A recent study published by Internet media and market researcher Nielsen//NetRatings found that nearly one in five U.S. Internet users now visit blogging and blog-related Web sites, and that 11 percent of those who say they visit blogs also say they use Really Simple Syndication to sort through the increasing number of choices available.
In a June survey for the August study, "Understanding the Blogosphere," nearly five percent of people who read blogs said they use feed aggregation software, and more than six percent said they use a feed-aggregating Web site. Nearly 40 percent had heard of RSS, but either don't use it, or don't know what it does, and 50 percent had never even heard of RSS.
But the percentage of people using RSS could actually be much higher.
An August Nielsen//Netratings survey of 2,129 U.S. Internet users found that 83 percent of survey respondents who were identified by clickstream data as RSS users were unaware they were using the syndication technology. Nielsen//NetRatings attributes this to sites such as My Yahoo!, where users can customize content without knowing anything about the RSS feeds that make it possible. The survey also found that RSS users are significantly more engaged in online news than non-users, visiting an average of 10.6 news sites compared with 3.4 news sites for non-users.