Oak complained. He said he doesn’t read feeds for sites if they don’t contain the full text. He’ll go check those sites from time to time, but he won’t read them regularly. It’s just too much work, especially because he’s got 30+ feeds to check. I did a little research and discovered that “90% of RSS users opt to read the feed content entirely in the aggregator environment.” (

I have over 60 feeds I read regularly. They don’t all publish daily, but some do – and some, like Digg or BoingBoing, have a lot of posts on a daily basis. Keeping up on my feeds means approximately an hour each day. I’m not always proud of how much time I spend reading these, but they aren’t entirely without value. The information I get from these sites is often the difference between cutting edge and falling behind. (Maybe not the daily comics, but industry blogs and technology sites for sure.)

Lesson learned: To succeed on the web these days, you give your customers what they want or they’ll get it somewhere else.


  1. -oAk- — November 02, 2006

    that’s right. give me what i want or i’ll go elsewhere for my daily fix of grundy musings.

  2. John Nunemaker — November 02, 2006

    I currently have 252 feeds. I rarely read them in the rss reader. I skim them and click through if I want to read them because rss readers never style the content to my liking the way a site author would.

  3. William H. Harle Jr. — November 04, 2006

    I think if someone’s stuff is worth reading, then they are definitely worth clicking on a feed reader link and going to the site. Yes, I do prefer being able to read everything in one place, but how much does that really help you? If you just want to get content out, then full posts in your rss is a great move. If you want site visits, you are better off not giving all the content. The only other mixture is writing entries so provocative that people want to comment and thus clicks in to do so. Oak won’t click in to read your articles, but he’s willing to do so to leave a comment. And so would your readers if they liked your writing and decided they wanted some more info on you. I don’t think it will end up having much of an effect either way, except for in your site statistics, which don’t really mean much when you think about it.