Monday, May 26, 2008

This just in: Blogs on the up whilst the News category remains flat

If you need more evidence that the line between semi-pro (or pro-am or whatever you want to call it) and professional journalism content is blurring rapidly, lets have a look at usage data between topline News (ie journalists) figures and the unduplicated audience of the top 4 blog platforms.

According to Neilsen Netview, the topline News & Information figures (which is a unduplicated figure taking into account News Digital Media, The Age, SMH, BBC, Yahoo!7 News, National Nine News, NY Times, Bigpond NEws, Google News, Conde Nast, Daily Mail, CNN etc) only saw essentially a zero usage increase from April 07 to April 08 - from 7.785m in April 07 to 7.786m in April 08.

Now lets look at the unduplicated figures of the top 4 blogging platforms - blogger, wordpress, typepad and livejournal.

April 07 - 1.839m

April 08 - 2.484m

That is a YOY increase of 35%. What does this show? Well .. people are turning to blogs more and more to get their information. Why is this? Well ... I don't have the definitive answer ... but I believe that blogs offer more credibility and passion than their larger counterparts - especially in niche areas (which we all know become quite big when there are enough niche's combined). And this doesn't even cover sites like Perez Hilton, TMZ, Gizmodo, Defamer, Slashdot etc - which I would argue are blogs by format and design.

It's not all bad for the News & Information category - page views per user per month are up YOY from 65 to 74. Still, if I had the choice between a marginal increase in consumption or a major increase in users I know which one I'd take.

Maybe we will start seeing large news site bloggers become more than just light entertainment 'columnists' and actual evolve to being actual experts on what they're covering.

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