FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Monday, July 18, 2005

A Blog Is a Blog Is a Blog...

A recent Nielsen/Netratings survey of Internet users found that the vast majority of those surveyed either don't read blogs or don't know what they are. On the surface, that's not good news for bloggers, though some believe the survey reveals that semantics may be more of an issue than many realize.

In the survey, a sample of the general population was asked if they:

a) Read blogs every day
b) Read blogs occasionally
c) Know what a blog is but don't really read them
d) Have heard of a blog but don't really know what it is
e) Never heard of a blog til right now

Only 6% responded with answers (a) or (b). Sixty percent said they had never heard of a blog.

However, the survey didn't stop there. Respondents were also asked to visit their favorite websites. Turns out that many of the sites visited by the participants -- even those who said they had no idea what a blog is -- were blogs!

The main takeaway from the survey is that most Internet users don't distinguish between blogs and other websites. Because most blogs don't identify themselves as such, it's easy to see how this can happen. How netizens identify (or don't identify) blogs will color future surveys and studies of blog use, at least in the near term. If a majority say they don't read blogs and don't know what one is, it could be simply because that word is not in their vocabulary.

Source: BuzzMetrics