August 5, 2005


Americans aren't all agog for blogs (Brett Arends, August 3, 2005, Boston Herald)

To hear some folks tell it, the insomniac army of bloggers is already inheriting the Earth.

Clad in pajamas and armed only with Pringles, cocoa and a keyboard, they sway millions and make the mighty tremble as they tap away into the night.

The only problem: it isn't quite true.

Cambridge-based Forrester Research reported yesterday that fewer than 2 percent of Americans who go online read blogs once a week or more.

Even among tech-savvy pioneers - those with laptops and WiFi networks in their homes - just 4 percent say they read blogs.

The surprising figures were uncovered after an exhaustive survey of 68,664 households.

``All that press coverage of the blogs, and the audience is just minuscule,'' noted Forrester Vice President Ted Schadler.

Is there an echo in here?

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 5, 2005 10:02 AM

But we weblog readers are movers and shakers in the community! With large networks of friends that we meet and influence when we go … out … oh, wait – nevermind!

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at August 5, 2005 10:50 AM

Being smartest is a lonely row to hoe.

Posted by: Robert Duquette at August 5, 2005 11:13 AM

Which is why the crowing by the left over Hackett's "near-win win" is so funny. To those who read blogs the fact that Hackett was a darling of the nutty left was common knowledge. To those who don't (which is most everyone) Hackett was an Iraq War veteran who made TV ads featuring President Bush that made it seem like he was a big supporter.

Posted by: b at August 5, 2005 11:16 AM

Here, here Robert

Posted by: BJW at August 5, 2005 11:23 AM

2% of those going online? Bogo-meter tripping.

I know oj a low opinion of anecdotes, but every net-surfing friend I know of reads at least one blog.

And at the water cooler either most of my co-workers either all co-incidentally in that 2% group, or they are picking up Internet transmissions in their tooth fillings.

Posted by: Gideon at August 5, 2005 11:44 AM

The numbers are so small because people aren't clear on the concept of a blog. They read blogs all the time, yet they are unaware they are doing so. They just think they're reading a "website."

I can just hear some of the respondents after the Forrester researcher walks away/hangs up: "What is a blog anyway? Do they deliver it to your door, or does it come in over the phone lines?"

We switched to a blog format 14 months ago. We now call ourselves a "blog-azine." I guarantee that few of our readers are acutely aware that they're reading a blog.

The MSM is just looking for any way they can find to discredit blogs and blog readers.

Posted by: Brian McKim at August 5, 2005 11:48 AM

I agree with Brian - there is no clear definition of a blog really and any poll that doesen't take that into consideration can't be trusted. I'd like to see the actual wording of the survey.

A more accurate poll would ask the individual if they get any of their news from internet sources not affiliated with newspapers or television networks. Even then it gets tricky - would places like the Daily Standard and NRO count as blogs? What about bloggers who also publish in newspapers like VDH and Styen? Are message boards that discuss current events considered as well?

Posted by: Shelton at August 5, 2005 1:10 PM

The proof is Rather in the pudding.

Posted by: erp at August 5, 2005 1:47 PM

drudge isn't exactly a blog but he is super widely known and read.

it's funny but the real threat to the msm is not really from the right side of blogdom, it's from the left. no way the ny times can stay in business if it descends into the pit with daily kos or du. but is losing audience to those sites because the left wants its high intensity emotional fix.

Posted by: cjm at August 5, 2005 2:02 PM

the numbers are small because blogs are insignificant.

Posted by: oj at August 5, 2005 2:05 PM

The numbers sound bogus to me, but maybe Dan Rathergate could could expand on our knowledge.

But if true, then where have all the viewers gone? TV - down. Newspapers - down. Pretty much everywhere else - down. Where'd everybody go? Funny that the report didn't cover this topic.

That place is so popular, nobody goes there anymore
-- Yogi B, who else?

Posted by: ras at August 5, 2005 3:55 PM

They're all watching DVDs and playing Grand Theft Auto.

Posted by: Ali Choudhury at August 5, 2005 4:04 PM

I think blogs have an outsized impact considering the small number of people who read them, if only because people in the opinion-forming classes keep up with them. That said, I don't think even one of my friends reads a blog on anything like a regular basis. The echo-chamber nature of this enterprise is obvious.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at August 5, 2005 4:21 PM

anyone interested in politics is reading blogs.

Posted by: cjm at August 5, 2005 4:29 PM

which is less that 2%

Posted by: oj at August 5, 2005 4:46 PM

where is that figure from ?

Posted by: cjm at August 5, 2005 5:33 PM

Forrester Research

Posted by: oj at August 5, 2005 5:36 PM

Where have all the viewers gone, you ask? Probably to those cable channels that have never received a proper measurement before Nielsen People Meters burst on the scene over the last three years.

It's been stated that channels as diverse as the Weather Channel and Black Entertainment Television have received four-fold increases in viewers.

Posted by: Brad S at August 5, 2005 9:02 PM

We few, we happy few. . ..

Posted by: Lou Gots at August 6, 2005 12:29 AM