The Pew Internet & American Life Research Project just released a new study on blog uptake. Here are the highlights:
- 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 “frequently” or “sometimes” during the campaign.
- 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.
- 12% of internet users have posted comments or other material on blogs.
- Only 38% of all internet users know what a blog is. The rest are not sure what the term “blog” means.
No question; blogs are going mainstream. And it’s going to get a lot bigger.
The “blogosphere” is already a force to be reckoned with. Bloggers can wreck havoc on reputations (just ask Kryptonite) and careers (e.g. Dan Rather). Or they can create the “next big thing”. The immensely popular blog BoingBoing covered a very cool product called “InstaSnow” from my client Steve Spangler Science; traffic and sales spiked like you wouldn’t believe. What an unexpected gift that was!
The “power of the people” has become the “power of the bloggers.”