When is a blog not a blog: when readers don’t know any differently

More interesting research, this time from Nielsen//Netratings that found that a decent sized portion of blog readers don’t actually realize they are reading blogs, and not only that, they don’t even know what a blog is.

The survey found that 13% of people who visited blogs didn’t know what a blog was, and more incredibly 66% of people visiting a blog didn’t realize they were visiting a blog, basically they just thought it was another web site.

Whether this is bad I don’t know. I’m sure people here would work it out: the “blog” in the “Blog Herald” would probably give it away, but the question remains, is it really a bad thing that the majority of blog readers don’t actually realize they are reading blogs? If they did would they think less of the sites? What do you think? leave your comments.

(via Buzzmetrics)

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  1. says

    The Catalyst report said much the same thing last week. Although it was only based on nine case studies in NYC, it kind of rings true, as Stephen Baker of Blogspotting also pointed out last week. We have to accept that we bloggers are not the centre of the universe. I think though, that we’re part of a massive conversation out of which the future is being built. That’s not a bad accolade to be going on with.

  2. says


    The problem is that that people do not know that they are reading a blog or a website. In the end, a blog is a website.

    I think that we need to put our efforts not in educating people about what is a blog (because I think that the line between a “blog” and a “tradition web page” is blurring over time), but much more in explaining them what is a Web Feed (like RSS or Atom), how they can use it, what are the type of services that use web feeds, and what are the feed readers available for them.



  3. says

    I don’t think it matters one single bit if a reader categorizes a site as a “blog” or a “website” or whatever. If they’re reading, enjoying the content, getting something useful out of it and bookmarking that site for later follow up, who cares how they label it.

    If I’m eating a pint of Chunky Monkey and you’re having a chocolate/vanilla twist from Dairy Queen, all that’s important to either of us is that we’re eating ice cream. And that’s that.

  4. says

    Since I’ve always firmly believed that the arguments about what is or isn’t a blog were thoroughly pointless, I’m equally confident that whether people know something is a blog or not is irrelevent.

    All that matters if whether they get the information they are looking for. The format it’s presented in is of no significance.

  5. says

    I like having lines over things, and I like to keep things and their cultures in position. I guess if readers are entertained enough to keep clicking “Next post” for 2 hours, why not?

    But there is something to blogging that has a certain mood and nostalgia to it, and I would actually like to keep it there…

  6. says

    The truth of the matter is, that it is our responsibility to educate the public regarding Blogs. It should be known that Blogs are the best thing that could ever happen to Internet users! The best of writers are they that express their views through Blogs ! Who are these Bloggers ? They are experts that due to circumstances, were not given publishing privillages ! Great thinkers, experts, genius, artists, and people who are Bloggers not for fame and money, but rather for doing good to society !
    Having said all that, we also must be careful of not following the steps of some who start for a good cause but due to circumstances end up in the battle of the ego!
    Best Wishes !

  7. says

    In my experience, I had no idea what a blog was 7 months ago. I had surfed some, and was aware that it was updated daily, but thought it was just some kind of HTML wizard or fancy script.

    A lot of my analog world friends don’t really understand what blogs are either.

    Is this bad? I don’t think it matters. I know people who read a favorite blog daily, and they just assume its a webpage that updates often.

    If it’s a good read, or offers some other intrinsic interest, I doubt it matters much to the surfing public.

    I still think most blog readers are other bloggers, however, with a few notable exceptions.