Nielsen//NetRatings said Wednesday the number of unique visitors to blog pages within the Top 10 online newspapers was up 210 percent in December from a year ago, while overall readership grew by only 9 percent.
“As Web 2.0 becomes a predominant online consumer model, traditional publishers are adopting interactive forums like blogs. It makes perfect sense for online newspapers, where responding to a blog posting is like writing an instant letter to the editor."
-- Carolyn Creekmore, senior director of media analytics, Nielsen//NetRatings.
Writing in "Just an Online Minute," Wendy Davis notes these numbers show that the proportion of online newspaper readers who also visit the paper's blogs has grown from 4 percent in late 2005 to 12 percent in late 2006.
That's what I call hockey stick growth.
I couldn't figure out the same measurement for KnoxNews, but I did come up with some similarly startling comparisons.
Traffic, in terms of page views, was up 83 percent in 2006 from 2005, nearly four times the growth of overall site page views (22 percent). The growth has come from both growing the number of blogs we have and growing the audience of those blogs.
Our first and most prolific blogger is Michael Silence with his "No Silence Here" blog, which had its first post on Aug. 31, 2004. Since then, he's opened his blog to a wide group of guest bloggers; often pointed the newspaper and his blog toward blog-centered public debates, opinion and reporting by area bloggers; and forged links between the mainstream media and the blogging community.
Behind the scenes Online Editor Jigsha Desai has been creating and nurturing the KnoxNews blogging environment, designing templates, gently guiding new authors, answering endless questions, highlighting blogging on the home page and within the site, and working admin magic with our corporate Web services staff.
See all our bloggers on our blog index page.
If you're still poo-poohing blogs, the data will leave you with more than a little pooh on your face. Blogs are the columnists and conversation of today's consumer Web. What's your strategy for tapping that audience growth?