I just got wind of this story, which is essentially a re-hash of two Environics polls [tres ugly website, BTW], one conducted in early October, the other in July. The jist of it is this:
One third, or 32 per cent, of online Canadians have read a blog in the last three months. B.C. is the most active blog market with 42 per cent stating they check out blogs while Quebec remains at the back of the pack at 28 per cent.
Incidentally, Canadian youth seem to be leading the way; 51% have read a blog and almost a quarter actually write one themselves (no word on what exactly constitutes a “youth”).
Anyway, that’s not what’s confusing me. What is? Well, some research I recently read at competing Canadian pollmeister Ipsos-Reid. The contrast is rather dramatic (all numbers refer to people with internet access):
42% of all online Canadians have read a blog at least once
44% of Canadians with household incomes of $60,000 or more have read blogs
48% of Canadian men say they have read a blog at least once vs. 35% of women
50% of Canadian adults aged 18-34 have read a blog at least once
45% of Canadians with post secondary education have read blogs
So, uh, what’s up, Environics?
Update: The Toronto Star picked up the Environics story October 25th.
Hi, Maggie —
Interesting question. Part of the answer could lie in different methodologies, ways of phrasing the question, population modeling, etc. — the same way that election polls often vary widely from pollster to pollster.
But if I’m getting your point correctly, I’m not sure these results are actually inconsistent. Ipsos-Reid asked how many Canadians have read a blog at all, and Environics asked how many have read one recently. Wouldn’t the inconsistency have been if that number hadn’t been significantly lower?
The thing that got me about the Ipsos-Reid poll (see the full news release) were the questions about whether “blogs” are a reliable news source, whether you trust them, etc.
A plea to pollsters, reporters and pundits: can we move past the idea that blogs are some kind of monolith? Some are trustworthy, some aren’t; some are people regurgitating whatever talking points they heard somewhere else, some are written by die-hard partisans, and some are actually useful, well-researched sources of great information. (Not that different from a lot of the media, really.)
Thanks for pointing that out, Rob – I’m going to have to go back and have another look at the wording of both poll questions. You may have something there!
(And thanks also for the updated link!)
Excellent post oh, and happy to be a morale booster.