Thursday, May 27, 2010

Are RSS Feed Readers Irrelevant?

Lately I've been thinking about RSS Feed Readers.

Subscription analytics from the communities I manage, digital properties I own, and input from people who are in the know all point in the same direction:

Feed Readers have become irrelevant.

I'm interested in your input as well as your hypothesis. Why has email dominated feed readers for subscription rates? Let me give you an example:

Two months ago I noticed ADMAVEN had been losing traffic from feed subscribers. I installed email subscription code (check upper right corner) to see what would happen. Now over 60% of my active feed subscribers receive their updates via email.

I manage the Innovation Engine Community. After working through the analytics, it's clear that under 5% of the Community's thousands of active members get updates via RSS Feed Readers.

Is it time to kill the RSS reader subscription links that have become so prevalent on the web and replace them with email forms or other, similar technologies? What has your experience been, and how have you changed tactics to give your readers what they want?

Nick Kinports (follow him on Twitter @ADMAVEN) has worked in the interactive technology world for over 9 years, and helps the Fortune 100 identify unmet consumer needs, create ideas to fill those needs, and bring them into market. He currently works at Maddock Douglas.
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