Monday, June 30, 2008

Who reads blogs anyway?

I have to admit that for a long time I've been a blog skeptic.

Who actually sits down at their computer to read someone else's personal journal?

I think this has been one of the barriers I had towards blogging myself - I felt that I'd get better mileage out of talking ideas through with individuals face-to-face, or speaking at conferences, which I try to do a couple of times each year.

However I've seen decent growth in the readership of my own blog, which 'lives' within quite a niche topic in the weeks - not months - it has been live. It is already reaching 80 or more individuals each day.

The top blogs in Australia and the US are now close to rivaling the level of readership of print publication transplanted to the web.

Taking a quick look around the web, I've seen some compelling figures on the number of internet users accessing blogs, such as from Forrester, who published the following table in their Groundswell report.

If you consider that Australia is more like Britain, but has touches of the US, lets say that around 14% of our online population read blogs at least once a month.

Based on an internet using adult population of 13 million, that's roughly 1.7 million people per month, as of a year ago (Q2 2007).

Those figures may not light up your world, but I find them fairly impressive given that blogs only really became reality around 10 years ago.

More recent figures are even more impressive.

In Charlene Li's blog there's a great video interview talking more about various approaches being taken by companies. Charlene is a co-writer of Groundswell and one of Forrester's lead analysts on the topic of social media).

There's also a social media profiling tool where you can review engagement by demographic group - including for Australia. The difference between under 35 years and over is profound.

I've been so impressed with the work done by Forrester in this area that I'm buying copies of the book, Groundswell, for our senior executive team.

So are you blogging yet?

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