We recently covered, the state of the blogosphere , its meteoric growth based on Tehnorati statistics. Now we are getting independent confirmation of the growth- via a different index – growth in blog readership.
The Wall Stree Journal reports, Readership of online journals known as blogs grew significantly in 2004, driven by increased awareness of them during the presidential campaign and other major news events, according to a study .Twenty-seven percent of online adults in the U.S. said in November they read blogs, compared with 17% in a February survey by the Pew Internet and American Life Project Blogs that cover the tsunami disaster and relief efforts are bound to boost readership further. The tsunami is one of those cataclysmic news moments where lots of people's perceptions change, awareness of blogs will grow dramatically. There's so much attention to the coverage on blogs and Web sites and first-person video as primary news sources. In the past week, blogs, or Web logs, have shared information on giving money and finding missing family members, and several posted first-person narratives and photos from the affected areas. The web of links that are fundamental to blogs made it possible to quickly disseminate information that otherwise would have remained obscure.
Some more interesting observations:
- Though blog readership jumped, the percentage of online Americans who write blogs grew only slightly to 7% in November, up from 5% early in the year.
- Blog creators tend to be male, affluent, well-educated and young; 70% of them have high-speed connections at home, and 82% have been online at least six years.
- Despite the attention to blogging, a large number of Americans remain clueless only 38% of Internet users know what a blog is: online agglomerations of ideas, information and links, usually presented with the most recent postings on top, and often offering a mechanism for visitors to post comments.
The Pew Internet & American Life studt further says, project Software tools developed in recent years have made blogs easier to create and maintain.Newer technology, known as Really Simple Syndication, or RSS, make it easier to read blogs. RSS software regularly pulls headlines from news sites and Web journals and presents them within e-mail software, Web browsers or standalone programs known as readers. The Pew study found that 5% of online Americans use them. The complete report is available here. Not for nothing, as we covered Scobeleizer saying, Executives could get fired for not blogging in 2005.