Sala de Prensa

Noviembre 2009
Año XI, Vol. 5





State of the Blogosphere 2009


Welcome to Technorati’s State of the Blogosphere 2009 report Since 2004, our annual study has followed the growth and trends in the blogosphere. For the second time, we surveyed bloggers directly. They were generous with their thoughts and insights. Thanks to all of the bloggers who took the time to respond to our survey.

In a world that’s constantly changing — shocked by financial catastrophe and political upheaval, yet still moving faster every day — not much is constant. But as the 2009 State of the Blogosphere survey demonstrates, the growth of the blogosphere's influence on subjects ranging from business to politics to the way information travels through communities continues to flourish. In a year when revolutions and elections were organized by blogs, bloggers are blogging more than ever, and the State of the Blogosphere is strong.

Indeed, it’s so strong that the attitudes held by bloggers don’t differ very much by age or gender, or even across geographies — which is why we’ve decided to display the results of the survey according to four different types of bloggers:

Hobbyists. Representing 72% of the respondents to this survey, hobbyists say that they blog for fun. They don’t make any money from their blogging - and only some would like to do so. More than any other group, though, Hobbyists say they blog to express their “personal musings” (53%). 71% update at least weekly, while 22% update daily. Because 76% blog to speak their minds, their main success metric is personal satisfaction (76%).

When we refer to professionals as a whole, we’re talking about the next three subgroups. All three are making at least some money blogging, and are looking to their blogs at least in part to further their business objectives.

Part-Timers. The next largest cohort, at 15%, part-timers say they “blog to supplement their income, but don’t consider it a full time job.” 75% of them blog to share their expertise, while 72% blog to attract new clients for their business. Their business and personal motives for blogging are deeply entwined - while 61% say that they measure the success of their blog by the unique pageviews they attract, 60% say they also value personal satisfaction.

Self-Employeds. At 9% of respondents, self-employeds are in many ways the most professional of the cohorts. They say they "blog full time for their own company or organization," and 10% do report blogging 40 hours per week or more. 22% say that their blog is their company, while 70% say they own a company and blog about their business. Self-employeds also privilege page views (63%) over personal satisfaction (53%) as a success metric, and 53% are blogging more than when they started. Finally, in a demographic (bloggers) awash with Twitter users, self-employeds are the Tweetiest of them all — 88% say they use the service.

Pros. The smallest cohort, representing just 4% of respondents, pros say they “blog full-time for a company or organization” — though actually very few of them actually report spending a full 40 hours per week blogging. 46% are blogging more than they did when they started. 70% blog to share expertise; 53% blog to attract new clients for the business they work for. Accordingly, pageviews are the most important success metric for pros, valued by 69%, compared to 53% for personal satisfaction.

With the blogosphere filled with several different growing groups, there are also several trends on the rise. Professional bloggers grow more prolific, and influential, every year. Twitter and other social media represent one of the most important trends affecting the Blogosphere this year. The blogosphere is also further insinuating itself into the traditional media’s historic turf, as seen most clearly in coverage of the Iran election protests. With more areas of involvement, and more ways to tell the story, the blogosphere is strong - and only getting stronger.

Last year, in addition to analyzing data from Technorati’s index, we surveyed bloggers directly for the first time. The prevalent themes we found in 2008 were:

• In social media, the content is the conversation
• Blogs are media
• Brands are in the blogosphere
• A strong presence of a rising class of professional bloggers

So what’s different for 2009?

• We took a deeper dive into the entire blogosphere, with a focus on professional bloggers
• Professional blogging activities
• Brands in the blogosphere
• Monetization
• Twitter & micro-blogging
• Bloggers impact on US and World events
• Our largest survey ever conducted by market research firm Penn Schoen and Berland: 2,900 bloggers
• Interviews and profiles of some of the leading professional bloggers
• In addition to Technorati index data, we’re also looking at data from search tool provider Lijit.


Penn, Schoen and Berland Associates, conducted an Internet survey from September 4-23, 2009 among 2,828 bloggers nationwide. The margin of error for the survey is +/- 1.84% at the 95% confidence level and larger for subgroups. The following audiences are included throughout this report:

• All: Entire sample of bloggers
• Hobbyists (72%)
• Part-Timers (15%)
• Corporate (4%)
• Self Employeds (9%)

Technorati data was collected from Technorati’s index.

Lijit collected data for the 2009 State of the Blogosphere report was from two primary sources. The first is the 11,000 active Lijit publishers that have the Lijit Search Widget installed on their blog. The second is the network of 2.5M blogs that those 11,000 blogs connect to via their Blogroll and other social network connections tracked by Lijit.

Who Are The Bloggers?

Overall, bloggers are a highly educated and affluent group. Nearly half of all bloggers we surveyed have earned a graduate degree, and the majority have a household income of $75,000 per year or higher. As blogging is now firmly a part of the mainstream, we see that the average blogger has three or more blogs and has been blogging for two or more years. We are also noticing an ever-increasing overlap between blogging and mainstream media.

So who are the bloggers? Let's delve into the demographics:

• Two-thirds are male
• 60% are 18-44
• The majority are more affluent and educated than the general population
    ? 75% have college degrees
    ? 40% have graduate degrees
    ? One in three has an annual household income of $75K+
    ? One in four has an annual household income of $100K+
    ? Professional and self-employed bloggers are more affluent: nearly half have an annual household income of $75,000 and one third topped the $100,000 level
• More than half are married
• More than half are parents
• Half are employed full time, however ¾ of professional bloggers are employed full time.

The percentage of bloggers with more schooling increases with just about every educational milestone. The portion does decrease with those who have completed "some graduate work," perhaps due in part to their notorious workload.

Of the respondents, one in three bloggers has an annual household income of $75,000. One in four earns over $100,000.

Although our survey was only administered in English, bloggers responded from 50 countries, with nearly half from the United States.

Overall, bloggers in the US are pretty evenly distributed across the country. The states with the highest concentrations of bloggers are:

California: 16%
New York: 9%
Florida: 5%
Texas: 5%
Washington: 5%
Massachusetts: 4%
Virginia: 4%

Over the past several years, we’ve seen blogging move firmly into the mainstream. Half of bloggers who responded are working on at least their second blog, and 68% have been blogging for two years or more.

86% have been blogging for at least a year. About half of respondents have written blogs before the one the one they write now, as have 60% of the self-employed.

The bloggers we surveyed have an average of three or four blogs.

With blogging so widely adopted, we are continuing to focus on the active blogosphere. The trends, stories, and behaviors here influence not only the rest of the blogosphere but mainstream media as well.

Bloggers and Traditional Media

As the concepts of blogging and mainstream media continue to converge, it’s not surprising that there is quite a bit of overlap between the two entities. Despite being perceived by some as enemies of the traditional media, bloggers actually carry a journalistic pedigree. 35 percent of all respondents have worked within the traditional media as a writer, reporter, producer, or on-air personality.

By way of contrast, consider that less than 1% of the US labor force was employed as a journalist in 2006. Monthly magazines and daily newspapers are the best-represented types of media outlets among those bloggers who have worked in the traditional media, with radio a strong third.

And the true overlap reveals itself in the 27 percent of respondents who both blog and work in traditional media.

Despite “the sky is falling” rhetoric, respondents do not regard the rise of online media and blogging as the death knell for newspapers or other traditional media. Bloggers do agree their medium is ascendant and 69% agree that blogs are getting taken more seriously as information sources. At the same time, only 35% of this audience gets its news and information from blogs more than from other media sources now, and only 31% believe that newspapers will not be able to survive in the next ten years.

The media picture is therefore muddled: bloggers know they are picking up steam but seem reluctant to claim media hegemony. Maybe it’s because so many used to be traditional journalists...

Media Habits of Bloggers

Television, blogs and social media were the top three media consumed – though the actions necessary for the creation of social media, such as sharing searches (2.58 hours per week among all) or videos (1.69 hours per week among all) are not themselves as popular as passive readership. Respondents also report spending a significant amount of time per week reading physical newspapers – but only 2/3 the amount of time they spend reading newspapers online.

Among media activities, social media is preeminent on mobile devices, though reading blogs is a strong second. Given that podcasts grew up specifically around mobile devices and that Internet radio has recently been optimized for performance in the mobile space, bloggers report devoting surprisingly little time to them on the go.

The What and Why of Blogging

Self-expression and sharing expertise continue to be the primary motivations for bloggers, and 70% of all respondents say that personal satisfaction is a way they measure the success of their blog. Among Pros, however, the leading metric of success is the number of unique visitors. Hobbyist bloggers overwhelmingly blog about personal musings while professional and aspiring professional bloggers tend to be more topical. Hobbyists are also far more likely to discuss the political aspects of their topics while Pros and Self-Employeds do so very rarely. Tone is decidedly professional. Contrary to blogging’s image as a circular firing gallery, the majority of bloggers describe their blogging style as sincere, conversational or expert. Snarky and confessional are the least popular styles.

The rise of the professional blogger continues. 70% of Part-Timers, Pros, and Self-Employeds are blogging more than ever, while Hobbyists are blogging somewhat less. The key driver of decreased blogging is an increase of work and family commitments (64%). 30% of those who are blogging less say it’s because they are devoting more time to microblogging and social networks. Bloggers describe significant, positive impacts on their personal lives, but even more bloggers have experienced positive career and business impacts. 70% say that they are better known in their industry because of their blog.

Blogs continue to be defined in a sense by the personal narrative, with 45% of all respondents (but only 12% of Pros) reporting that they blog about their “personal musings.” The diversity of the blogosphere, and the passion for sometimes very niche topics, is also reflected in this question – even given 23 choices including most broad fields of inquiry, 30% of respondents say that their primary subject is “Other.”

50% of bloggers discuss the political aspects of their preferred topics, but the rate goes down dramatically among Pros (37%) and Self-Employeds (35%). The same trend can be observed when respondents are asked whether they blog about the social or environmental aspects of their topics – 74% of bloggers generally do so, but only 66% of Pros wade into discussions about the environment.

For most bloggers (81%), even if the economic downturn has disrupted lifestyles or lives it has not changed the kind of topics or themes they write about. However, some are blogging more about the economy or focusing more on value.

Given the personal nature of so many blogs, and the passion for their subject matter, it’s not surprising that 70% of all respondents say that personal satisfaction is a way they measure the success of their blog, including 76% of hobbyists. Among Pros, the leading metric of success is the number of unique visitors, followed by the number of posts or comments.

Contrary to blogging’s image as a circular firing gallery, bloggers are most likely to describe themselves as “sincere” (75%). Just 16% describe themselves as snarky.

Motivations and Consequences Generally, respondents say that they blog for one of three distinct reasons: speaking one’s mind; sharing expertise and experiences with family and friends (old and new); and making money or doing business.

Over half of the corporate bloggers blog to attract new clients for their business, while most part-timers (61%) want to make additional money and almost three quarters self-employed bloggers try to draw in new customers for their business. But no matter the type of blogger, the most important reason for them all is either to share their experience and expertise or to speak their mind.

Perhaps because of the emphasis on speaking one’s mind in the blogosphere, 30% of respondents say it’s at least somewhat important that they conceal their real identity on their blog; the leading reason for anonymity is that bloggers are concerned that family or friends could be exposed or harassed as a result of their writing. 19% are concerned that their employers might disapprove of their views.

63% of respondents say that blogging has led them to become more involved with things they’re passionate about as a result of blogging. Respondents report that blogging has had chiefly positive impacts on their personal lives; just 6% say that relationships with friends or family members have suffered as a result of blogging, while 42% have become friends with someone they’ve met in person through their blog.

In addition to its positive personal impacts, bloggers have experienced positive career impacts. 58% say that they are better-known in their industry because of their blog, and 15% s say that they have more executive visibility within their company as a result of blogging. Bloggers see significant business benefits as well.

Plans for the Future

Blogging is on an upward trajectory in many ways - 57% say that their future plans include blogging even more (including 74% of 18-24 year olds) - 35% - including 43% of part-timers – plan to publish a book. - Mobile blogging will continue to expand as well, as 20% plan to do so in the future.

The rise of the professional blogger continues. Part-Timers, Pros, and Self-Employeds are blogging as much as or more than ever (73%, 76% and 80%,

respectively), while Hobbyists are blogging somewhat less.

Respondents who are blogging more often are doing so primarily because they enjoy interacting with the audience they’ve found (59%) and other bloggers (46%). Business impact is less of a broad driver, though 74% of Self-Employeds say that it has proven valuable.

The key driver of decreased blogging is an increase of work and family commitments, which is reported as a factor by 64% of those who are blogging less. 34% of those who are blogging less say it’s because they are devoting more time to microblogging services such as Twitter, and 32% blame the time they spend on social networks.

That is what they blog about, and why they do what they do. But how do they pull this off?

The How Of Blogging

As one may think, the most read and highest Authority blogs post more than the average blogger. The majority of our respondents use RSS, tags, and are aware of their blogging platform and how much traffic their blog receives.

Levels of active bloggers remain similar to 2008. As with most mediums, the level of commitment varies widely.

15% of bloggers spend 10 or more hours each week blogging. This number goes up dramatically with 24% of Part-Timers, 25% of Pros and 32% of Self-Employed bloggers spending 10 or more hours blogging.


One in five bloggers report updating on a daily basis. The most common rate of updating is 2-3 times per week. On the whole, Self-Employeds update more often than other types of bloggers.

When looking at bloggers by Technorati Authority, higher Authority bloggers are much more prolific content creators, posting nearly 300 times more than lower ranked bloggers.

The majority of blogs use tags (85%). The most popular tags are general, broad appeal categories:

• politics
• blogging
• video
• writing and poetry
• technology
• business
• friends
• blog
• romance and relationships
• sports
• family
• travel
• entertainment
• movies
• personal
• internet
• books
• art
• photography
• games

The Technology of Blogging

Bloggers are very familiar with the technology they use to publish on the Internet. Only 2% of all respondents say that they don’t know how their blog was built. And a healthy 13% say that they built their blogs themselves from scratch. But by far the most common blogging solution is to use a free third party hosting service, as 59% of respondents report having done.

In keeping with the finding that the vast majority of bloggers who use third party hosting services use a free one, respondents say that the most important factor in their decision-making process is cost, followed closely by features. Only about a third of all respondents, across audiences, say that the Community offered by a particular hosting service was an extremely or very important aspect when they were choosing where to build their blog.

82% of respondents say that they post photos to their blog, making them the most popular form of multimedia. Video, which nearly half of all respondents use, is the next most popular. Conversely, 13% of all respondents say that they never post any media to their blogs, preferring to just use text. Of those who use media, 73% say that that they also create the photos, video, or audio they post themselves about half of the time.

Use of particular blogging tools, including archiving posts by date or category (83%), commenting systems (82%), and built in-syndication, is as widespread as might be expected given the consolidation of blogs within a handful of popular hosting services. Of those who use syndication, 75% include full content.

20% of all users report having updating their blog or adding content from their mobile device, and 59% percent report doing so at least somewhat more this year than they did last year. Apple, Nokia, and Blackberry manufacture the most popular devices for this purpose.

The number of blogs in the average Blogroll is 47, a surprisingly high number. Source: Lijit

Traffic & Analysis

76% of respondents say that they list their blog on Technorati in order to attract more visitors. Other audience-building methods include tagging blog posts (particularly popular among Pros, at 83%), commenting on other blogs, and listing blogs on Google. Fewer than 10% of bloggers say they don’t know the traffic to their blogs. Bloggers participate in an average of 5 activities to drive traffic to their blogs.


On average 27% of a blogs page views come as referrals from a horizontal search engine.

The technology vertical saw the highest percent of page views from search engine referrals at 41%. (Correspondingly, Technorati sees the highest numbers of spam blogs, or splogs, in the technology category).

The percent of page views that come from search engine referrals is fairly constant with the audience size of the publication. The exception to this is smaller blogs of less than 100 page views a day that receive a slightly larger than average percent of page views from search engine referrals at around 30%.

It’s unclear why smaller blogs get a larger percent of page views from search engine referrals than larger blogs, but may be linked to the ever-growing query length of horizontal search engine queries. According to a Hitwise January 2009 Search report, over 50% of search queries now consist of 3 terms or more on the major horizontal search engines. This suggests that as the length of the average query string gets longer, more referrals get passed to smaller publications due to the specificity of the queries. This is a positive trend for smaller publishers.

As a rule, bloggers are keeping an eye on their audience - 74% of all respondents, including 85% of Part-Timers and 77% of Self-Employeds, use a third party service to track their site traffic. Google Analytics is by far the most popular tool in the space.

The three most popular third party services reported by bloggers are:

Google Analytics: 55
Sitemeter: 15
Statcounter: 14

As Lijit crawls blogs, they track the widgets and tags they find on those publications. For the first time Quantcast overtook Google Analytics as the most frequent analytics tag found on blogs. However, bloggers report the highest usage of Google Analytics – this suggests a low awareness among bloggers that their third party hosting services are using Quantcast to measure traffic.

And that's how the blogging world goes 'round. But how do blogs get monetized? How are brands built in the blogosphere?

Blogging Revenues, Brands and Blogs

More bloggers than ever are making money from blogs, however they are not the majority. Most bloggers who are making money from their blogs are generally doing so as entrepreneurs by hosting advertising on their own sites and by using their blogs to drive speaking engagements and traditional media assignments. Some bloggers are even reporting profits that place them squarely in the middle class, so the rise of the professional blogger is clearly underway, but still evolving.

72% of respondents are classified as Hobbyists, meaning that they report no income related to blogging.

Of those who have monetized their blogging to at least some extent:

• 54% are Part-Timers
• 32% are Self-Employeds
• 14% are Corporates

Because Corporates report working for an organization or company, while Part-Timers and Self-Employeds run their own organizations and companies, we asked the two subgroups different questions about how they monetize their blogs.

Part-Timers and Self-Employeds say that the main ways they generate revenue are through display and search ads, as well as through affiliate marketing links. 15% say they are paid to give speeches on the topics they blog about.

Among Pro and Self-Employed bloggers, 17% of the total respondents derive their primary income from blogging.

We asked Part-Timers and Self-Employeds who generate revenue through advertising (approximately 40% of such bloggers) to estimate their annual revenues from advertising.

51% of Corporates – 58 respondents – report receiving a salary for blogging. This result is highly directional, but given the small size of the overall cohort of Corporates, worth noting. Too few bloggers to report say that they are paid by the post.

Of course, advertising, salaries, and per-post fees are just part of the complex way in which bloggers are remunerated. Much blog-related revenue is realized in the form of speaking fees and payments for contributing to print media or participating in broadcasts. To account for this, we asked respondents to indicate whether they gained revenue from any streams not included in our questions – which many did.

Across audiences who make money from blogging, the main positive revenues (not including salaries) are as follows:

Of course, revenues aren’t all positive. Bloggers – including Hobbyists – also report significant annual investments in their blogs. As employees of companies, Corporates were not asked about their personal expenditures on the assumption that blog construction, hosting and maintenance would fall to their employers. Evaluating positive and negative cashflows, we see that the mean profits for blogs with reported revenues is $57,369.20.

Remembering that a substantial majority of the blogosphere is essentially hobbyist in nature is an important part of understanding why many blogs are not ad-supported.

The hobbyist ethos is even evident among many Part-Timers and Self-Employeds who generate revenue from advertising – 89% of whom believe that it is important that the advertising placed on their blogs align with their values.

The divide observed earlier featuring Corporates on one side and Part Timers and Self-Employeds on another, is particularly visible in each subgroup’s approach to managing advertising on their blogs. Part-Timers and Self-Employeds rely on self-serve tools to offer contextual ads or pay per click ads on their blogs, while Corporates mainly rely on dedicated ad sales teams.

Self-Employed bloggers are the most likely to sell their inventory through a blog-focused ad network, as well as to use afilate links. Self serve ad platforms are most popular with Part-Timers and Self-Employed bloggers – with more than 2 out of 3 bloggers using them. Overall, the number of bloggers using ad networks or blog ad networks to sell their advertising inventory has increased since 2008.

According to Lijit, comparing 2008 to 2009 there has been a 68% increase in the number blogs with ad tags installed. This indicates to that monetizing blogs is high on the priority list of most publishers. Last year Lijit found that Google Ad tags made up 67% of the tags found. This year that percentage has dropped to 47%, indicating publishers are experimenting with other ad networks.

Finally, when it comes to specific ad types, Rich Media ads have achieved levels of moderate penetration, while Interstitial and Pop-up ads are relatively uncommon in the blogosphere.

Brands in the Blogosphere

When it comes to brands, 70% of bloggers are talking about them. 46% of respondents post about the brands they love (or hate), while and 38% post brand or product reviews. Part-Timers, and Self-Employed bloggers are talking about brands at a much higher rate (80%), with one in three posting reviews at least once a week.

Company Blogging

Excluding hobbyists – who are not monetizing their blogging, and many of whom don’t wish to do so – 14% of respondents maintain a blog for a company.

71% of all respondents who maintain blogs for a business – their own or one they work for – report that they have increased their visibility within their industries through their blogs. 56% say that their blog has helped their company establish a positioning as a thought leader within the industry.

In addition to its positive business impacts, bloggers have experienced positive career impacts. 58% say that they are better-known in their industry because of their blog, and 15% say that they have more executive visibility within their company as a result of blogging.

What does the future contain for the blogosphere? And what's all the commotion about this thing called Twitter?

Twitter, Global Impact and the Future Of Blogging

On this, our final day of the study, we’ll examine two of the leading blogosphere trends for 2009. The use of Twitter, and the impact that bloggers had on political events in the US and around the world.


Bloggers use Twitter much more than does the general population. In a poll conducted by Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates in May 2009 for The Wall Street Journa’s “All Things D” conference, just 14% of the general population used Twitter – but 73% of respondents in this survey do (including 83% of Corporates and 88% of Self-Employeds). Those who use Twitter say they do so to promote their blogs, bring interesting links to light, and to understand what people are buzzing about. 50% of Part Timers say they use Twitter to market their businesses. Other uses of Twitter, like interacting with companies (24%), politicians (11%), and celebrities (9%), are much less popular.

52% syndicate their blog posts to their Twitter Account, and 41% do so while also posting tweets that are not associated with their blogs. Twitter usage appears to be most pronounced among 18-24 (52%) and 25-34 (47%) year olds.

26% of bloggers who also use Twitter say that the service has eaten into the time they spend updating their traditional blogs – though 65% say it has had no effect.

Even among the technologically sophisticated audience of bloggers, 35% of those who do not use Twitter say it’s because they do not understand the point . And 54% report that they don’t feel the need to broadcast their life, despite the popularity of “personal musings” as a blog topic.

Twitter and Blogs

Lijit tells us that blogs with greater than 100 page views a day received on average .83% of their page views from Twitter referrals. This referral percentage was constant as the audience size of the blog increased.

The most common user generated content source included within a Lijit Search profile is Twitter. Twitter was also by far the fastest growing content source to be included by bloggers.

Blogging’s Global Impact and the Future of Blogging

By Dave Hughes, Business Manager and Robert Kellman, Middle East Business Director, Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates

As blogs mature and their influence and readership grow, the medium is emerging as a powerful tool for journalists and activists alike.

Perhaps nowhere was blogging’s growing influence more apparent than during this year’s protests of the presidential election in Iran. Reporters Without Borders has described Iran as “the biggest prison for journalists in the Middle East,” and over forty newspapers have been banned there in the last five years. During the contested Iranian elections earlier this year, Iran banned journalists from moving around the country and blocked Facebook, Twitter, and a host of other popular websites. In this setting, disenfranchised Iranis have often turned to the blogosphere to engage in commentary critical of the regime. However, this tactic is not without its risks, as in 2003 Iran became the first nation to imprison a blogger for blogging. Nevertheless many bloggers see the protests of the Iranian revolution as a watershed moment for the medium – deeming the blogosphere both a key driver of the protests and a news source more reliable than the traditional media on the topic.

In the United States, blogging was an integral piece of the 2008 presidential campaign, where it was a key forum for citizen commentary on everything from Sarah Palin’s clothes to healthcare policy. On average, respondents think that the blogosphere was as accurate as traditional media sources on the presidential election and that it was, in some cases, much more up to date. Further, many bloggers believe that blogging was a big reason Obama enjoyed a significant fundraising advantage throughout the campaign. While only 15% of bloggers believe blogs were the deciding factor in Obama’s victory, nearly 3 in 5 believe their political influence will grow substantially as we move closer to the 2012 campaign.

When it comes to complex policy issues, the blogosphere’s impact is immediate and noticeable. Many bloggers have written about the current financial crisis and subsequent global bailouts. The blogosphere helped interpret the economic chaos for a nervous and confused public and often served to humanize the policy discussions taking place around the world. But the blogosphere can, in some contexts, be double-edged: with a sizable minority relying on the blogosphere for up to the minute news regarding the financial crisis, some believe that the blogosphere actually contributed to a sense of panic and exacerbated the financial crisis.

What the Data Says

Bloggers believe that politics and business are among the fields most impacted by the blogosphere, and that they will continue to be transformed by the blogosphere going forward.

Even though politics and business are significant drivers of the conversation in the blogosphere, it’s important to remember that it is large and diverse – as demonstrated by the relatively small percentage of bloggers who wrote about the US Presidential election, the financial crisis, and the Iranian election protests.

Nevertheless, bloggers believe their influence as voices for dissent around the world is growing. 51% believe it will be a more effective tool to voice dissent in the future and 39% believe blogs made the Iranian protests earlier this year more effective.

More people relied upon the traditional media (30%) for coverage and analysis of the 2008 United States presidential campaign than relied on the blogosphere (24%), but 60% believe that the blogosphere will have a greater impact on the election in 2012. Respondents also think that the blogosphere was about as reliable and accurate as was the traditional media during the election. But though 46% believe that blogs were a big reason why Barack Obama had a fundraising advantage during the election, only 15% agree that the blogosphere was the deciding factor in his defeat of John McCain.

38% believe that the blogosphere will have a greater impact on individuals’ understanding of the financial markets in the future than it did during the financial crisis. But the traditional media is still a favored source for financial coverage, with 28% of respondents naming it as a reliable source of information – compared to only 14% for blogs. During the crisis, respondents believe that the traditional media was only slightly more accurate than were blogs during the crisis and 21% think that the blogosphere actually contributed to an atmosphere of panic during the crisis.


The Internet in general and blogging in particular have expanded the marketplace of ideas into the global community. By encouraging discussion and collaboration, blogs contribute to rapid identification of situations that need to be addressed.

More generally, blogging is the next step in a process of advancing communication from radio to TV to internet messaging. The breadth and depth of the blogosphere allows sophisticated information – and special expertise – enhanced range. Comments and follow-up posts allow for original ideas to be refined and perfected even as they are spreading around the world. This gives blogs a power that TV and radio simply don’t have. A blogger can call for a protest and, within minutes, hundreds of people can RSVP.

While blog postings often focus on the local issues of the specific blogger, the audience of such blogs is much less limited than other forms of media have been historically. An internet-connected world has expanded the marketplace of ideas available to any individual anywhere. Importantly, the converse of this is also true: any individual anywhere can speak on any topic to a rapt global community.

All of this has converged into a new trend driven by the blogosphere: the globalization of freedom of speech, leading to a more informed, more tolerant, more democratic society. As blogs gain traction amongst a wider and more educated following, their essence as an ungoverned, uncontrolled medium for exchange will continue to grow beyond the reach of borders and governments. The next generation of blogs will be more action oriented, not just commenting on real time events, but driving those events.

Published: October 19, 2009 at 6:00 am

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SdP no sería posible sin la colaboración de una serie de profesionales y académicos que generosamente nos han enviado artículos, ponencias y ensayos, o bien han autorizado la reproducción de sus textos; algunos de los cuales son traducciones libres. Por supuesto, SdP respeta en todo momento las leyes de propiedad intelectual, y en estas páginas aparecen detallados los datos relativos al copyright -si lo hubiera-, independientemente del copyright propio de todo el material de Sala de Prensa. Prohibida la reproducción total o parcial de los contenidos de Sala de Prensa sin la autorización expresa del Consejo Editorial. Los textos firmados son responsabilidad de su autor y no reflejan necesariamente el criterio institucional de SdP. Para la reproducción de material con copyright propio es necesaria, además, la autorización del autor y/o editor original.