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March 12, 2005

Gallup Poll: Downplaying the Growth of Blogs

Michael writes to say:

What they show is that in 2004, only 3% of those surveyed said that they turn to the Internet for their news. Now this Blog survey comes out, and they use the big numbers from Cable, Broadcast News, print media and such to dwarf the Blog numbers. But looking at that 3% and comparing it with the bigger numbers from the survey... you get 3% last year compared with... 13% [now]. [Number-crunching deleted.]

That's the number they are hiding (i.e., not pointing out in the press release). I am really disappointed in Gallup for this huge mistake (or rather their lack of comparing the numbers and pointing out the significance of this change).

I did a significance test on the two numbers, and the 3% to 13% is significant (i.e., beyond the margin of error at that percentage for the sample size and for the population for both surveys).

The number is huge. And they ought to be ashamed of themselves for not pointing out the half-full-glass side of the story.

They shouldn't be in the spin business (that's CNN's job), they should be in the data gathering and interpretation business. And this trend is HUGE.

Should have posted this the moment I received it so that I could have avoided being scooped by Kaus and Mystery Pollster, who come to the same conclusions.

Big Buried Numbers Update: 21% of those aged 18-to-29 read blogs at least once a month.

That's what Michael was getting at with "the trend is HUGE." The younger the age cohort, the bigger the blog readership; more than one-fifth of younger people are fairly regular blog readers.

And really, this dealio hasn't been going on very long at all yet.

This is annoying, and yet demonstrates some upside for the dextrosphere:

Gallup finds no gender differences in blog readership, or according to party affiliation. There are slight differences by political outlook, as about a quarter of liberals (24%) say they read blogs at least monthly, compared with 15% of conservatives and 12% of moderates.

Only 15% of conservatives as opposed to nearly a quarter of liberals? There's obviously room for growth on the right side of the blogosphere.

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posted by Ace at 03:32 AM

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