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Understanding Globs

The title of this entry comes from a question my very smart, savvy sister asked me a year ago: “So what are these ‘globs’ you keep talking about, anyway?”

Pew just issued an entertaining if not entirely surprising report demonstrating that the most au courant techno-words, such as RSS and podcasting, are only understood by a relatively small percentage of Internet users.

I was intrigued by the gender gap with RSS: half as many women as men 6% versus 12%) could identify it. I bet a lot of them are MPOW readers–ok, I’m being facetious, but we do peddle RSS very heavily and saw a 25% increase in RSS usage in the last quarter, a trend that has been consistent since we rolled out our feed in 2004. On the other hand, when I do presentations about MPOW, usually a small percentage know about RSS when I start the talk. (They all grok it by the time I’m done, which explains why LII, a relative newcomer compared to feeds such as Shifted Librarian and Talking Points Memo, ranks up there with them in terms of popularity. We really market our RSS, and our new RSS tutorial, on the forthcoming MPOW–FMPOW?–is even better.)

I was surprised they didn’t ask about the term “blog,” surely a newer term than “spam,” but maybe spam was a baseline and RSS was the most far-out term.

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