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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Less Than 40% Of People Online Read Blogs

This Guardian story about Lack of Readership in UK Blogs raised my curiousity.

There is no doubt at all that we in the UK are way behind the USA when it comes to blogging. And I think we're also quite a way behind on the Internet generally. Although Broadband take-up is changing all that.

The forward thinking businesses in the USA are employing bloggers now. I've not heard the UK starting down that road.

That said I do think that the statistics that the Guardian reveal can be interpreted several ways.

Firstly in the USA 40% of people surveyed had read an individual's blog in the last week compared to 13% in the UK, 25% in France and 12% in Denmark.

The question I'd ask is why did the survey get such a massive response from the UK? Was it because the Guardian's own readers were encouraged to take the survey? If so could it be that Guardian readers are luddites and don't believe, or trust, the Internet, blogs or anything they can't hold in their hands?

The numbers surveyed in the UK was 6,066 compared to 1,798 in the USA which does have a slightly larger population than our own.

The article points to the low level of trust in blogs, compared to other media.

"Just 5% of UK respondents said they trusted newspaper or individual blogs. This compared with 18% who trusted Yahoo!, 31% who trusted Google, 57% who trusted TV channels and 59% who trusted quality national newspapers. "

The survey said "Blogs by individuals were most trusted in America, with 18% of respondents saying that they trusted them".

Doesn't that mean that really 82% of people distrusted blogs in the USA and 95% of the UK distrust blogs.

This sort of survey is like asking people whether they think a moon landing is possible at the time when they've only just heard the news that Wilbur and Orville Wright have flown a few yards in a new-fangled aeroplane.

Would they have trusted themselves to be flown in one? You betcha life they wouldn't have.

Are blogs at this point? Or will they be overtaken by video blogs? Only time will tell.

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