Blog explosion


Blog explosion

: The latest Pew Internet and American Life study has astounding findings on the growth of blogs:

: 7% of the 120 million U.S. adults who use the internet say they have created a blog or web-based diary. That represents more than 8 million people.

: 27% of internet users say they read blogs, a 58% jump from the 17% who told us they were blog readers in February. This means that by the end of 2004 32 million Americans were blog readers. Much of the attention to blogs focused on those that covered the recent political campaign and the media. And at least some of the overall growth in blog readership is attributable to political blogs. Some 9% of internet users said they read political blogs

  • Kathleen A

    I only found out about blogs in April of 2004 – and never looked back. It has changed the way I gather and use information. It has changed the way I use the internet and it has given me access to communicate with people outside of my world – which I never could have done before. Blogs have changed the world and opened understanding among people’s across the globe. The MSM can’t compete. The people have the power to cross every boundary and culture. And with the people is where the power belongs.

  • Just take a look at how far the blog and the blogosphere have come. A word that didn

  • Take away that “sometimes” and add “always”. My mistake.

  • I have just created my Blog, it’s truly amazed me, I have learned so much in the past two weeks. I’m glad to participate in the discussion and have become addicted to the amount of information out there. I truly changes the way I surf the net. Like Kathleen said, I will never go back.

  • 57% male doesn’t sound right. Isn’t there another survey that’s just come out saying the vast majority of bloggers are female?

  • Joel Fleming

    Minor nit… above you claim almost 40% of Americans know what “blog” means. Based on the story you quote, I think you meant 40% of internet users.
    Otherwise, however, a perceptive, interesting entry.

  • Like Kathleen I discovered blogs last spring. Was more than pleasantly surprised at what that discovery has meant in many ways. I am a college professor and began to use a blog in my courses as a way to expose my students to current issues related to the course material. It is a terrific addition to the learning environment.
    I started CommonSenseDesk after a great deal of thought about whether I wanted to engage in the broader discussion that blogs have encouraged. I took the plunge several months ago and learn some (many) thing(s) new every day. The Pew data really isn’t a surprise, although it is somewhat startling if you think about its implications.

  • Joel: Quite right. Fixed. Thanks much.

  • Miguel

    Kathleen: You put it in a great way. Exactly what I think, and very well expressed. Blogs are here to stay for quite a while and they are changing all parameters in human communication all over the world.
    Happy New Year to everybody around, and congratulations for your blog, Jeff.

  • Chris

    I’d echo #1, though this has been going on for some people for a while. Drudge was my primary news source starting in Jan. ’98 and then I picked up Andrew Sullivan, then Instapundit, now spend a bit of time on religous (Anglican) blogs and Donald Sensing too. And of course Buzz Machine!
    Sadly, there’s not time for much more….

  • The readership numbers are where the real story is. Authoring, not so much.
    The flip side of the Pew stats: While blog readership is skyrocketing, blog authoring is growing slowly, if at all. Blog authoring was originally estimated by Pew at 2-7% of adult Internet users and is still at 7%.
    I suspect this means we’re seeing a core group of bloggers finding increasing audiences, not a general increase of readership across all blogs.
    Part of that may be because of the time demands to “do a blog right” and the illusion of reaching an automatically huge audience, as I once noted in a couple of my own blog entries.
    The commenting part — that’s interesting. That’s when journalism becomes conversation by those who don’t want to necessarily start the conversation but want a voice in it.

  • If I were a newspaper editor, I would be sitting up straight and taking notes fast. I have to agree with everyone here. I started 2004 reading a daily newspaper or two. I ended it looking at the web, blogs, and an RSS feeder. I may drop my last newspaper.
    Jeff, when are you going to get the Newhouse paper into some kind of newsfeed?

  • cardeblu

    I followed pretty much the exact course as Chris above. I remember seeing Andrew Sullivan on a program on CSPAN back in 2000 in which he mentioned his website (pre-blog vernacular, I think it was). I have also been involved in quite a few message boards (AOL and others) since around 1997 which have a similar basic premise. I don’t have a blog, though, and probably will never have one. I prefer reading and will offer my 2-cents only occasionally.
    I might have missed it, but are these stats for the US only? I go to a lot of international blogs on a daily basis and would be interested in those stats as well.

  • I take issue with the pew report. first of all, i do not own a computer at all. i use an email cafe for all my blogging. i am very very poor, my income is way below poverty level anywhere. I am not young. Almost 70! and i blog every day, run over 50 blogs at the moment.

  • Some demographics. Blog creators are likely to be:
    : Men: 57% are male OKAY HERE.
    : Young: 48% are under age 30 WRONG, I AM ALMOST 70.
    : Broadband users: 70% have broadband at home DO NOT EVEN OWN COMPUTER AT ALL. NEVER HAVE NEVER WILL. USE EMAIL CAFE. PAY BY HOUR.
    : Internet veterans: 82% have been online for six years or more TRUE. ONLINE SINCE 1996.
    : Relatively well off financially: 42% live in households earning over US$50,000 …NOT ME. IN LOWEST 1% of INCOME EARNERS. BASICALLY INCOMELESS.
    : Well educated: 39% have college or graduate degrees. CUMMA SUMMA LAUDE YES.

  • I would extend Chris’ remark about history even further back, and put it this way: it would have been worth a lot to reach this intensity of online dynamics back when the maimstreamers were sneering at internet kooks in Usenet ten years ago.
    Further affiant sayeth not.

  • Chocura750

    Blogs are fun to read and I read several each day, but for substantial information that I can rely on none match The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal.

  • Glyn

    In the way of things, I also read this article about the Pew survey on an Irish media website
    The writer (blogger?) added the comment “There’s another question to be asked here, which the survey seems to ignore, but that I think would be interesting to see the answers to – What other sources of news and information do bloggers/readers frequently access? I’d suspect that the answers to that question would show why, especially in the US, the mainstream media is increasingly wary of the blogosphere – not simply because it’s a growing audience, but because it’s, primarily, part of the same audience reading both sources of information and comparing the two.”

  • The use of the internet grew along with its usability and accessability. As blogs become increasigly accessible to the public and awareness is raised by the traditional media sources, they will grow in popularity. Interestingly enough, the traditional media faces a dillemma: by their nature, they must report the “rise of the blog” story, yet reporting that story undercuts their readership and viewership by exposing the public to an alternate news source. So they must report the blog story, yet it is against their self interest to do so.
    PS. I actually just started a blog, (The Silicon Mind), so please check it out!

  • just curious

    The demographics are presented misleadingly.
    According to the stats quoted, blog creators are likely to be:
    Older; 52% are over 30
    Not affluent; 58% live in households earning under $50,000
    Not highly educated; 61% do not have a college degree
    I wonder why these particular stats were introduced in a way that said the opposite of what the numbers said? I assume the material is quoted from the Pew original?