Last year Andy led the pack by offering an RSS feed for their top news stories. This year he enhanced the SHJ's status by creating a feed for their classified ads, and he topped himself with a third feed for stories about the war in Iraq.
So GoUpstate.com is a good model for other newspapers to emulate, but we all know you need numbers to help sell the benefits of RSS at that level. Once again, here comes Andy to the rescue. He provides us with some hard facts from the Spartanburg Herald-Journal's experience (emphasis is mine):
“From March 1-May 31, users accessing our RSS feeds accounted for 7.97 percent of our total traffic. This doesn't include people coming to the site from the various blogs who used the RSS items, but just the number of times our feeds were accessed.
The one disclaimer that probably should be noted – some folks may have their aggregators hitting us often throughout the day, especially back during the war.
Looking at my top 25 referers from yesterday [Monday], I see NetNewsWire, Radio's aggregator, Frontier's aggregator, and Amphetadesk. I'd say the aggregator movement is gaining ground.”
If you figure that we're still in the “early adopters” stage for RSS, 8% is a pretty staggering number for a major newspaper's traffic. Even with Andy's disclaimer, this is far more than just a handful of people reading the paper via an aggregator. This is going to be big, and the Spartanburg Herald-Journal is going to ride the crest of the wave! [The Shifted Librarian]