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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Who has time to read blogs?

“Who has time to read blogs?” asked one of my colleagues. She went on to guess that blogs can’t have very many readers, since no one has time to read them.

“Actually,” I replied, “some blogs have large numbers of readers. Not my blog, of course, but I’m sure I can find the stats. More to the point, it’s just not reasonable to question who has time to read blogs, when you don’t wonder who has time to watch television. The average American surely spends many hours a week watching TV, reading newspapers and magazines, visiting cnn.com, and so forth. Why shouldn’t you get some of your news and entertainment from blogs instead of from TV?”

According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, 32,000,000 Americans are blog readers:
8 million American adults say they have created blogs; blog readership jumped 58% in 2004 and now stands at 27% of internet users; 5% of internet users say they use RSS aggregators or XML readers to get the news and other information delivered from blogs and content-rich Web sites as it is posted online; and 12% of internet users have posted comments or other material on blogs. Still, 62% of internet users do not know what a blog is.
It turns out to be very difficult to discover the most popular blogs. It’s easy to find out how many sites link to a specific blog — although even then we find that lists aren’t comprehensive — but it’s not so easy to count eyeballs. The data source that seems closest to being reliable is The Truth Laid Bear, which cites the following as the top ten:
  1. Drew Curtis' FARK.com 1064063 visits/day
  2. Daily Kos: Diaries 540623 visits/day
  3. Daily Kos: State of the Nation 507170 visits/day
  4. Overheard in the UK 457291 visits/day
  5. Gizmodo, The Gadget Blog 348256 visits/day
  6. Gawker, Manhattan Media News and Gossip 283158 visits/day
  7. Defamer, the L.A. Gossip Rag 194872 visits/day
  8. Eschaton 139789 visits/day
  9. Instapundit.com 133498 visits/day
  10. Pink Is The New Blog | Fingers Firmly On The Pulse
So apparently there’s no blog that gets more than 3% of those 32 million blog readers, but a couple of million eyeballs for a single blog is still pretty impressive!

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