I was just reading the latest Acronym post in Bloglines. I may be going out on a limb here, but I would estimate that Bloglines is one of the most popular feed readers in the marketplace today, I mean Firefox 2.0 (Bon Echo) is shipping with built in feed subscription abilities. It allows you to select either Google Reader, MyYahoo!, Live Bookmarks or Bloglines as one of the choices. Based on this fact, I am going to assume that they have a fairly large marketshare in RSS readers space. In Bloglines I know they sum the number of subscribers (this count only includes people explicitly using Bloglines to read) to your feed. According to this sumation, the Acronym blog has a mere 20 subscribers! For an association that has over 10,000 active members that is not too impressive.
Other subscriber sums that I read:
ALA TechSource Blog – 1193 subscribers
Word of Mouth Marketing Association – 203 subscribers
Association Inc. – 25 subscribers
C. David Gammel, High Context Consulting -20 subscribers
Acronym – 20 subscribers
Principled Innovation LLC – 11 subscribers
Certified Association Executive – 11 subscribers
Gulo Solutions – 10 subscribers
Communicatio – 7 subscribers
CAE Weblog – 7 subscribers
BostonBlog – 6 subscribers
Nick's Book – 2 subscribers
Chicago Children's Theatre – 2 subscribers
So as you can see, there is a very large discrepancy in readership across the board. What is causing this? Is it just lack of readership? Is it lack of understanding on how useful RSS is? Is is lack of marketing? Is it the specific industries themselves? Is it the content?
The number two association in this list is someone that I thought would certainly be the leader, I mean they are the guru's of the viral word of mouth marketing, right? They are doing very well, but ALA Techsource just blows them out of the water. I don't know if that is simply due to the existance of a gazillion libraries in the world or if it is a combination of savvy audience and edgy content being enough to push the envelope. My gut tells me that it's a combination. So the question is how can we educate people to understand enough so they will at least start reading? This most certainly is required before beginning to educate them on producing, right?