About 8 million voters read blogs in 2004
So, there's all this talk about blogs among the chattering classes of journalists and politicos. But, are real Americans actually reading and writing blogs?
Turns out, they are. According to the most-excellent Pew project on Internet & American Life, 27% of internet users read blogs. A third of blog readers read political blogs during the 2004 campaign.
That 9% readership of political blogs translates to 10.8 million people. If you assume that, say, 80% of those folks actually voted... well, that's 8.64 million voters --- almost 8% of the electorate. No hard data, but the Pew folks say "Kerry voters were a bit more likely than Bush voters to be political blog readers."
Just less than half of blog readers have also posted a comment on a blog (12% of all net users, 14.4 million) and about 7% of all internet users (8 million) have actually created their own blog.
One final astonishing thought: 62% of internet users say they don't know what "blog" means. In other words, of the 38% who do know the meaning, roughly 7 of 10 read blogs. Now, I don't expect that percentage to hold up, but as the number of folks who know "blog" approaches the number who know "google" expect actual readership to skyrocket. Even if blogs top out at 50% readership, that'll be 60 million Americans getting their news from, well, somewhere besides the local paper and the local TV airheads.
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