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RSS For Checking Blogs Still Hasn't Caught On

HitWise researcher LeeAnn Prescott said a comparison of traffic to online newsreaders and the Web's most popular blogs indicates that only early adopters are using the newsreaders.

Antone Gonsalves

January 19, 2007

1 Min Read

The typical U.S. Internet user has yet to adopt Web-based newsreaders for checking blogs, a Web metrics firm said Friday.

While acknowledging that her findings are not conclusive, HitWise researcher LeeAnn Prescott said a comparison of traffic to online newsreaders and the Web's most popular blogs indicates that only early adopters -- primarily businesspeople and the technology savvy " are using the newsreaders.

"The use of RSS to view blogs hasn't caught on in the mainstream," Prescott said.

RSS, or really simple syndication, is the content format sites and blogs use to publish updates over the Internet by pushing headlines or other content out to readers. In plotting traffic over the last year, Prescott found that the number of visitors to BlogLines, the most popular reader, No. 2 Rojo, and Google Reader was far below traffic to the most popular blogs by market share -- PerezHilton, Huffington Post, and Engadget.

The discrepancy is an indication that most people are heading directly to the blogs for the latest info, rather than use an online readers that aggregates information from the blogs, Prescott said. The HitWise numbers do not take into account desktop newsreaders, such as FeedDemon, or aggregators supplied by portals, such as Yahoo.

The charts, which are posted on Prescott's blog, are an indication that the bigger disruption from the growth of blogging is not in how the news is delivered, but where we go to get it, the researcher said.

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