New Pew Blogger Study
Yesterday, the Pew Internet and American Life Project released an intriguing new report: Bloggers: A Portrait of the Internet’s New Storytellers
A few highlights:
39% of net users (about 57 million American adults) read blogs — a significant
increase since the fall of 2005. And 8% of net users (about 12 million American
adults) keep a blog.
Most US blogs are personal journals. Most bloggers do not consider their blogging journalism. However, 57% of bloggers include links to original sources either “sometimes” or “often.” And 56% spend extra time trying to verify facts they want to include in a post either “sometimes” or “often.”
54% of bloggers are under 30.
US bloggers are evenly divided between men and women — so anyone who continues to ask “where are the women bloggers?” is probably not really looking. (I’m sure this will be a huge topic of conversation at the upcoming BlogHer
conference, which I’m attending.)
These were the most common primary blog topics cited:
“My life and experiences:” 37%
Politics and government: 11%
General news and current events: 5%
Religion, spirituality or faith: 2%
Pew surveyed 7,012 US adults by phone, including 4,753 internet users, 8% of whom are bloggers.
[Keyword: online journalism, citizen journalism, podcasting]. I have a number of problems with podcasting, specifically the lack of accessibility and the fact that it’s difficult for search engines to index your content. So it’s great to read a report on Poynter on free service Podzinger which, when you register your podcast feed, grabs the audio file soon after it’s published. Poynter reports how the service
“uses some ultra-sophisticated voice recognition software to create a rough transcript.
“That transcript is rough — definitely not good enough to publish, so it’s a good thing Podzinger doesn’t publish it. However, it is good enough to yield fairly accurate search results. So anyone searching for keywords at Podzinger turns up audio files which match that query.”
Helpfully, they also suggest for vodcasters
“if you publish video content, you can still leverage Podzinger. First, create a feed and make sure that every time you produce an audio file, it gets added to that feed. For video, screencasts, etc., extract the audio in MP3 format, and then add those MP3 files to your feed. Then register that feed in Podzinger. You don’t have to advertise this feed to the general audience, you can use it just for Podzinger if you want.”
UPDATE: Poynter have added some more resources for improving audio listings from reader Anthony Anderson:
“Blinkx: Keyword searching of audio and video. Submit your site to Blinkx.
Podscope: Audio/video search engine. Like Podzinger, but it’s been around longer. Podscope powers AOL’s podcast search. Submit your site to Podscope.
TVeyes: Fee-based service (real-time transcript searching of network TV, local stations, NPR, and more). Parent of Podscope. Also offers a free keyword
search service for full text (transcript search) of Web-based news video. “
[Keyword: online journalism, citizen journalism]. Dan Gillmor comments on the move by CNN to use clips from video sharing sites like YouTube. I’ve been surprised how slow media giants have been to develop an interest in what is potentially free content, but as Dan points out, the question now is whether content developers will look to get paid for their content.
“”Best of” compilations of the top 10 O’Clock News and Newsnight stories will be available for download, and the recently launched Story Fix, a snappy round up of the week on the News 24 website, will be adapted for vodcasting.
“The BBC has also been working on a morning show, with the working title The Breakfast Takeaway, which will headline the agenda for the day and serve as a briefing.”
“This year’s finalists include a searchable Congress database, run by The Washington Post, which contains every recorded vote in the US House and Senate since January 1991.
“The Transparent Newsroom project run by the Spokane Spokesman-Review was nominated for webcasting its daily news meetings and offering online chats where readers can criticise news coverage or pose questions.The newspaper’s website also posts raw documents, such as interview transcripts and even handwritten reporter
“Nominee Global Voices Online is network of global news run by multilingual editors who present and translate citizen news from outside North America and Western
“HealthNewsReview is a clearinghouse for health news to help journalists write accurate medical reports and consumers find useful health news.
“Developed by the Sarasota Herald-Tribune to track tropical storm and hurricane activity, IBISEYE.com calculates specific buildings that are at risk as well as reporting actual storm damage in Florida.Users can also track storms, submit their own forecasts, assess possible damage.
“Bakersfield Californian‘s social media platform, Bakomatic, a MySpace-like social network, was nominated for dedicating itself to solely cover Bakersfield, California, allowing residents to submit stories, photos and events for publication.
The final nominee TCDailyPlanet – a local news website for Minneapolis and St Paul, Minnesota – brings together over 35 local and ethnic news organisations and trains citizens to participate and contribute to the news.”
[Keyword: online journalism]. Interesting diversion from the recent decision taken by the Guardian and Times to publish some stories online first. The Press Gazette quotes the Independent editor Simon Kelner as saying “If you have an exclusive story at five o’clock to go in the following day’s newspaper, the idea that you would put it on the website for nothing strikes me as complete madness.”
Is this a wilful misunderstanding of what other papers are doing, or does Kelner genuinely believe that The Guardian would do that? Those newspapers who are publishing online first have already said they wouldn’t do so for an “exclusive”.
Similarly, Kelner argues “There is absolutely no model for a newspaper website to make money, and conversely what it can do is hit the value and currency of the printed product.”
Again, this seems to show a lack of awareness of the massive rise in online advertising revenue over the past couple of years, a rise that even managed to wake the techno-unfriendly Murdoch from his slumber into buying MySpace and urging his newspapers to embrace the web. As advertising flees from print, the canniest newspapers are protecting their territory by being able to offer advertisers an extended – and expanding – audience online.
The value that a website can add to the printed brand is also born out by the Guardian and Times’ decision to publish in America, a market where they already have an extensive online readership. Your website is not only part of your brand, but also part of your service. And The Independent’s flat, largely uninteractive site (how about this: a quiz you can’t take part in) does not do justice to the high quality of journalism and design in its printed version. What a shame.
“The debate, in Parliament, will pose questions such as whether the Speaker should register with FaceBook, or if GoogleVideo is a good place to webcast select committee meetings”