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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador
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    RSS - Do Normal People Use It?
    Not saying that we're not normal , I don't use it myself and in a past thread know some other affiliates don't either. But some do and other people in our business do. But do your site visitors? Maybe if you have tech traffic or people who are online most of the time. Was just reading:

    "Marketers and consumers alike haven’t joined the RSS movement and “reading feeds” is still something reserved mostly for early adopters and tech geeks. It doesn’t look to be changing either. I’d love to see a study on teenage usage of RSS data, but in my university classes I’m not seeing any use of RSS or feeds by students (or colleagues)."

    http://www.costpernews.com/2007/01/2...d-whats-ahead/

    Which is kind of what I figured. I couldn't imagine anybody I know, not in this business or online most of the day, using it. Email is still it and I don't see that changing. Thoughts? Do you use it, do your friends and family who aren't online all day long, using it?

  2. #2
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    I say the same people who pod cast use rss feeds
    1%

  3. #3
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
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    I'm not normal and I don't use it. (How's that for a testimonial?)

    I don't know how to use it but if someone posts instructions (and why it might be useful) I'm willing to give it a try.

  4. #4
    Affiliate Manager rcampbell's Avatar
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    I would still say a small % use it. But I still believe it will catch on. As soon as the majority of consumers get IE 7 which has a reader on it. And from what I understand Windows Vista will require people to upgrade to IE 7. When? I don't know.

  5. #5
    Roll Tide mobilebadboy's Avatar
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    I've been reading feeds for the longest time. Even went so far as to setup a personal portal online a couple of years ago where I can add/remove feeds and read them all within one page (never have found a downloadable reader I like, and I've tried many). There's currently 12 feeds, of which I read at least 9-10 of them every day, some more than once a day (depending on update frequency).

    I offer a feed for my blog, which is one of the most uninteresting out there (to anyone but me, and it even bores me sometimes). People subscribe to it, which made me think anyone would read any kind of feed, lol.

    And I do know people who read feeds regularly. I just assumed it was more than there currently are.

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  6. #6
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    Please define "normal".

    I use it, tried a few different readers and finally built myself a little site on my dev server that grabs all my feeds for me.

    I guess I would fall out of the "normal" category.

  7. #7
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    "Please define "normal"."

    People not in this business and me.

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador MoneyBusiness's Avatar
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    I love RSS. I use desktop software (RSSReader.com) primarily for all marketplace type of threads to purchase sites and so forth. These include: DigitalPoint, DNForum, SitePoint, ABW, etc. It's just a much easier way to get a bit of a jump on new listings in the various forums.
    Follow my dog, Maya, and I, as we fumble around the affiliate marketing world: www.MarketingMaya.com
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  9. #9
    Affiliate Manager
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    There seemed to be a real push for RSS adoption about a year ago, but now it seems that tech fad has peaked. Too bad, as it's quite nifty, but among the few "normal" people I know, even news junkies, none use RSS and few even know what it is.
    Richard Gaskin
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  10. #10
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    It can help with seo to have rss feeds available, I don't have time to use them myself for personal use very much but I'm sure it will gain momentum as time goes by.
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  11. #11
    Outsourced Program Manager DaveAMWSO's Avatar
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    I think some people might be using it and not even realize they are using it. When they sign up for a feed through their My Yahoo page, or their customized Google page.

    Some of the browsers call it something like "live bookmarks" right?

  12. #12
    Affiliate Manager MINDsprinter's Avatar
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    I use it as well! And I really like it. For sites that are updated often (digg, slashdot, nytimes, etc...) its a great way to catch up on headlines without actually visiting every single page (unless you want to learn more).

    Plus, I think the RSS technology has a lot going for it. Think of it as datafeeds for news or something like that. There are really interesting ways you can republish RSS feeds, combine them with others, merge data, etc... and come up with something different.

    As for how to read RSS feeds, the best way might be Firefox or IE7. Just bookmark the feed and you will be notified when it is updated. Or get a standalone feed reader.
    Jason Rosenbaum
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  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador purplebear's Avatar
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    Dave said:
    "I think some people might be using it and not even realize they are using it. When they sign up for a feed through their My Yahoo page, or their customized Google page."

    Yeap I actually do know I'm using it though, since I originally signed up for it from your site. (amwso) just not sure that it looks like most other rss. Don't really think it does. On my yahoo page they list all of the ones I subscribe to (which are a whole lot) and they're just listed the same as the tv listings, etc. When something new has been added to any of them, it's listed and if it interests me I just click it and then it goes to (example: the amwso site or Shareasale site) and it's just the regular page there that I read.

    I get confused by what rss actually is cos a few of my affiliate managers have suggested them to me and they don't look anything like the way the yahoo is...so think that's why people probably might not know they're actually using them.

    I've experimented with them a little on my site, but agree with most of the others....don't really think the "normal" people even know what it is.

    Had mentioned this to hubby and he said that after years and years of being in his business and being inside people's homes......there is no such thing as "normal" Richer people have their own strange little ways just like everybody else so there really isn't any such thing as normal. We're really pretty much all the same.
    I understand what Trust meant when he started the thread, though. most all of the people that I know would consider me a computer geniusso that kinda tells ya something. I know mostly "normal" people, regular blue collar working people....a lot with no college education and they definitely do not have any idea whatsoever what rss or blogs, etc. are. Some have my site bookmarked and won't even venture away from it since they wouldn't know what to do if they did. If I even attempt to explain anything like cookies, viruses, etc. forget it. I also, know very smart, college educated soccer Mom type normal people and I'm still considered by them to be a computer genius.and they don't know what rss, blogs, etc. are. Even know some college educated, very, very wealthy, older people who are now retired who also .....the same as I've said above. Some of them I guess since they never actually used a computer in their work cos other people underneath them were actually doing the work....have had to start from scratch to learn how to even use email on a computer and they don't know what it all is either.

    So....to answer Trust's question believe it or not....if somebody didn't know me who did know about rss, blogs, etc. I'd probably be the last person they'd think would be using them. Completely understand Yahoo's rss, but not the others and I love yahoo's and use it every day. I am a news junkie, too and just love learning anyway, though. Absolutely none of my friends, family or anybody that I even know is even aware of what rss or blogs are let alone using them.

  14. #14
    Affiliate Manager MINDsprinter's Avatar
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    I think you've hit upon the point of RSS purplebear! Its Really Simply Syndication! It's an extensible technology. Basically, it can be what you want it to be. People know they are using the Internet, but do they know about the TCP/IP protocol? People understand that affiliates get commissions on sales they refer, but do they understand cookies?

    RSS seems to me like a cool technology that can be made to do a lot of things by a lot of different people. When it works right, people don't even know its there, just like affiliate tracking!
    Jason Rosenbaum
    Affiliate Manager
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  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    I'd say more and more people are using it. Definitely no decline in traffic for my RSS feeds over the past year.

    - Scott
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  16. #16
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    Along with the good uses of RSS, there is some bad but that's with anything and I think the good far outweighs the bad.

    For those using RSS for your site visitors do you notice a lot of your content on made for Adsense sites? When I did a press release, I realized that they don't even need to scrape sites for content anymore, they just sign up and have it delivered. Didn't realize just how much of that was out there. I would say 95%+ of the sites I found my press release on were these type of sites. Never saw any kind of real traffic from it but did get some write ups from some legit places that delivered traffic. Not sure if it was from seeing that or the PPC I was doing for the new site. But on the other side of the coin your stuff can be picked up from good sites that could deliver the traffic. Which are you seeing? More of one, both? Or just mostly people signing up for personal use and can you even track that? Or does it even matter as long as your stuff is getting out there?

  17. #17
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    I did & still do use rss, and I admit rss is great, though in reality, you'll never get much time to read that much stuffs.

  18. #18
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    Avantlink provide merchant promotion feeds in RSS which means merchants can add links to the database whenever they like and I never have to update any links anymore as I turn the links from the RSS into individual links on my website. Once I have set this up I really never have to do anything ever again unless I want to make changes etc... Perfect technology for affiliates & merchants should seriously take note of what AvantLink are offering. Of course there are some affiliates that would not trust a merchant to update their links automatically but for me and I'm sure many others, this technology makes our job much much easier and the sooner other networks can catch up with AvantLink on using these technologies the better. No need for updating links each day or using Javascript or any other non seo friendly scripts, RSS allows you to display text content & links and we can then have more time for more important tasks like promoting our websites etc.
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  19. #19
    Affiliate Manager AffiliateBuddha's Avatar
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    The first RSS feed I ever subscribed to was the ABW feed when Apple came up with a feed reader in safari - it is still my favorite RSS reader. RSS is awesome, I have gradually built some RSS-enabled affiliate sites too and that has had a decent response.

    SAS has deals RSS feed that allows you to get real time updates of each new coupon in their deals database, and I am sure a lot of affiliates use it.

    I'm a 21 years old "tech-geek" but I know that my dad has subscribed to RSS feeds for two newspapers and some blogs that he refers to regularly - he uses the new and improved google reader.

    I have started a blog for all the employees of my companies and had everyone subscribe to it's RSS feed and most of the gang already had an RSS reader and a few subscriptions in it.

    RSS may stand for really simple syndication, but it's of MUCH more use as a tool for quick absorption of information through RSS readers.
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  20. #20
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    SAS has deals RSS feed that allows you to get real time updates of each new coupon in their deals database, and I am sure a lot of affiliates use it.
    It would be good if they could offer this for each merchant instead of one big feed and I would use the RSS format then but It's more practical to use the datafeed text file unfortunately at the moment.
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  21. #21
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    So, I have to ask: if you were to use an rss feed from a site, and combine it with other rss feeds to display on your website, do you need to ask for permission to do so? Or does the simple fact that a site has an rss feed mean that it is for all to use and distribute? It seems to me that if the site did not want it's content displayed elsewhere, that it would not have an rss feed in the first place. I am considering placing some rss feeds on some new sites, and was looking for some advice.

  22. #22
    Visual Artist & ABW Ambassador lostdeviant's Avatar
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    I only integrate RSS feeds into my sites. I've never used RSS to read a site. I am not quite sure if I'd be classified as normal, most deviants aren't normal by definition. :-)

  23. #23
    Affiliate Manager MINDsprinter's Avatar
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    GrainFarmer -

    Permission is definitely necessary. Some feeds are meant to be spread around, some aren't. When in doubt, ask.
    Jason Rosenbaum
    Affiliate Manager
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  24. #24
    CPA Network Rep Dina - MarketLeverage Blogger's Avatar
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    I love RSS. I have all of the sites I am subscribed to on my Google homepage. I can scroll through all of my favorite sites within a few minutes and see what is new.

  25. #25
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcampbell
    I would still say a small % use it. But I still believe it will catch on. As soon as the majority of consumers get IE 7 which has a reader on it. And from what I understand Windows Vista will require people to upgrade to IE 7. When? I don't know.
    I think you are right on here. If the reader is built in, they will use it, to "some" degree. At first they will use it a fair amount, but then it will level off a bit. Still, people need lots of time to read all the feeds.

    I had a site for a short time featuring news feeds. Good site and a fun new venture, but when I finally figured out that I couldn't compete with cnn, foxnews, etc. I gave up on the idea. I still feature some feeds on some sites using rssfeedreader.com - it's a nice (free) service in that you can specify what type of news you want with keywords.
    This World is Not My Home
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