1/03/2005

Bloggers have overtaken What?

I just read a particularly silly quoted in Search Engine Journal. From a marketing perspective, this is interesting. Let's pick it apart (my comments are in brackets):

Blogs Have Overtaken 8 Million Americans, 57% Are Male

After being pounded in the blogging stakes by rampant female blogging last year, [What the HELL is "Rampant female blogging?" Were they in heat, or something?(don't sweat it, ladies, I'd have said the same if it was "rampant male blogging")]
men have flocked back to the blogosphere in increasing numbers, safe in the knowledge that once more,
the Pew Internet and American Life Project would restore what many of us already knew, that 57% of bloggers are male. [ No, I didn't know that 57% were male, I'd thnk it would be far higher. Don't trust their numbers.]

Pew is back after taking a pounding with some bizarre results based on a small number of random observations
on a couple of free blogging services last year with some figures that may actually reflect something closer to the truth this year.

The key findings:
- 7% of the 120 million U.S. adults who use the internet say they have created a blog or web-based diary. [I just totally cannot believe the number is that large in reality]
This represents more than 8 million people, or 8 millions blogs asuming 1 blog per person.
Significantly higher than the regular 5 million figure being quoted in the press lately,
and it should be noted that this is 8 million blogs in the US ONLY. Add the rest of the world,
and the figure must exceed 10 million at least by now.
- 27% of US internet users say they read blogs, a 58% jump from February 04, meaning an approximate
32 million Americans were blog readers. [ Hey, it didn't mention that all 120 million U.S. Adult internet users are bath-readers! I wonder how many are taking their PDAs into the bathroom to read blogs instead of Time magazine...]
- 5% of internet users say they use RSS aggregators or XML readers
to get the news and other information delivered from blogs and
content-rich Web sites as it is posted online. There is lots of unmet growth in the RSS market to be filled.
- Bizarrely only 38% of US internet users know what a blog is. (perhaps the other 72% only use email) [Is this a new word, "Bizarrely"? Should I add it to my spellchecker, or just email it to William Safire?]

On Bloggers
Blog creators are more likely to be:
- Men: 57% are male
- Young: 48% are under age 30 (we’d note this is their figures: if young is under 30, and 48% are under,
wouldn’t 52% of bloggers be old at 30 and above and in the majority??)
- Broadband users: 70% have broadband at home
- Internet veterans: 82% have been online for six years or more
- Relatively well off financially: 42% live in householdsearning over $50,000

A pinch of salt though, the survey was based on 1,324 internet users. [On reflection I'm beginning to think this whole piece is about as revealing as mud.]

--Well, there you have it. Straight from --- Pew! (BTW the Pew Survey is called "State of Blogging")

IMHO, interviewing 1324 people and declaring figures like the above as if they were the Gospel is pretty shoddy research.

Anyway, if you want to read the entire PDF of their report, here it is.