Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Update on Blog research: More blog-based small business information sources

It has been some time now that I have updated this blog. Much of the time has been spent reading and writing for other media such as for journal articles or reference books. However, I have decided to pause and reflect on some current connections between my research and what I find on the Web.

I note that a number of traditional media who produce online news also produce blogs that produce content related for an audience interested in small business issues. Two such media outlets are the Washington Post (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/on-small-business) and the New York Times (http://boss.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/29/this-week-in-small-business-frankenstorm/). However, that is not to say that these are the only two, as I recognise that many media outlets producing online news have their news posted in blog-like formats or structures. The above two though, explicitly refers to these as blogs (by the direct inclusion of the term 'blogs' in the associated URL).

The available of small business news blogs must be contrasted by the conflicting and seemingly low numbers of blog users presented by Pew Internet statistics. According to Pew Internet statistics

Only 13% ever use the Internet to create or work on their own online journal or blog. ( Pew Internet & American Life Project, 2011, May)

Only 14% ever use the Internet to create or work on their own online journal or blog
(2011, Pew Internet & American Life Project, June, 2011)

80% never used blogs as a source to get information about one's local community and 1% not sure. (Rosenstiel, Mitchell, Purcell & Rainie, 2011, Sep. 26)

Only 20% ever commented on a local news story or local blog they read online. (Rainie, Purcell, & Smith 2011, Jan. 18)

30% say that a social, civic, professional, religious or spiritual groups in which they are currently active in have their own blogs. 14% do not know. (Pew Internet & American Life Project, 2011, Jan.)

4% posted comments, questions or information about health or medical issues on a blog.
(Pew Internet & American Life Project, 2011, May)

On a typical day, 11% get news and information from the website of an individual blogger. (Pew Internet & American Life Project, 2010, Mar.)
These statistics point a picture of only a few persons making use of blogs as information sources. Yet, the content being created on blogs may be very very relevant, current and useful for small business operators and entrepreneurs to access.

Blogs to me are new media to disseminate information that were previously done through word of mouth or ephemeral publications like magazines or newsletters. The fact that traditional media outlets have appropriated them, also strengthens the case for libraries and even users to know about blogs as information sources and when to use them and how to identify and find good ones. Hence the need for my research.

Edited: November 1, 2012 to include proper citation of references


Miller, C., Rainie, L., Purcell, K., Mitchell, A., & Rosenstiel, T. (2011, Sep. 26.). How people get local news and information in different communities. (Project for excellence in journalism). Washington: Pew Internet & American Life Project. Retrieved from http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2012/Communities-and-Local-News.aspx
Rainie, L., Purcell, K., & Smith, A. (2011, Jan. 18.). The social side of the internet. Washington: Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project. Retrieved from http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2011/The‐Social‐Side‐of‐the‐Internet.aspx
Rosenstiel, T., Mitchell, A., Purcell, K., & Rainie, L. (2011, Sep 26.). How people learn about their local community. (The Project for Excellence in Journalism/the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Local News Poll Jan, 2011).Washington: Pew Internet & American Life Project. Retrieved from http://pewinternet.org/~/media//Files/Reports/2011/Pew%20Knight%20Local%20News%20Report%20FINAL.pdf

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