Research company TNS Latvia has carried out a survey which has shown that a truly impressive number of the inhabitants of Latvia (151 000 or almost 7% of all Latvians) read blogs.
There are 952 000 inhabitants of Latvia which have used internet in past 6 months, but active internet users which have used internet in past 7 days are only 877 000. So that means 15% of active internet users in Latvia read blogs.
Their data show:
In total blogs during the last 7 days have been read or written by an average of 8 % or 151 000 inhabitants of Latvia aged 15 to 74. TNS Latvia press and internet project manager Elīna Krūze points out that the most common blog readers and writers are aged 15 to 39, mostly students of schools and colleges, as well as managers of various levels.
I think that’s a terribly large number. Where does this amount come from?
My guess would be the general bloggersiation of biggest local news portals. Both db.lv, diena.lv, nra.lv and all the other large portals have introduced their own blog sections. And, since they have introduced them and attempt to promote the articles of their experts, it means that at some point people also may have noticed that they are not reading a comment of person A regarding some issue, but rather person A’s blog post about it.
I know that lately some journalists in Latvia have appeared, who think that any of their comments may easily be labeled as blogs. But it’s not so simple; blogs have certain characteristics that differentiate them from a column. One of the best Latvian professional bloggers is Juris Kaža, and other journalists who are told by their editors that they should create a blog would be wise to learn from him.
Some very basic differences between blogger and journalist:
- Bloggers are free to write about whatever subject they want
- Bloggers are free to express their own experience
- Bloggers need to establish successful blogs in order to reach bigger audiences
- Blogs often refer to information sources and previous posts of the blog itself. If there is no link, there is no credibility. It’s not the same as a newspaper anymore, where the readers just believe everything. On the internet people want to check everything and verify the information for themselves
- Let me restate – links are important. A blog must include information sources and the possibility to follow links to continue researching the issue through other resources
- Sequential arrangement of posts. Blogs often include posts about various topics, and new posts often continue a previous thought. Series of articles that continue for a longer time period with pauses are common
- A blog has a clear address of its own, preferably with RSS functionality. In other words, the blogger has a ”home” of his own. At any rate, the author must be able to easily say where his blog posts are located
In the end, however, it must be admitted that there is no strict definition of blogs, so all judgments regarding what is or isn’t a blog are just empty talks.
The info about the statistics found on pods.lv
If something is not clear please ask in comments, because I am not so great in English :)