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Why Blogs Matter

Gotta Blog – Why Blogs Matter for Your Nonprofit.

You probably have heard more and more about nonprofit use of blogs over the last year. And you may have read my article, “Should your nonprofit launch a blog?,” last fall. It’s a great introduction to blogging for nonprofits.

A quick reminder – a blog is a website that takes the form of an online journal, updated frequently with running commentary on one or many topics.

Why blogs matter

There are few who will discount blogs’ role as a key component of online culture. If anything, blogs are quickly becoming popular with established users of the Internet, according to a late 2004 study on blogs by the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

Pew conducted two telephone surveys of nearly 2,000 Internet users, and found that 32 million Americans, or 27 percent of Internet users, say they read blogs– a 58 percent jump from the prior year (with a huge growth in readers 30-49 years old). More than 8 million Internet users have created a blog or web-based diary. Twelve percent of Internet users have posted comments or other material on a blog.

Nonetheless, the blogging concept is still evolving among the majority of Americans. Sixty-two percent of online Americans do not know what a blog is, according to the Pew study.

Other results found by the Pew organization indicate the blogging community is still far from average, even among Internet users. Blog creators are more likely (82 percent) to have been online for six years or more and have broadband (70 percent) at home.

This study, paired with a prior Pew report indicating 59 percent of Americans access the Internet as of 2002, begs the question: What, if any, impact do blogs have on how the public gets their news and information?

The answer, not surprisingly, appears to be mixed. But what’s clear is that blogging (writing and reading), like Internet usage, is growing at a phenomenal rate. Even if your nonprofit isn’t blogging, organizations that are competing for the same donors, members, volunteers and participants are likely to be doing so. As a result, it’s a venue you can’t ignore any longer.

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