May 1st RSS Awareness Day: Get Involved

Daniel Scocco

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Back in 2005 5% of the Internet users said they were using RSS aggregators or XML readers to get the news and other information delivered from blogs and content-rich Web sites as it is posted online (according to the Pew Internet Project).

Feedburner recently reported that they track around 60 million RSS subscribers. Even if we bump that number to 70 million RSS users (counting people that use RSS with other applications or platforms) this would still convert to a meager 5,4% of the Internet users around the world, as of today.

What is the takeaway message? Only a very small percentage of the Internet population is aware of the RSS format and its benefits.

If you have been using RSS (either to syndicate content or to consume it) you know how useful the format is. It allows users to stay connected with different websites and applications, especially those that are updated regularly.

So it is a pity that such a tiny part of the web users are using RSS. The question that came into my mind was: is there anything we can do about it?

Yes, let’s create an RSS Awareness Day!

Objective

The objective of the RSS Awareness Day is to get as many people as possible talking about RSS and its benefits on May 1st. Bloggers and blog readers are already aware of the RSS format, but if enough of them talk about it perhaps the mainstream media will cover it as well, and the general public will get exposed to it.

If people start reading about RSS and how it can help them everywhere, I am sure that some will get curious at least to try it out. Over the time the usage of the format should pick up, and all the Internet users (including content publishers) gain from it.

How to participate

There are several ways to participate (none of them require that you link back here, in fact we will be creating a special site for the event on RSSDay.org):

  1. Blog about it: on May 1st write a post or article on your website about RSS. You can just mention that it is the RSS Awareness Day and link to some RSS resources, or you can explain what RSS is and teach your readers how they can make the most out of RSS. You can even write a poem about RSS, there are no limitations here.
  2. Use a badge or banner: We will be hiring a company (if you wanna help with the badges let us know) to produce several badges and banners that you can use on your site. You can use them throughout April or just on May 1st.
  3. Help spread the word: see the section below.

Help spread the word and win prizes

Since the goal of the project is to get as many people as possible involved, we thought about giving out some prizes to people that will participate. Anyone writing about the RSS Awareness Day or using one of the banners until April 30 (May 1st won’t count cause that is the event itself) will be included on a random draw for the following prizes:

Update: I will be creating a website on RSSDay.org so that everyone can link there on May 1st. I will include information about what is RSS and how people can use it.

Update 2: The prize draw was slightly altered as well. It was prolonger until April 30.

Update 3: I just published a new post updating the list of sponsors.

Browse all articles on the Blog Projects category or check the recommended articles for you below:

225 Responses to “May 1st RSS Awareness Day: Get Involved”

  • JoLynn Braley

    Great idea, and I also think it’s a good idea in general to post about RSS every so often for new blog readers who don’t know about it.

  • GolfSpy X

    It always amazes me to read peoples explanations about how they can get different web technologies to catch on…I read them everyday on different PR sites.

    But…. “If it is simple and useful they will come.”

    And right now this is very useful but not very simple. There are too many things people have to learn about to incorporate it into their lives right now.

    I mean come on, why are there so many damn aggregators. There has to be a better way. So lets come up with one 🙂

  • Daniel Scocco

    ia, yeah it counts, thanks for the feedback.

  • Adam Pieniazek

    I think social network sites are going to be huge arenas for RSS in the coming years. I pull an excerpt version of my RSS feed into my facebook profile so I know lots of eyeballs see it but feedburner will only capture the one subscriber (e.g. my profile). My stats show a good number of clicks from facebook to my blog via that feed so it does work.

  • Chouette

    I’ll a french relay!

  • ia

    Why call it RSS Awareness Day when it should be called Feed Awareness Day?

    P.S. I wonder if that post will count as an entry to your contest. Haha.

  • Maria Reyes-McDavis

    Great idea and definitely taking part.

    Maria Reyes-McDavis

  • Daniel Scocco

    Victor, perhaps just “Dia do RSS”?

    I was thinking about creating a special website for the event, I just bought rssawareness.org. If anyone want help designing it let me know.

  • lonifasiko

    I totally agree. “RSS way of life” must be spread among Internet users. I plan to post a RSS mini guide for newbies in my blog, in Spanish. I’m sure many of my readers have never heard about RSS, and that must be solved ;-).

    Regards.

  • rbtroj

    @GolfSpy

    I think a better analogy than IKEA furniture would be:

    Do you know what Coke “means”? Or do you just know that it’s the brand name of a popular soft drink? Do you know what Nike “means”? Or do you just know that it is the brand name of a popular athletic apparel company?

    Knowing what RSS “means” is not as important as knowing what it *is*. This is a brand campaign.

    Just my opinion.

  • Victor

    Oh yes…

    How can I translate “Awareness Day” to portuguese?

  • Victor

    I’m in. I don’t even mind about the prizes. I believe, due to my audience be my friends from the “real world” they don’t know how to use RSS, if they know what RSS is.
    It will be a good oportunity for try to save a soul in the world 🙂

    Obviously, like Robin wrote before, my post is going to be in portuguese 🙂

    Congratulations by the opportunity which is good for everyone: you, supports, bloggers and readers.

  • Don Aronson

    RSS Awareness Day is a Terrific idea!

    I know because I’ve been using RSS for a long time now. It makes things so easy and minimizes time spent visiting a blog to check on new information. I have my RSS items listed on the front page of my home page (either on MyYahoo or on iGoogle depending on which I’m using at that time).

    Sure keeps my posted on articles, etc. and also allows me a quick source when I have some free time to read posts which I may have not read yet. Makes Internet life so much easier.

  • GolfSpy X

    The purpose is to make more people understand and participate in RSS correct Daniel Scocco?

    If that is the purpose and it should be then why make peple have to research the topic to learn how to use it. One of the first things you learn in Marketing is to make everything as easy as possible for who you are marketing to.

    Kind of like having to build a piece of furniture from IKEA or buying already assembled for the same price…whuch would you rather have?

  • killlashandra

    Great idea! I love this feature and know other bloggers I read do not use it. I’ve got pans to post about it tomorrow.

    Thanks!

  • Daniel Scocco

    GoldSpy, the name is fairly simple, people just need to get a bit curious to understand how it works.

  • GolfSpy X

    SInce the day I read the press releases on RSS I was confused and I was fairly savvy.

    It needs another name, like “Get Your News” or “News ToGo” in my opinion.

    It needs to be self-explanatory and transparent for people when they see it.

  • Rajeev Edmonds

    Great Idea…

    Just tweeted about it, with link to this post. Soon going to post about it.

  • George

    Daniel,

    Great idea! I think this is going to be a big success.

    I will put in on my calendar to participate. As long as my wife doesn’t give birth before then I plan on doing this.

  • Gleb

    I really like the idea, will definitely prepare something for May 1st.

  • Daniel Scocco

    Appreciated. No need to link here, just write about the RSS day if you want.

  • David Bradley

    Yeah, that was what I found! I’ve given you a plug in my original post and will do a short write-up nearer the time.

    db

  • Mayooresan

    Wow.. it sounds cool..
    I’m gonna write an article now itself..!! waiting for the badges!!!

  • Daniel Scocco

    Thanks David, yeah I searched the web but could not find any major one, that is why I decided to try this out.

  • David Bradley

    I had a go at starting an RSS awareness campaign last year – called Click an Orange, it got some interest, but not a lot, needless to say. I hope your campaign has more success.

    db

  • Daniel Scocco

    Robin, absolutely, any language and country is welcome.

  • nick

    This is nice! Even without the prize my blogs will surely participate. 🙂 I hope lots of bloggers too 🙂

  • Robin

    I’m in. To be honest not for the prize but won’t reject for the SEO Book training program. Does blogging on foreign language count on this?

  • Dannie

    That is a fantastic idea and it will really benefit the readers of non-tech content like my sports audience. Will come up with something to promote this.

  • Matt

    Awesome idea! I hope it catches on, I’ll be getting involved for sure as I’d love to raise more awareness of RSS feeds outside the normal blog audience I have currently..

    Cheers
    Matt

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