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You Call Yourself a New Media Professor?


/HT Jane Hamsher at Firedoglake for this latest bit of nonsense. First of all Chicago Sun Times reporter Jennifer Hunter just realized last week at the California State Democratic Convention in San Diego that this blogging thing is big:

When I walked into the California State Democratic Convention last Saturday in San Diego and saw all the bloggers, I realized that not only was I a Luddite, hauling around my ailing microcassette tape recorder, but that this trend of political blogging is growing like a kudzu vine, snaking around a dozen newspaper boxes … overnight.

Jane provides some great stats at her post but here are a couple more for Ms. Hunter. When we originally started planning BlogWorld back in October of 06 Technorati was tracking 57 million blogs. Today they are tracking 71 million blogs, before BlogWorld & New Media Expo take place this November 8th and 9th Technorati will be tracking over 100 million blogs. By the way that does not count MySpace with over 100 million users.

From a recent Zogby interactive poll:

A majority of Americans (55%) in an online survey said bloggers are important to the future of American journalism and 74% said citizen journalism will play a vital role, a new WE Media/Zogby Interactive poll shows.

But that is just tip of the clueless iceberg found lurking beneath the surface of the Sun Time article. Here is the coup de gracie:

But Sree Sreenivasan, new media professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, says the effectiveness of Web sites and blogs as political tools may only go so far: “It’s still a small percentage of people using these technologies.”

Most are young and what Sreenivasan terms “early adaptors.” And, as he concludes, the impact of young voters “is notoriously hard to predict.” It was thought they were going to turn out in big numbers in 2004 but that didn’t happen.

In the end, who has time to blog? After reading four newspapers each day and my e-mails and doing my work, I’ve had it. Blogging remains a luxury for the young — or the bored.


I don’t know if the **cough** professor **cough** was misquoted or mis-spoke but the term is “Early Adopter” not adapter. I am also not sure if the last comment was made by the professor or if Ms. Hunter was editorializing but whoever made the comment should get an RSS reader and learn how to read 100 newspapers and a 1000 blogs in less time that it currently takes them to read four fish wraps.

As for the professor asserting that only a small percentage of people used blogs, as of July 2006 Pew Internet Research found that over 57 million Americans were reading blogs. That equates to 19% of the population and a 178% increase from a similar study Pew released January of 05.

Remember we are talking July of 06 numbers. If the exponential growth had slowed by half that would put us at about 100 million blog readers today or approximately one third of the American population.

What’s the point?

Well point one is this type of growth in publishers and readers can only be characterized as a revolution.

Point two is this revolution has been going on since at least 2004. I hope Jennifer pays more attention to the weeds growing in her lawn than the kudzu like growth of the blogosphere or she may be in need of rescue soon.

Point three is what kind of a “new media professor” would say such things?

I will contact both Ms. Hunter and the good professor to find out where they are coming from. Stay tuned.

More at Seeing the Forest, and Atrios.

[tags] BlogWorld & New Media Expo, blogs, blogging, Chicago Sun-Times, Technorati, Poltical+Blogs[/tags]



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