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Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Is The Blogosphere As Big As We Think It Is?

Michelle Malkin quotes a Harris Interactive Poll that says two of every five adult Americans have read a blog at least once and a fourth of them read a blog at least once a month. Michelle doesn't mention it, but the Pew Center on the Internet and American Life has a different estimate - at least seven million Americans are bloggers, and their ranks skyrocketed 37 percent in 2004 alone.

Michelle is skeptical of the Harris numbers, noting her contention "that the survey results would be quite different if respondents were informed that the Drudge Report, Slate, Free Republic, Democratic Underground, rushlimbaugh.com, and lucianne.com are not blogs."

Michelle has an excellent point, but the more relevant point is the profound impact that blogs and other Internet-based news reporting and analyses sites are having on American society and culture, especially in our politics. And even more to the point, the one area of our society that seems yet to be disturbed by the explosion of Internet-based news and analysis is government, especially in Washington, D.C.

Why is that?