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What Are You Trying To Say? From today's Town Talk editorial:

"A recent Scripps Howard survey asked people "How many days each week do you get news from a blog on the Internet?" Eighty-eight percent of respondents said they never use blogs to get news.

These Web logs -- personal diaries and observations posted on easy-to-update Internet Web pages in a process called "blogging" -- are, however, gaining in popularity especially among certain demographic groups, the survey found. Well-educated single people, especially those without children, who live in major urban areas or along the high-technology centers of the West Coast are the biggest bloggers and blog readers. Blogs are least popular among Northeasterners, blacks and residents of rural areas.

We think: It's good to know that people understand the distinct difference between blogs and news Web sites. For many the best thing about a blog is that anyone can say anything. The worst thing about a blog is that anybody can say anything -- and it may not have any basis in truth. Blogs are merely opinion and are rarely ever aspire to any fair and balanced reporting of the news and issues of the day."

Here's what I read:

  • 12% of Americans receive their news from a blog. Wow!
  • Blogs are most popular among highly-educated people living in tech hubs. (Go figure!)
  • In between the lines: Please ignore the fact that this very newspaper launched a blog feature this very week.
  • I'd like to polish this line up a little bit. "For many the best thing about a blog is that it often reports news other sources are afraid to tackle, and it allows people the opportunity to express both facts and opinions on issues they'd otherwise never talk about in a newspaper."
How about this survey? Pew Internet and American Life Project, Phone Survey of 7,012 people:
  • Thirty-nine percent of U.S. Internet users, or about 57 million Americans, read blogs; 8 percent, or about 12 million Americans, write a blog; and more than half of bloggers are under the age of 30.
  • Pew found that 37 percent of bloggers cite "my life and experiences" as what they blog about, while only 11 percent cited public issues as typical topics. Sixty percent of bloggers are white, while 74 percent of the country's Web users are, according to the data. Fifty-five percent of bloggers write under a pseudonym.
  • Fifty-four percent of bloggers say that they have never published their writing or media creations anywhere else; 44 percent say they have published elsewhere.
  • Women and men have statistical parity in the blogosphere, with women representing 46 percent of bloggers and men 54 percent.
  • Seventy-six percent of bloggers say a reason they blog is to document their personal experiences and share them with others. Sixty-four percent of bloggers say a reason they blog is to share practical knowledge or skills with others.
  • Seventy-seven percent of bloggers have shared something online that they created themselves, such as their own artwork, photos, stories, or videos. By comparison, 26 percent of Internet users as a whole have done this.
So perhaps one of the reasons only 12% of people (still a high number) receive their news on a blog is because only 11% of bloggers write about the news.