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Blogs waning in favor of other media

Feb. 21, 2011 at 8:17 PM   |   Comments

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 21 (UPI) -- The popularity of blogs is waning in favor of the immediacy and available audience of Facebook and Twitter, a survey indicates.

"I don't use my blog anymore," said San Francisco filmmaker Michael McDonald. "All the people I'm trying to reach are on Facebook."

In a survey conducted from 2006 to 2009 by the Internet and American Life Project at the Pew Research Center, blogging among children ages 12 to 17 dropped by half, with 14 percent of children in that age range using the Internet having blogs. The project found the incidence of blogging also fell 2 percentage points from 2008 to 2010 among 18-to-33-year-olds, The New York Times reported.

Blogging began its rise about 10 years ago, and in 2004 Merriam-Webster declared "blog" the word of the year.

Some journalistic sites may be blogs, but not all blogs conform to the canons of journalism. They have, in some cases, morphed from one to the other as in the case of the Huffington Post, which went from blog to being seen as a news source.

"Blog" is a portmanteau of the words, "Web" and "log," and those people who used to blog did so out of a personal necessity to comment on current political and/or social or cultural events. But former bloggers who have either switched to Facebook, Twitter or other social media say they did so because it filled their needs better, the Times said.

"If you're looking for substantive conversation, you turn to blogs," said Elisa Camahort Page, co-founder of BlogHer, a women's blog network, said. "You aren't going to find it on Facebook, and you aren't going to find it in 140 characters on Twitter."

USA Today reported a study by Netpop Research in San Francisco found more than half of bloggers are women in their 30s who engage in six or more social media activities. The people who don't contribute or contribute very little are older men, the study found.

The report, "Social Animals: Who's Sharing What and Why Online?" is based on results of an online survey taken in January of 1,253 broadband users in the United States ages 13 and older.

It found 73 percent of people who use the Internet contribute to its content using a selection of social media.

"It's becoming a form of seamless integration with users' lives; it's always with them," says Cate Riegner, vice president of Brand Insights and co-founder of San Francisco's Netpop Research.

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