Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.


Are Blogs Ready for Prime-Time?

June 16, 2004

...A partial profile of blog readers reveals:

* 54% of their news consumption is online
* 21% are bloggers themselves
* 46% describe themselves as opinion makers

...As Henry Copeland, author of the report and CEO of Blogads, summed up: "86% say that blogs are either useful or extremely useful as sources of news or opinion. 80% say they read blogs for news they can't find elsewhere. 78% read because the perspective is better. 66% value the faster news. 61% say that blogs are more honest. Divided on so much else, blog readers appear united in their dissatisfaction with conventional media and their rabid love of blogs."

Interesting statistics derived from a survey of of over 10,000 blog readers. Also asserts that blog readers are older, smarter and spend more money that most people think.

via Smart Mobs


An interesting result. I've seldom found that blogs provide "news I can't get elsewhere," especially when so many of them link to news stories on the web. It's the perspective and personality that I've found so appealing. Am I reading the wrong sites?

I was going to say something similar to Ron, and I think the result follows from the available answers. I don't think this gets at the real reasons most people read blogs at all. Of course, from the perspective of an eMarketer this may be a useful result (i.e., may accurately reflect the tendencies of blog readers as "consumers" of "content"). I think the human side is much more interesting though.

Ok, so here we have a study which says that bloggers "are older, smarter and spend more money that most people think". The study was done be the guy who runs So why should I be suprised that somebody who is selling blog-ads will tell his customers that bloggers supposedly click ads and buy more stuff than the usual Joe Surfer..?
I wish these surveys were just a little bit more scientific.

Phew! A survey of 15,951 blog-readers. That's as much as blogs exist here in Germany... Though 'News I can't find elsewhere' and 'Better perspective' seems a little bit tendentious for me... or kind of wishful thinking...

The claim that is constantly being made that blogs are somehow supplanting 'Big Media' is not borne out by the facts. Check out the most widely read blogs, like Instapundit or Sullivan and it is apparent that without the supply of stories from the conventional news sources they so often deride, they would soon be reduced to the 'what I ate for breakfast' or 'my life sucks, boo hoo' type of blogs which constitute 99% of the 'blogosphere. It's the selection, linking and commenting on these stories, together with the opportunity for alternative versions to be aired, that makes a blog worthwhile. I can honestly say thaty in my opinion there are very, very, few blogs that manage to do this well. And I include some of the 'big-hitters' in that too.

I do find news on blogs like this one, that although I probably could find elsewhere, I probably would not. I do not have time to surf that much so when I find a good blog that has the same interests as I do, I visit it daily. Joi finds a lot of stuff for me!

I also think the comment about transparent biases is really valid. Compared to something like Fox News' "Fair and Balanced" most blogs clearly state the positions of the authors without pretending to represent an unbiased perspective.

What I've found useful about the InstaPundits (and even the BoingBoing's) of the world is their thoughtful selection of materials to link to. It's not that these sites offer materials no one can FIND elsewhere, it's that they conveniently aggregate these materials in a way that saves me time and energy.

In a world where most of the world's information is available at our fingertips but time remains limited, editorial judgment is one of the most-prized commodities.

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