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May 02, 2005

The State of Blogging

Heather Green

Lee Rainie at the Pew Internet & American Life Project just posted some new stats about blogging from two surveys conducted between January and March. Pew's survey shows that the number of people publishing blogs has increased to 9% of all U.S. Internet users from 7% in January, when Pew published its last survey, but that the number of people reading blogs has dropped to 25% from 27%. Puzzling, though Rainie basically says that when you take into account the margin of error of plus or minus 2%, the results are essentially unchanged from the last survey.

12:33 PM

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? One Out of Twenty Have Tried Blogging from Micro Persuasion

Pew says one out of every 20 Americans has tried blogging, meanwhile 16% of the population (1 out of every 6 of us) are blog readers. (via Blogspotting) [Read More]

Tracked on May 2, 2005 05:50 PM

? More Blogs. Same Readers. from BloggersBlog.com

The latest information shows continued growth in the number of blogs (no surprise). However, the study found that the number of readers has not changed or even dropped slightly (big surprise). Without more readers the blog surge won't last long, but wi... [Read More]

Tracked on May 2, 2005 07:13 PM

Just read your story...off a photocopy, no less...and it all sounds like a digest of a paper put forth by the Media Center.

I'm not buying into this blog phenomenon as another -- "do it or your business dies threat". This is called COMMUNITY and it has been around since online services came into being around 1988.

How many of the 9 million blogs out there are of quality? Most of it is hack drivel. Your story states that 40K come online each day and if 99.9% are useless that leaves 40 new blogs that might be useful. That's generous. Out of those 40, 39 won't go past two weeks.

The blog phonomenon is a result of three things:

1)Bulletin boards are boring and personal page publishing was made easier with blogger technology. We've gone from, in many cases, a community of many to a community of one that allows others to participate. The person running his/her own blog is often careful not let their identity die among all the voices that might accumulate.

2) The current climate of mass media choosing political sides as well as the current polarization in politics has left an entire society frustrated. People want to be heard. Just because people can self publish doesn't mean that their opinion counts or matters or even makes any sense. It's still a lone voice screaming in a system that it can't change.

3) The .com bust has left a lot of people looking for work...still. If you've got the time to blog every single day you probably don't have a life or a job or you're dying for your 15 minutes of fame or you think you're gonna get rich. Some folks are techincally skilled to put together blogs that just rake in information, but those are far and few between.

But, at the end of the day, you speak about low-quality journalism spawned by blogs. I find it completely alarmist and irresponsible on your publication's part to take yet ANOTHER INTERNET TREND and make it out to be the thing that's going to change the world.

In 2-3 years will all wax fondly about this "blog" thing like it was Atari. A handful will remain, but most people will have moved on to "the next thing."

Posted by: Zephyr the Cat at May 2, 2005 01:15 PM


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