Monday, March 19, 2007

From: The Gates of Memphis

How Much Do You Hate The Gates of Memphis? A Lot? A Fair Amount? Just a Little?

The Memphis Business Journal ran an online survey asking their readers how much they read blogs, then posted the results in "Business Pulse results: Memphians hardly care for blogs". The brief story began:
The majority of an online survey participants don't bother to read blogs.

Memphis Business Journal asked its online readers last week if they liked blogging. Of the 106 respondents, 41 percent said they don't waste their time reading blogs. 34 percent said they only read blogs on occasion.

However, 10 percent enjoy reading others' blogs and 6 percent have their own blogs and post often. A surprising 9 percent don't even know what a blog is.
2 things:
  1. were "do you bother to read blogs?" and "do you waste your time reading blogs?" survey questions? Maybe they were, but I can't find the actual survey.
  2. if a majority doesn't bother to read blogs, what's the percentage that does? 34 percent on occasion, plus 10 percent who enjoy reading other blogs, plus 6 percent who have their own blogs and post often equals ... 50%. 50% -- well that's definitely not a majority. But doesn't that also mean that the percentage that doesn't bother to read is also 50% -- definitely not a majority either! So the opening line "the majority of an online survey participants don't bother to read blogs" is incorrect. Readership is split down the middle. Avid readership is pretty low but they didn't say "bother to read regularly", they said "bother to read."
Why such a slant?

Perhaps a clear defeat of a pale young pajama-wearing whippersnapper upstart reads more entertaining than a split decision. I appreciate this explanation because I don't want my avid-to-occasional readers falling asleep in their Wheaties either.

But could it be something else?

This is absolutely not a story unique to Memphis, but the continuous, public, no-barriers-to-entry conversations and debates created and nurtured by this and this and this and this and this and all of these are with few precedents in Memphis' history.

50%, 10%, 1% -- all improvements over silence.

Update/Apology: I had copied and pasted the text above from the MBJ article. Little did I know I also copied their HTML, which included a reference to an ad (I must have that adblocked on my other computer). It's gone now.

As a consequence of this mistake, I've changed the title of the post. You win this time, Memphis Business Journal!

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posted by gatesofmemphis

1 comment:

attorneydavid said...

Blogs are fun to write, but I don't read them that often except as research on speciality areas. Which brings up the point on why not just make them well organized web pages?