Last week we sent out a survey to the over 17,000 people who signed up to help us work on our reader. Amazingly, we’ve gotten more than 8,000 responses so far, and they keep trickling in. Here’s what we’ve learned:

 

Users read a lot, a lot of the time

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80%(!) of respondents check Google Reader many times a day. And 40% of users follow more than 100 feeds. There is no doubt about it — this is a product for power users, and we’ll need to make sure we have some serious infrastructure in place to support that kind of usage for launch.

 

Google Reader isn’t for work, and it isn’t for play – it’s for both

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Over 75% of respondents indicated that they use Google Reader for both work and play. This type of dual usage is an impressive testament to the product’s flexibility.

 

People are eager to try and find a product that can replace Reader

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The survey suggests that people are trying a lot of different types of RSS products, but have yet to settle on one or another en masse.

 

Don’t give short shrift to shortcuts

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67% reported that they use keyboard shortcuts at least some of the time. Don’t worry, this one’s definitely on the list.

 

Search is more of a hobby

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This was an interesting data point. While 25% reported never using search, over just over half said that they sometimes do. Search is a huge investment in terms of development time and infrastructure costs. We don’t yet know if we’ll have the necessary infrastructure up and running in time for our initial beta launch, but it’s definitely on the roadmap.

If there’s one thing you could remove from Google Reader what would it be?

At the end of the survey, we asked a few open ended questions. Thousands of responses were left, and we looked through every single one. Mike made a word cloud of a few of the response sets.

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We have a ton of work to do in the next few months, and we need your help. If you’re willing to lend a hand, including participating in surveys like this, please sign up at digg.com/reader!

Digg

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    Putting all my hopes for a good new RSS Reader on this one.
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