The (Inccreasingly) Mainstream Blogosphere

desert_elephant_skull_da.jpgIs there a danger for publsihers andauthors who focus their audience building efforts within the blogosphere?  Are the audience demographics too skewed or thin to make a go of it?  Is this nascent medium headed for dotcom style blowout or a slow fade due to reader fatigue?  Data from a couple of sources should help provide perspective on these important questions. 

Pew Internet logoIn 2005 and 2006, the Pew Internet & American Life Project Surveys published the following results froms its study of the blogosphere:

  • The number of American adults who read blogs is 57 million vs. 147 million who use the Internet. 
  • The gender mix was slightly biased toward males (54 vs. 46 percent).
  • The age mix for the blogosphere was definitely skewed toward a younger audience, with 54 percent below the age of 30, although, like the general Internet user profile before it, this profile is steadily moving toward a more mainstream age distribution.
  • Interestingly, the blogosphere shows a better representation of minorities than the mainstream Internet, though it is still heavily slanted toward Caucasian readers (60 percent for blogs vs. 74 percent for the general Internet).
  • Also, the blogosphere is more urban than the general Internet.
  • And a final note, the blog readers tend to use broadband more heavily than their average Internet users.

Technorati logoThe other interesting read on the blogosphere is provided by Dave Sifry at Technorati in his most recent “State of the Blogosphere”post in late 2006.  His findings, taken from the metrics gathered by Technorati and tend to focus more on growth and momentum of the blogosphere as a new medium.

  • The volume of blogs is oer 55 million (more like 70 million now).   
  • The blogosphere is doubling about every 5-7 months.
  • About 55% of blogs are active, meaning they’ve been updated at least once in the last 3 months.
  • The volume of posts is about 1.3 million per days (or roughly 54,000 per hour) though it’s leveling off a bit.
  • The value of blogs as media properties continues to grow.  Twelve of the top 100 media properties are blogs.  The further down the list you go, the more blogs you find.
  • There is a definite tiering of blogs by authority.  Authority is driven in part by inbound links from other high authority blogs.  Higher authority blogs tend to be older, with much more frequent posting.  Dedication and proven value of the posted content tends to win in the end. 

Both sets of data provide evidence that both authors and publishers will find the blogosphere fertile ground on which to build their livelihoods. 

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