Technology

Blog readership on the decline in the UK?

Thinking about using the internet, which of the following have you used in the last 6 months? Read blogs / weblog:

March 2008 50.7%
March 2009 41.3%
July 2010 40.8%

16-54 year old active internet users in the UK, Wave 5 Social Media Tracker from Universal McCann

The small decline between 2009 and 2010 is (probably, as different sources vary in their measures and dates) counter-balanced by the increase in the absolute number of people using the internet in the UK. Even so, if the decline continues it will at some point eat into absolute numbers as well.

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7 responses to “Blog readership on the decline in the UK?”

  1. I’m generally sceptical of studies which ask people about their behaviour on this. Apart from the unreliability of what people say vs what they do, the blog question also has the issue of terminology. Many people read blogs without knowing that they’re blogs. Is the Express & Star, which runs on WordPress, a blog, for example? Or any website with recent news top?

    This year’s Ofcom report makes for more interesting reading on the creation side of things, where it appears the proportion of people willing to create content on blogs is static, and Facebook has emerged as the default content management system for publishing and sharing content. Is your Facebook page a blog? Are your updates microblogging? In which case, the numbers of people reading is increasing substantially.

    All of which can be summed up as: the word ‘blog’ is perhaps becoming less meaningful. But consumption of – and creation of – shared content is surely still growing.

  2. Good point Paul. Looking at the data part of what may be happening is that some personal blogging as a diary of your life has moved to tweets / Facebook status updates – more frequent and shorter but achieving a similar overall aim.

  3. Paul pretty much sums up my view as well. A lot of the people that aren’t reading blogs are reading Twitter, Facebook, etc. I still remember Facebooks FAQ that said “we don’t call them blogs because that would make you a blogger” in a semi-joking way. By any sane definition of the meaning of the word ‘blog’, Facebook is included. It’s definitely grown out of blogging as a structure (what with Zuckerberg having got a lot of the initial inspiration from Livejournal, including big chunks of backend code).

    Several people read, and comment, on my posts on my Facebook import rather than at source, and that’s a Good Thing. Obviously, I hope for the Salmon Protocol to work to put the conversation into one place effectively, but can’t have everything.

    Blogging, as a godawful word I’ve always hated, has had its day. Decent websites carrying news, opinion and allowing reader feedback are on the rise.

    How many Lib Dem Voice readers actually know the site is a “blog” for example? I had a blog on Livejournal for over a year before I realised that was what it was. If someone like me didn’t tie the word in with the behaviour…

  4. Lib Dem Voice is unusual in getting far more comments on the site than on Facebook. This blog is very much the other way round now, reflecting that general trend you mention Mat I think.

  5. I think those who have gone for Twitter/Facebook from blogs will wake up and realise that they have deleted their capacity for an online long term memory.

    Those who have came in to Twitter/Fb will realise that they need one.

    Blog platforms are the only viable place for that memory at present.

    They will return :-).

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