Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Some Numbers

I've run across these numbers -- from a Pew study --twice in the past few days. An example of "pack" statistics, that proliferate in the media? Maybe. But anyway, here they are in an article in the January 3, 2005 edition of The New York Times, in an article ostensibly about the reactions to the Asian tsunami:

"According to a study released yesterday by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, more than eight million Americans have started blogs, and 27 percent of Internet users surveyed said they read blogs -- a 58 percent jump since last February -- and 12 percent of Internet users have posted comments to blogs. Still, 62 percent of Americans say they are not sure what the term 'blog' means."
-- John Schwarts, "Myths Run Wild in Blog Tsunami Debate"

Statistics like this are used to give an air of credibility to a news article. They provide what might be called the, "Oh Really" factor. (I like that: The Oh Really Factor. Name for another blog?) However, they are only minimally relevant to this particular article. There's a point here somewhere. I'm just not sure yet what it is.