Every year millions of people create blogs, and even more check in daily to read them. There are about 15 million active blogs read by 57 million people, a number that gives bloggers great credibility, power and influence as sources of information for everything from news to corporate reputations to product purchasing.
"This is simply not a passing fad that can be ignored," said Michael Gartenberg, analyst with Jupiter Research.
For instance: A few weeks ago, the well-respected tech blog Engadget published reports that Apple's iPhone and Leopard operating system would be seriously delayed. Apple's stock price took an immediate dive, dropping some $4 billion in market capitalization before it was discovered that the information came from a fake leaked memo. Apple was not amused, although its stock did level out by the end of that same day.
Spackle for credibility gap
One of the big reasons blogs have such impact is their credibility among readers. In a February poll from We Media and Zogby Interactive, 72% of adults said they were dissatisfied with the quality of American journalism today. Another 55% said bloggers are important to the future of American journalism, and 74% said citizen journalism will play a vital role, according to the poll.
Consumers are also taking bloggers' word before they buy. A late 2006 Ipsos MORI survey found that blogs were a more trusted source of information than advertising or e-mail marketing. One-third of respondents said they had decided not to buy a product after reading a negative blog post, while 52% were persuaded to buy after reading a positive review.
With that in mind, we tapped several resources to come up with a demographic profile for the blogosphere. Find out who's blogging.