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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

April 26, 2006 at 2:01 PM

Internet ads: Who gets the cream?

A new survey purports to offer insights into the demographics of blog readers. It’s kind of interesting, pretty obvious and really self-serving. It’s also not very reliable; even its sponsor says “the results are anything but scientific.”

The survey was done by Blogads, an advertising agency that — surprise! — has a business selling ads that target segments of blog readers. Its survey found things like gossip blogs are read by 27-year-old female gossip enthusiasts in homes with incomes of $60,000 who buy stuff online.

It’s a bit like a press release from Coke saying demand for soda is soaring, especially among the really cool people.

Yet it’s getting attention online with headlines like “Survey Shows the Blogosphere is Breaking Out.”

Blogads founder Henry Copeland disclosed the caveats upfront, before pouring on his sales pitch:

As I’ve noted in past years, the results of these surveys are anything but scientific. For one thing, we are surveying the choir. For another, the results are skewed by the blogs that choose to participate. For example, this year, the Republican share of the blogosphere seems to have dropped; this is simply because three big Republican blogs, Andrew Sullivan, Michelle Malkin and Little Green Footballs, who participated in prior years didn’t jump in this year.

But, even without our white labcoats on, the results are important and fascinating. The blogs that participated — ranging from DailyKos to Hugh Hewitt to PerezHilton to Perez Hilton — are leaders in their fields. So this is, in a sense, a survey of the creme de la creme, the uniquely influential info-meisters who are increasingly unreachable via traditional publishing, whether because of skepticism about media biases or loyalty to their new tribes or to the distinct unfiltered brew of personality and attitude served by bloggers.

Blogads may pooh-pooh the “traditional media” but — surprise again! — it’s a subsidiary of a bigger company that runs the dinosaurs’ Web sites and advises them on how to sell ads. But perhaps not to the creme de la creme.

Comments | More in | Topics: Web

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