Thursday, October 10, 2013

Blogs Are So Done

Yes, this is a blog, and yes (sigh) blogs seem to be toast, at least when it comes to elections. How dare I say this? I'm messing with some 2012 data and came across these two questions.

1. In a typical week, how many days do you use blogs to learn about the election for President?

2. In a typical week, how many days do you use social media such as Twitter or Facebook to learn about the election for President?

To be fair the second question has the advantage of specificity (Twitter and Facebook) and some halo effect as people use both sites for stuff other than politics, like sharing those all-important cat videos. Let's set that aside and see how they stack up in a huge national survey. While responses could range from 0 to 7 days a week of use, I use the bottom and top to present a simple yet telling comparison:


0 Days - 88.2 percent
7 Days -  1.2 percent

Social Media

0 Days - 64.7 percent
7 Days - 12.6 percent

Not even close. To put this in raw numbers, out of a sample of over 5,000 adults, only 91 freaking people said they read blogs 7 days a week. The results suggest only 1-out-of-10 ever read a blog, and very likely these are members of the chattering class, not real humans.
Again, this is very nearly an apple and orange comparison, especially as a tweet or Facebook news feed may link back to a blog and users may credit the social media more so than the blog itself. And what qualifies as "a blog" is fuzzier today than it's ever been, especially the ones now integrated into mainstream news sites such as, most recently, The Monkey Cage at So while I look at the numbers above with a significant dose of skepticism, they suggest how social media have supplanted blogs when it comes to how people learn about elections.

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