This page at HotLink (or whatever the official English title is) has the results of a survey that seems very dubious to me.

Q1: Do you understand “blog”?

Yes 92.2%
No 7.8%

Oops, alarm bells are ringing! According to The Register, around the start of the year 62% of USA-based internet users did not know what the term meant.
I therefore suggest that this survey is not based on a random selection of users, but somehow heavily biased towards bloggers. Let’s look at the sample used then.

Sex:

Male 49.5%
Female 50.5%

Occupation:

Employee 47.5%
Self-Employed 4.9%
Full-time housewife 23.3%
Part-timer 11.7%
Student 2.9%
Others 9.7%

Age:

20-29 28.2%
30-39 37.0%
40-49 21.3%
50-59 11.6%
60+ 1.9%

Oops, a definitely young person oriented survey, with perhaps a larger than average number of employees. With that pinch of salt taken, let us proceed with the other questions.

Q2: Have you ever used a blog-only search engine?

Yes 22.3%
No 77.7%

Q3: Do you think you’ll try using a blog-only search engine in the future?

I want to try to use one 54.4%
I don’t think I want to use one 45.6%

Q4: Have you made use of blogs or net-based word-of-mouth to gather information?

Yes 61.2%
No 38.8%

Q5: For what purpose have you used blogs or net-based word-of-mouth to gather information?

Companies 14.3%
Products 68.3%
Politics 4.8%
Arts (includes actors?) 39.7%
Current affairs 23.8%
Business information 11.1%
Music, etc entertainment information 31.7%
Others 23.8%
No answer 0.0%

Q6: Regarding your answers for Q5, which blogs or net-based word-of-mouth gathered information was usable (highly trustworthy)?

Companies 7.9%
Products 52.4%
Politics 3.2%
Arts (includes actors?) 14.3%
Current affairs 12.7%
Business information 7.9%
Music, etc entertainment information 15.9%
Others 22.2%
No answer 0.0%

Looks like people have major trust issues with the web, which is good, I suppose, since there’s a lot of nonsense out there! It’s interesting that the others category information was taken to be the most reliable – I wonder what that was?

Q7: In the coming general election do you think blogs will have influence?

They will 52.4%
They won’t 47.6%

Q8: In relation to the coming general election, do you think you want to consult blogs or net-based word-of-mouth?

I want to consult it 2.9%
If it’s valid information I want to consult it 62.1%
I won’t consult it much 14.6%
I won’t consult it at all 20.4%

Q9: In the future, do you think blogs or net-based word-of-mouth will influence elections or public opinion-forming?

Yes 72.8%
No 27.2%

Q10: In the future, do you think blogs will become an effective means of information gathering?

Yes 84.5%
No 15.5%

Sigh, once again blogs are being overestimated by the general public. I share The Register’s disdain for them as an effective medium for anything other than massaging the ego of the writer, especially when opinions are being expressed. The first thing I always do when reading a new blog is wonder what is the writer’s angle. Most blogs end up in an incentious ring of mutual back-slapping and cross-linking, where truth is represented by the number of hangers-on you can attract, all hoping to bask in some reflected glory. This ring of cross-linking also has the effect of gumming up Google, promoting ideas not based on the quality of the content but the quantity of the fan-boys.

Categories: BloggingPolls

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