These past few days there has been an interesting conversation about web-based RSS readers, including some comments about Google Reader’s growing popularity. The meme was sparked off after Leann Prescott, an analyst with Hitwise, posted an overview of the web-based RSS readers.
Interestingly, the one RSS reader that showed a remarkable jump was Rojo, which was bought by Six Apart last year. “So Rojo use jumped like right when it was acquired by MT and development came to a close? Strange,” Marshall Kirkpatrick commented in response to Prescott’s post.
That was enough to spark my interest, especially since FeedBurner has not been reporting Rojo subscriptions due to a bug. Kirkpatrick’s comment also made me wonder how can Rojo, a discontinued product be bigger than Google Reader?
So how can there be a jump in the number of “internet visits” to Rojo, as Hitwise data shows? One possible explanation could be that since late-September, 2006, robots.txt file has been removed from Rojo.com (according to archives.org), which in turn allows Google to index Rojo hosted posts as individual pages.
This is murky behavior, something that bothers me a lot. It could however offer a faux explanation for the sudden rise in the popularity of Rojo?