RSS4Lib Survey Results

Thanks to the 137 of you who have taken the quick subscriber survey that I posted on November 8. Based on my best-guess estimate of my readership on this date, I had 1513 feed subscribers on November 7, the day before I launched the poll. This represents a respectable 9% response rate.

I asked three questions in the survey:

  1. Do you subscribe to the RSS4Lib RSS feed?
  2. What tool were you using when you saw the post about this survey?
  3. Where did you first see the link to this survey?

Of people who took the survey in the first two weeks (7:15 AM EST November 8 – 7:15 AM EST November 22), 96.2% (127 of 132) respondents were subscribers. Interestingly, though not necessarily significant, two of the non-subscribers ho took the survey in week 1; the other three did so in the week 2. Part way through week 3, all five of the additional surveys submitted have been by subscribers.

Of the five non-subscribers who took the survey in the first two weeks, three were at RSS4Lib when they saw the survey and two saw it linked in another blog.

Web-based aggregators are the clear favorite among respondents. Bloglines has a 43.9% share of the first two weeks’ respondents (including eight users of Bloglines Beta). Next is Google Reader, with 42 users (31.8%). The numbers then dwindle dramatically, with five people reporting they use Sage Firefox extension and three or fewer using a variety of other tools.

Finally, I asked respondents where they saw the link to the survey. An overwhelming number of respondents (115, 87.1%) saw the survey link in RSS4Lib’s RSS feed. Of the remaining 17 respondents, five noticed it on the RSS4Lib site, five at unspecified “other” or “don’t know,” and four others in various other blogs. From reviewing the referer logs and respondent comments, I note that two of the four came from the University of Michigan library’s “superfeed of library and librarian blogs and two others came from blogrolls at other sites.

I also captured the user agent (the way the web browser or application identifies itself to the web server). Firefox is the browser of choice for two thirds (88 of 132) respondents, followed at 30.3% (40 of 132 respondents) by a mix of tools that don’t identify themselves, followed finally by Safari (2 respondents), Internet Explorer (1), and Vienna (1). Mac users, by the way, account for 17.3% of respondents whose user agent identified itself, with Windows users making up the remaining 82.7% (only two user agent’s identified themselves as being Vista).

I’ve been interested to see the ‘long tail’ of survey respondents. More than half — 58.3% — of respondents took the survey on the day I posted it (November 8). Responses have dwindled to fewer than 10 on all days after that, but even now, more than two weeks after its appearance, one or two subscribers are still taking it a day.