There’s lots of buzz online on the Pew Internet & American Life Project’s recent release of Bloggers: A portrait of the Internet’s new storytellers. And these figures tell all. Of folks who are online (and I’d assume that’s 95% of your nonprofit audience), 8% (12 million) blog and 39% (57 million) read blogs. That’s a lot of people — your people — who are hooked into blogs.
Yes, the sample size is small (only 233 bloggers were interviewed). Yes, most of the bloggers write about personal, not business or organizational, blogs. Yes, most (slightly) bloggers are under 30. But it seems the "traditional" communicators are all too eager to throw what is important here away.
Here’s my take on what’s critical for nonprofit communicators:
- Your audiences are blogging and reading blogs.
- Yes, only 1 in 12 blog, and 4 in 10 read blogs right now but that number is growing fast. And even those folks can’t be ignored. Look at it like this–10% of your audience blogs, and 40% reads blogs.
- Cut the stats another way and you’ll find that the numbers are much higher for folks under 40, who are your donors, members, volunteers of the next decade or two. Embrace, don’t ignore, them.
- Organizational blogging is still small, but evolving faster and faster.
- It’s the perfect time for your nonprofit or foundation to jump in. Experiment. It’s low-cost and low-risk.
- Easy, instant publishing is what draws bloggers to the medium.
- It’s incredibly useful (and cost-effective) for organizations, as for the everyday Joe or Jane.
- Only 56% of bloggers spend time trying to verify facts, and only slightly more post corrections when received.
- That means that there’s probably lots of misinformation about your organization out there. Make sure you’re tracking coverage of your nonprofit, and responding appropriately. You don’t want to hear it from somebody else.
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