Scoble has a post today about a Yahoo survey which found that only 4% of internet users are using RSS.
I bet that’s about right since probably 80% of the users only use the internet for email and to check Yahoo for headline news and the weather. In fact, I bet the number of users over 40 who have even heard the term RSS would be measured in basis points, at best. I can tell you that none of my real-world friends knows a thing about RSS. I know because I’ve brought it up a couple of times to blank stares.
RSS is currently the domain of the content producers (newspapers, bloggers, etc.), the technorati (to coin a phrase) and the younger more tech-savvy generation. My kids have very little comprehension of live TV since they watch their 2 videos a day via TIVO- whenever they want. When most of us were kids, there wasn’t even cable TV. My kids have never lived in a world without email- Cassidy got an email from John Perry Barlow (writer of the song she was named after) when she was just days old. When I was a kid, we went to the post office to pick up our snail mail. Things that seemed like science fiction 15 years ago are parts of everyday life now.
The fact that RSS is not being used across the board is not the least bit surprising. But the kids born in 2006 and thereafter will never know a world without it. Reading your first RSS feed today is like getting that first email back in the early nineties. It’s novel, but it won’t be novel for long.
Time is the solution to the 4% problem.