Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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March 1, 2004
By: Kevin Drum

BLOGGING STATISTICS....Via Matt Yglesias, the Pew Internet Project has released a new survey about internet use, including some interesting and not always believable statistics about blogs:

  • As of August 2003, 2% of internet users were writing blogs. If you figure about 130 million internet users, that works out to 2.6 million bloggers. 40% say they update their blogs at least once a week, which means there are about 1 million active bloggers. I can buy that.

  • However, a "follow-up check" in early 2004 indicated that between 2% and 7% of internet users are bloggers. Huh? Aside from the fact that the high end of that range is hard to believe, does anyone believe that the number of bloggers might have tripled in six months?

  • 11% of internet users read blogs and third of those have commented on blogs. Even cutting that number in half to include only those who read blogs outside their circle of friends, that suggests that 5% of internet users read blogs.

    Maybe, although that sounds high to me based on personal experience. What's more, I would guess that only about 1% of Calpundit readers ever leave comments. That may not be representative (commenting rates may be higher on smaller blogs), but it still seems like a stretch to get to a third.

However, even if you take into account my skepticism about some of the numbers, this survey really does seem to indicate that blogs are remarkably popular and getting more so at a rapid clip.

On a different note, the survey also asked about general content creation (websites, blogs, newsgroups, etc.) and the results indicated surprisingly little in the way of a "digital divide." About the same percentage of men and women create web content; the same percentage of whites, blacks, and Hispanics; the same percentage of age groups (except for 65+); and roughly the same percentage of all income groups and education levels. There was a modest bump in content creation from those at the highest income level and those with college degrees, although even there the difference was modest.

Kevin Drum 9:59 AM Permalink | Trackbacks

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