Blogs Moving To The Front Pew

    January 4, 2005

Two surveys by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, indicate that, “by the end of 2004 blogs had established themselves as a key part of online culture”.

We’ve already published 3 stories on the Pew study here at WebProNews, but what I think what is interesting is the reaction of the blogosphere to this news …

Tamara Thompson commented in John Battelle’s blog, “Blogging is already having an impact on commerce and communication, Much of it, no doubt, we’ll lament, just as the internet pioneers objected to the commodification of the web. I get more love letters now that I’m blogging.”

Gary Price remarked in the Search Engine Watch blog, “In late October, Rich Skrenta posted that RSS usage is at about 12% at Rich also said in October that just 7% of the 7000 sources Topix was crawling at that time offered RSS feeds. A member of the Waypath team reported in the SEW Forums that 63% of the weblogs they crawl have feeds; just 22% have full-text feeds.”

FreaKy ChaKra stated, ” Micro $oft too has been bitten by the Blogging bug ( its too late but is it too little?) and has started M$n spaces. Bill is touting Blog as the biggest thing to hit the net last year. Well its time we welcome Bill to blogosphere. The World will soon be divided into Bloggers and non-Bloggers . It will be this digital divide that will be differentiating us and them.”

Jason J. Thomas makes a common sense point, “The bottom line is this: the Internet and the blogosphere are merely places where folks get a really cheap source to make their views known. In most cases, very few people will read a large number of these blogs, regardless of what the recent Pew Internet & American Life survey states.”

The Planethalder blogger (whoever she is) says, “Few of my friends are web professionals and fewer still visit, let alone write, blogs. For them the web is a ubiquitous, taken-forgranted medium of communication (email), information (research and news), and function (eBay). So the “reality check” for me isn’t the last statistic (that 62% of internet users do not know what a blog is) but the second (27% of internet users do read blogs).”

Jeff Jarvis sums it up, “Hell, at this stage in the birth of the web, I’ll bet just as many people didn’t know what the hell HTML was. The fact that almost 40 percent of online Americans know what blogs are is amazing.

Note that Pew says 8 million people have created blogs. Technorati tracks 5.4 million of them (many international, by the way). There are still hidden blogs on LiveJournal and other mainstream services.

The growth is still at the beginning stages, which is to say it’s explosive.”

Jeff continues, “None of this surprising: It’s a profile of early adopters. That was the profile of internet users a few years ago but today, internet users are better reflecting the country. This is the profile of internet creators; this, too, will go more mainstream. But the effort required to create will always separate those who instead read. And the reading numbers are growing even faster as the audience for blogs explodes.”

Great blog post Jeff! Well worth the read

Rich Ord is the CEO of iEntry, Inc. which publishes over 200 websites and email newsletters.

Rich also publishes his blog WebProBlog which focuses on internet business and marketing trends.