Yesterday I stumbled across Edelmans‘ January 2007 „Corporate Guide to the Global Blogosphere„. Now I don’t know how many of you out there already know this report – but for me the stated facts were more than just interesting, sometimes even stunning. Edelman partners with technorati and presents on 36 pages a short overview about the current status of the global blogosphere. The report provides the reader with some interesting insight into dates and facts about blogs in Asia, Europe and the United States, answering (amongst others) the following questions:
- How often do people read blogs?
- Are blog readers „influencers“?
- Who are the most influential bloggers?
- To which extent are blogs mentioned in articles by top-tier mainstream media?
First of all, there are some congruent facts. In all markets worldwide
- blog readers tend to be younger, male, action oriented and willing to spread the word, good and bad
- readership is significantly higher among so called „influencers“; in Germany 15% of all people read blogs, while 27% of the german influencers read blogs
- on average, two in ten blog readers have taken some sort of action, as a result of reading a blog (for example calling a politician, attending a meeting on a local issue). This is especially true for Germany (???) and Italy – in Germany 78% of the people who read blogs have attended a public meeting about a local issue (just 16% of the people who do not read blogs have done the same) *
- Technology blogs are often the largest or second largest niche among those blogs with the most trafficked blogs – followed in Germany by politics or personal journals
39% of the blogosphere are English-speaking, 33% are Japanese-speaking – just 1% of total posts are written in German. Since blog readership is the highest in Japan and South-Korea – which are also the countries with the highest broadband penetration worldwide – Edelman follows that
„the blogosphere readership and influence will continue to expand as broadband becomes more ubiquitous“
I am not too sure about that. Although I do not have any statistics, my feelings are that most of the german blogs do not require a broadband internet connection. Usually a blog in germany still consists of mostly written text. Even though it might enhance the attractiveness of a blog to present multimedia content – my believe is that the usage or non-usage of blogs is also based upon cultural differences. Just a higher broadband penetration would therefore not guarantee a higher blog readership and influence.
Wolfgang Lünenbürger-Reidenbach, the Director of Online Conversations in Edelman’s Hamburg Office, draws the following conclusions for the current status of the blogosphere in Germany:
- Compared to several of its counterparts, the german blogosphere is still in its infancy (85% of the Germans never read blogs)
- Unlike France and the United States, few of the blog conversations that originate in the german blogosphere seem to find their way into offline conversations or mainstream media coverage
- Most of the german bloggers do not seem to pay much attention to companies
- The A-list blogs in Germany focus on technology, personal diaries, media, popular culture or politics
- In Germany it is bloggers who comment on blogs
And finally, according to Edelman (partnering with technorati), the most influential german blogs are:
Conclusion: A report, everyone who is interested in the blogosphere, should definitely read.
* Unfortunately the report contradicts itself in this important fact: While on page 6 the above mentioned percentage (78%) is stated, on page 22 Lünenbürger-Reidenbach states the opposite: „Just 15% of German blog readers claim to have been spurred to action by a blog.“ – Do I understand something wrong here or did they mix the figures up?