The Nooked - Influencer survey set out to establish if key influencers - journalists, analysts and bloggers – are using RSS to collect information for analysis, news & reports and/or determine their future plans for adopting RSS as an information gathering & tracking tool.
According to Nielsen//NetRatings' "Understanding the Blogosphere" survey, nearly five percent of blog readers use feed aggregation software and more than six percent use a feed aggregating Web site to monitor RSS feeds from blogs.
30% of the total U.S. Internet population visited blogs in Q1 2005; this represents an increase of 45 percent compared to Q1 2004.
Compared to the average Internet user, blog readers are significantly more likely to live in wealthier households, be younger and connect to the Web on high-speed connections. Blog readers also visit nearly twice as many web pages as the Internet average, and they are much more likely to shop online.
The vast majority of the sample believe that the Internet is having a positive effect on PR and that it has improved their relationships with the media - however 43% believe that the Internet is making PR harder
Aficionados of PR-speak will recognize these questions as benchmark tests to identify who is an opinion maker, a member of the ten percent of Americans who are believed to set the agenda and steer the opinions of the other 90%. To qualify as an official "influential," RoperASW?, the leading firm consulting in the field, you have to answer 3 of those questions (excluding a petition) in the affirmative. Clearly the blogosphere is crawling with certified grade A opinion makers.
'A person like yourself' experienced a significant jump in credibility as a spokesperson in both the U.S. (22% in Jan '03 to 56% in Jan ‘05) and in Europe (33% in Jan ‘03 to 53% in Jan ‘05). Experts who are seen as having no vested interest in the welfare of a company – 'doctors or healthcare specialists' (>56%), 'academics' (>49%), 'a person like yourself'” (>49%), and 'representatives of NGOs?'” (>47%) – are the most trusted spokespersons.
"Although Weblogs (blogs) are currently used by only a small number of online consumers, they've garnered a great deal of corporate attention because their readers and writers are highly influential. Forrester believes that blogging will grow in importance, and at a minimum, companies should monitor blogs to learn what is being said about their products and services. Companies that plan to create their own public blogs should already feel comfortable having a close, two-way relationship with users. In this document we recommend best practices, including a blogging code of ethics, and metrics that will show the impact of blogs on business goals."
Average number of blogs respondents read daily: 8*
Percent of blog readers who do NOT write blogs: 79%
Percent who have clicked on an ad on a blog: 67%
Caveats (Henry Copeland, Blogads):
"To be clear, the survey's responses are a fragment of a sample of a subset. There are millions of bloggers. On Monday morning, I e-mailed roughly 50 of them -- some of the biggest bloggers, many of whom focus on politics and/or sell blogads -- suggesting they link to they survey. I explained that the survey would "boost both public appreciation of blogging AND your revenues." Some of the bloggers I wrote to (and some I didn't) linked to the survey; some of their readers clicked; some were offended by questions written mostly for Americans; some aspiring respondents were unable to complete Surveymonkey's sometimes buggy forms. So wield a salt shaker as you munch on this data."
"Blogcount asks: How big is the blogosphere? What is its shape, color, true nature? Blogcount catalogs efforts to answer these questions. We collect and organize the best reports and analyses on this subject."