Blog Numbers and the General Public

The Wall Street Journal’s Carl Bialik has another great column today, this time about the numbers of Americans who are blog-aware. According to a survey (conducted online),

…80% of Americans know what a blog is, nearly half have visited one and 8% maintain their own blog.

I think these numbers may be off by quite a bit. I would guess that far fewer than 80% of Americans know what a blog is (the study didn’t give parameters, just asked a yes or no question). Seriously, how many times have you answered “yes” when someone asked you if you knew what something was, just because you didn’t want to admit to them that you didn’t know.

Also, I’d bet that more than half of internet users have visited a blog, but they may not know that they were visiting a blog. I have a few other blogs that I run, and based on the search engine terms that lead people there and their click behavior after they arrive, most of them aren’t very web savvy. Of course, that is all demographic dependent. Most visitors to this blog are pretty savvy.

So what are the real numbers? My initial guess is that these numbers are reversed. I would guess that around 50% know what a blog is, and 80% (or more) have visited one. 8%of Americans maintaining thier own? That one I have a tough time believing. Holding a wet finger in the air, I’d say that could be off by as much as a factor of ten.

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