Bits and Pieces

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Triumphalism Proves Fragile

I've been reading a lot in the past few days about this new CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll. Seems a lot of people are taking the news that 56% of people are not at all familiar with blogs very badly. To which I reply, huh?

Here's something to think about. Star Wars was shot on a budget of less than $10 million dollars and had a starring cast of, well, nobodies. It opened on less than 50 screens. Today we know it as the birth of a $4.5 billion powerhouse. Ask a guy on May 26th, 1977 if he'd seen it you could bet the answer would be 'no'. Ask the same question today, a negative answer would have you backing away slowly.

Here's another one. The New York Times printed its first edition in 1882. By 1896 it had a circulation of 9,000. Circulation in 2003? 1,132,000.

Look, it takes time for phenomena to develop. Things don't just explode overnight.

Quite apart from that, while blog readership continues to grow, newspaper readership declines steadily. As if that wasn't enough, as Joe Gandelman points out, numbers aren't important. Demographics are.

In conclusion: settle down, kids.
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