Beyond niches, RSS awareness just beginning

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Darren Rowse is one of the Internet's foremost blogging and RSS experts. As the chief blogger at and one of the founders of blog content network b5media, Darren has been advising individual bloggers and companies on how to use blogs and RSS to reach their readers. BtoB recently asked Darren about trends in RSS use. BtoB: Is the significance of RSS growing? Rowse: I see evidence of growth. While they might have become close to hitting satura-tion in a few niches, I find that most blogs and Web sites have readership that is still only learning about RSS. BtoB: Are feeds experiencing a fatigue that's analogous to what happened with e-mail newsletters? Rowse: I've not seen any real evi-dence of this. BtoB: What about the tactic of integrating RSS and e-mail newsletter subscribers into blogs? Is this a good thing? Rowse: My advice to bloggers is to offer [subscribers] a variety of ways to connect to your blog. [This includes] e-mail newsletters, RSS-to-e-mail updates, RSS feeds, RSS-to-Twitter, etc. By offering different connecting points, you'll find your blog becomes more accessible. BtoB: Do you think that, since Google has introduced new programs related to RSS, RSS ads will finally become relevant? Rowse: I think we'll see more and more feeds running ads, but my initial observation is that they continue to convert fairly poorly. There are a number of theories why this might be. One is that those who currently use RSS to read content are a bit more tech-savvy and ad-aware than the general Internet user. The hope is that as RSS becomes more widely used, [the performance of these ads] will increase. Time will tell. M
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