Not enough RSS subscribers, Drazen says

Drazen Dotlic asks how popular is (really) RSS?

He points out that on NewsGator there are only 814 subscribers to my RSS feed and on Bloglines I only have about 900. He says that these numbers aren’t enough to care about. Especially when you consider the hundreds of millions of people who have computers.

Ahh, ye olde “where’s the ROI?” argument, only in new clothes.

Let’s study the problem. Let’s say we surveyed 1,000 people. Let’s say that only 3% read RSS feeds. So, that’s 30 people, right?

Not many, right? Well, here we go.

Of those 30 people, I’d bet 25 also have a blog of their own. We call those “influencers.” Or, “connectors.” Or “mavens,” if you read Seth Godin.

Anyway, let’s say that each of those people have 1,000 blog readers. Now, that’s not uncommon. I know a few people who read my blog who have 250,000 readers A DAY on their blogs.

So, that’s 25,000 people.

Now, let’s turn it around. If the folks who run the Consumer Electronics Show asked you “would you like to keynote our conference?” Would you turn them down? No. Why not? Because you recognize the economic power of talking there. That’s why Bill Gates does that every year.

Now, I’ve been to the CES. How many people are in the audience? Maybe 1,000.

So, now, you gonna turn down an audience of 25,000? That sounds like a fireable offense to me.

Oh, and remember who reads me? Walt Mossberg. So, is that one reader or millions? Don’t know who he is? You should do your homework.

Try telling your marketing director that he shouldn’t do a press tour to visit Walt and see how long you last. Go ahead. I dare you.


Another way to look at it? Talk to Buzz Bruggeman, CEO of ActiveWords. A few weeks ago he was featured in a major midwest newspaper. Had a picture on the front page of the business section. Glowing review. Had only four downloads of his product. 200,000 circulation newspaper!!

A year ago Buzz was in a major USA national newspaper. I won’t name it here, but it has millions of circulation. He had somewhere around 50 downloads. When I linked to his product? He had 400.

So, go ahead and tell me that the blog/RSS audience doesn’t matter.


Another example? Talk to the guy who started Riya. He says blogs are more important than being in the Wall Street Journal.

Still don’t believe me? Well, fine. But just be happy I’m not in charge of your being employeed.