Submit Hint Search The Forums LinksStatsPollsHeadlinesRSS
14,000 hints and counting!

New poll posted about RSS usage Site News
I posted a new poll late last night, and was somewhat surprised at the results thus far. Then a friend pointed out that the way polls work on macosxhints.com (or most any site, for that matter), the very readers I would be most interested in hearing from on this poll probably wouldn't even see it!

You see, the topic of the poll is RSS readers. More specifically, how many sites do you subscribe to in your reader of choice? But since polls here aren't typically associated with a new story, they don't generate a new entry in anyone's RSS feed! Hence the surprising results thus far that show 50% or so of the audience doesn't use an RSS reader. I know there are more newsreader users out there than that, given the traffic we see in the log files.

So the only purpose of this 'hint' is to create a new entry in your RSS readers, and convince you to take a minute and vote in the survey. The results sort of meaningless as it stands now, since we're missing out on a key segment of the audience! So all you RSS fanatics, here's your chance to set things straight...

-rob.
    •    
  • Currently 2.63 / 5
  You rated: 4 / 5 (8 votes cast)
 
[10,211 views]  

New poll posted about RSS usage | 19 comments | Create New Account
Click here to return to the 'New poll posted about RSS usage' hint
The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
New poll posted about RSS usage
Authored by: rocketchick on Feb 03, '06 12:24:50PM
It appears the link above automatically answers the poll with the first option? I think that'll skew your results. :)

Correct link for answerable survey would be this.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Voting is broken
Authored by: interlard on Feb 03, '06 02:28:19PM

I have a frequent problem on MacPolls.com. When I got to the poll before I have even voted it often says "Thanks for voting, here are the results so far". A lot like voting in the US seems to work anyway! ;-)

I think some cookies are getting mixed up. I tried to find a link on MacPolls.com to tell them, but they don't seem to want to take feedback.

Hurumph.



[ Reply to This | # ]
New poll posted about RSS usage
Authored by: houchin on Feb 03, '06 12:29:58PM

If you really want RSS people to participate, you need to get more of the entry (and the link to the poll) into the short portion of the entry that shows up in the RSS summary...



[ Reply to This | # ]
New poll posted about RSS usage
Authored by: robg on Feb 03, '06 12:32:45PM

I was hoping "new poll posted about RSS usage" as the subject would be enough to merit a click. :)

-rob.



[ Reply to This | # ]
New poll posted about RSS usage
Authored by: verdon on Feb 03, '06 02:13:47PM

It was for me :)



[ Reply to This | # ]
Subscribe? No, bookmark!
Authored by: nanotechmama on Feb 03, '06 12:45:09PM

It is always strange to me to talk about subscribing at all. I use Safari, and when I click a subscribe button, I am taken to the RSS page. If I don't bookmark this page, then I am not subscribed at all. So, subscribing is really just bookmarking an RSS feed. Why the different words for one action, bookmarking? If I click subscribe, and it takes me to the RSS feed, what if I were not very computer literate, and I thought that now I was actually subscribed? Bah.

But now it's all waste of time, since Safari hasn't been updating the little numbers in the parentheses anyway!



[ Reply to This | # ]
Subscribe? No, bookmark!
Authored by: robg on Feb 03, '06 01:06:58PM

Well, other apps (like NetNewsWire) don't call it bookmarking, they call it subscribing ... hence the confusion :).

-rob.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Subscribe? No, bookmark!
Authored by: nanotechmama on Feb 03, '06 04:24:02PM

Yes, but maybe Safari could have a tool tip over the RSS subscribe button that reads, "Click here to bookmark this RSS feed." And then, when you click on it, the Add Bookmark... drop down window appears.

Maybe the purpose of sending the person to the feed without the drop down menu is so that you can look over the feed and decide if you want to actually bookmark it. But for me personally, I wouldn't have clicked on it if I didn't want to bookmark it, and in any case the bookmark drop down window isn't all that big, so you can a great deal of the RSS feed, enough to change your mind and hit cancel if you desire.

Would anyone else prefer to have the bookmark drop down window appear when you click subscribe? I am going to leave feedback to Apple.

Anneliese



[ Reply to This | # ]
Subscribe? No, bookmark!
Authored by: solipsism on Feb 05, '06 06:49:42PM

I'm with you. I don't currently have any RSS subscriptions (bookmarks) because of Safari's setup.

I also wish that it automatically sent me an email notice, like Google News, when new articles are found after an RSS update. Possibly with a hyperlinked listing of the subject heading for ease of use.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Subscribe? No, bookmark!
Authored by: dta69 on Feb 03, '06 02:12:30PM

The counters can be brought back to life by turning off bookmark syncing with .Mac...sorry not really applicable to original post but wanted to help a fella/gal out...



[ Reply to This | # ]
Very nice
Authored by: nanotechmama on Feb 03, '06 04:27:39PM

Great, thanks for that! Geez, you'd think I spend enough time in forums, but I guess not. :P

Anneliese



[ Reply to This | # ]
Subscribe? No, bookmark!
Authored by: dta69 on Feb 03, '06 02:20:11PM

"But now it's all waste of time, since Safari hasn't been updating the little numbers in the parentheses anyway!"

A workaround for this problem is to turn OFF bookmark syncing in .Mac



[ Reply to This | # ]
Why use RSS for macosxhints.com?
Authored by: lionel77 on Feb 03, '06 04:39:58PM

I'm actually surprised that so many (apparently at least 50%) people use RSS for this page. In my opinion, using RSS makes the most sense when a page is either updated irregularly or if new articles are added in a piecemeal fashion. Neither is true for macosxhints.com, pretty much all the articles are posted within a narrow time window early every weekday morning. So if you come to the page for instance at noon, you can read all the hints of the day and there is little chance that further hints are added over the course of the day.

Personally, I prefer seeing the complete text of all hints on the web page over the headlines and two sentences that the RSS feed offers because I tend to glance over the whole articles anyway. Plus, I think I'd feel weird bombarding the page with RSS requests all day if 95% of the content is added at a fixed time point.

Just my two cents.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Why use RSS for macosxhints.com?
Authored by: starwxrwx on Feb 03, '06 11:15:07PM

I'd probably never remember to check this page if it wasn't in my Safari RSS feeds folder in my bookmarks bar!

RSS helps me keep track of what hints I have and haven't read, and how many I need to catch up on. I might not have time to check every day but I can instantly know if I'm getting behind (at work or home thanks to .mac syncing of read status!) :)



[ Reply to This | # ]
RSS, Why?
Authored by: mccallister on Feb 04, '06 06:43:56PM

I don't "get it" why people think RSS is so cool. It's useless. The sites that have RSS are bookmarked in my Safari. For example, I have one called "Mac news" in my bookmarks bar. I click on it and select "open in tabs" to view all of them.

Now what would make RSS really useful is if I could create an RSS homepage in Safari that allowed a compilation of RSS from the many sites I visit each day. Until then, I don't see how RSS is useful to me.



[ Reply to This | # ]
RSS, Why?
Authored by: BeezelNut RaRa on Feb 06, '06 02:08:56AM

If you use NetNewsWire, you to scan hundreds of headlines in a few minutes; skip slow loading web pages (containing irrelevant info) and skip thousands of ads. So RSS is for people who want pure content quickly. If you use Safari for RSS - I'm not sure what the point is really.

RSS is also cool cuz it powers podcasts. Apple also now serves their tech mailing lists as RSS, which can cut down on lots of email. Our ISP uses it for maintenance alerts. Some people also use it for comments, ie. you post a question to OS X Hints and subscribe to an RSS feed for your question. Anyone responds, you know it.



[ Reply to This | # ]
RSS, Why?
Authored by: jspivack on Feb 06, '06 04:13:12AM
I find that Bloglines is a great way to do this. It is all web-based, so I can check my feeds from home on my Mac in the morning and then from work on my PC (yuk!) during lunch, and all of the article statuses are maintained/updated. check it out...

[ Reply to This | # ]
Why use RSS for macosxhints.com?
Authored by: sjk on Feb 06, '06 12:17:07PM

It's quicker for me to scan the feed for this site (and many others) and only open articles I'm interested in (typically with Safari or NNW tabs), when their titles are informative enough to make that choice (which is true here).

In general, using feeds as a site monitoring/filtering tool is a convenient way to prioritize and later catch up with certain content over different periods of time. It's taken time to develop effective strategies for doing that and it's an evolving process but I dread to imagine how clumsy and inefficient it would be without feeds. That would kind of be like using dialup after having tasted broadband bandwidth.



[ Reply to This | # ]
New poll posted about RSS usage
Authored by: Spartacus on Feb 04, '06 08:44:48AM

Funny. It's the opposite of the canonical example of why you should take statistics with a grain of salt: making a telephone survey to ask people if they have a telephone.



[ Reply to This | # ]