New Study About Blogs

Jeff Alworth

The Pew Internet and Life Project has some new findings about blogs from a survey they conducted in November (.pdf available here).  For those of us who enjoy and use blogs, the findings are exciting.  Although they remain slightly obscure, blogs are starting to go mainstream.  When Pew interviewed internet users last February, 17% (20 million Americans) said they read blogs.  But by November, the number was up to 27%--or 32 million Americans.  That represents 58% growth in less than a year.

Other findings:

The downside is that a majority of internet users still don't know what a blog is, but one imagines that their numbers are dwindling daily. 

  • Randy S (unverified)

    Define blogs.

    I have been on bulletin boards -- which are pretty open-ended; this blog is different because it uses kick-off pieces to start the communication. Not just anyone can start a topic.

    Are they both blogs?

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    I'm demonstrating my ignorance here - but what is an RSS aggregator? An XML reader? Am I just totally behind the times?

  • Sid Anderson (unverified)

    Not only was I suprised at how many people at a political I attended recently didn't know what a blog was, but how many of my friends didn't know what a blog was when I e-mailed them the link to my blog. I realized I've been living in a Daily Kos blog-bubble. Is the bubble getting bigger? At least it's a blue bubble and not red one!

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    Does anyone know what the best way to set up a blog is? I'm struggling to find a really good way to set up a dialogue forum for some of these issues that plague our existence, so they can continue in more detail.

    Yahoo Groups sucks. Any suggestions?

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    It depends on what you want. If you can describe what sorts of features you'd like to have (or provide examples of blogs that have the sorts of features you want), several of us here should be able to give you a fairly narrow list of options.

  • Tenskwatawa (unverified)

    Go around and visit other blogs to see various features and find examples of design you like.
    Me, for example, I like sleek, uncluttered, dense, quick response, cool colors, etc. Remember, there are no stupid answers. I like specialized or dedicated info sites -- the media sites, e.g., IF they are experts. But I like generalized sites with many voices and ranges of expertise and experience, what I'd call homey. Textured. With characters.

    (To be continued ...)

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    One True b!X Tenskwatawa,

    Two things: (1) I think that it would be great to see this site create another section where people could continue to discuss these issues in greater length and(2) I run and I would like to be able to discuss certain issues in private with members and other progressives that I invite into the loop.

    In both instances it seems like the same blog format should be used. It should have sections where people can post files, web links, events, etc. Kind of like MSN Groups or Yahoo Groups. But those groups are annoying to use in my opinion because people have to take the time to register and they don't have blogs where people can chat back and forth with each other at their leisure.

    Some of the ones I've tinkered with on my site are simpleforum and SMF Forum, but I want something more substantial than just a blog.

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    Hey! This week's episode of The West Wing (delayed one day by KATU to air Blazers instead, ugh) contained the first network drama use of the word "blogosphere".

    It's a coming-of-age for the blogosphere, much as the first appearance four years ago, also on West Wing, of the name "google" was for that company.

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    Oh frickin Hell. Because they delayed it I forgot to make a note to watch it this evening.

    Stupid idiotic basketball.

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