9% ain’t nothing to me

Alex Halavais has a great post reflecting on the Chicago Tribune’s declaration that “blogging is dead”:

… they argue that blogs are only read by 9% of Internet users. Email (87%) and making travel arrangements (52%) far outstrip it. This really mucks up all those predictions that blog-reading would replace travel planning and emailing. […]

Of course Desperate Housewives is watched by a smaller number, but it’s not dead yet. The Tribune itself has a readership much, much smaller than that, and shrinking. Heck, newspaper readership has a three-decade downward readership trend. Maybe they should turn their gaze a bit closer to home.

A similar question regarding blogs was posed several years ago at a panel at the Association of Internet Researchers.

“Why should we bother teaching our students about something that only 1% of the population do?” came the question about the then newly reported Pew data on blogs. I wrote up an answer to that back in 2003 & agree with it today.

I just wrapped up a survey of academics and professionals in the information industry. I’m not normally one to post data pre-publication on my blog, but I think I’ll share some of the basic trends here in the next few days.

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