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Pew On Blogs

By - January 03, 2005

PewI’m late on this, but in case you did not see it last week, Pew released a study on blogs. Gary has the highlights. Net net: It’s happening, folks.

Highlights:

• 7% of the 120 million U.S. adults who use the internet say they have created a blog or web-based diary. That represents more than 8 million people. • 27% of internet users say they read blogs, a 58% jump from the 17% who told us they were blog readers in February. This means that by the end of 2004 32 million Americans were blog readers.

• 5% of internet users say they use RSS aggregators or XML readers to get the news and other information delivered from blogs and content-rich Web sites as it is posted online. This is a first-time measurement from our surveys and is an indicator that this application is gaining an impressive foothold.

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Sixty on Google

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60 Minutes aired a long piece on Google last night, and instead of summarizing, I’ll just link to the transcript. For avid watchers of all things Google, the piece did not go very deep, but then again, as Leslie Stahl told me during our interview, they have to make this stuff make sense to people who have never given Google a second thought.

I’m tempted to Monday morning quarterback my participation in the piece, but I’ll simply state this: I’ve never been entirely happy with the quotes someone has chosen when it comes to a piece of journalism that includes me, and I imagine that will also be true of the sources in my book. Journalists do their best to be true to a source’s intent, but it’s an imperfect craft. Of course I thought I said all sort of interesting things that didn’t make it into the piece (we spoke for nearly an hour), but on the other hand, many friends have assured me I didn’t make an ass of myself, so I’m happy with that result. I was surprised that I was the only “outside voice,” but given that Google cooperated with the program and gave them lots of access, I guess it makes sense that they gave as much airtime as they could to the actual subjects. They did show actual paper copies of the GLAT (Google Labs Aptitude Test) and Slashdot is tearing through the piece here.

Thanks to all of you for bearing with the extended hiatus I took over the past ten or so days, I got a lot of work done on the book, and am closing in – just 2 chapters to go, for the most part. I’m trying to get a full first draft done by the end of this month. My publisher is now weighing whether to push the book out quickly – late spring – or wait until September – which would be a “normal” amount of time given the completion date of the manuscript.