If the bread slicer was a recent invention, I imagine a conversation like this would take place somewhere in the world:
Guy #1: “Dude, you have to try sliced bread.”
Guy #2: “Why would I need that? I can slice my own bread, thanks.”
Guy #1: “Dude, you just have to try it. It’s so much easier and gets you to sandwich status so much quicker.”
Guy #2: “Man, how long does it really take to slice bread? You can’t be serious.”
Guy #1: “Forget that I ever brought this up.”
And so goes RSS evangelism in 2008 where, according to Forrester Research (via MicroPersuasion), of the 89% of people who don’t use RSS feeds already, on 17% are interested in using them.
Polling people on their interest in trying something they don’t understand will certainly generate some odd responses.
Of course, many of these people are already using similar technologies such as Tivo where they can subscribe to shows that interest them. Had the same respondents been asked, “would you like to have a ‘Tivo for the web’ that lets you easily subscribe to the latest content from your favorite sites?” I think you may have seen a more enthusiastic response.