Wednesday, July 25, 2007

On statistics (again!)

Lee Le Fever at Common Craft Blog (the people that brought us the outstanding RSS in Plain English and Wikis in Plain English videos) points at some interesting statistics produced by Harris Interactive for Wet Paint an American wiki company.

"16% of the US online population is familiar with what a wiki is.
Even if you just look at the online trendsetters (18-34 year olds), only 27% of those online users are familiar with wikis.
Blogs, which have universal awareness among nearly anyone reading this post, are only familiar to 35% of online users. And familiarity with social networks as a category still ranks below that of online forums at 28% and 35% respectfully.
For context, consider that 76% of the same population know of search engines and 97% of toilet paper."

These figures are confusing.

Given the hype and publicity around wikipedia, how is it that the wiki recognition figure is so low?
How can it be that only 76% of the same population know of search engines?
What context does that provide?

My informal observations of students and academics confirm what Lee suggests.
"We're making assumptions about what people understand about our online world. There is more misunderstanding than understanding and more confusion than solution."
Where are the digital natives?
Not in my college!

On Blogging

Here's an insightful quotation from the Wired Blogs.

"Blogging is not about making friends, it’s about expressing yourself truthfully and in the process providing some hitherto unforeseen insight into an important issue or topic of the day. If you make friends, that's a bonus. Real blogging is about shedding the politics and letting it all hang out. Sometimes that honesty yields less than enjoyable results, but other times the honesty of certain blog posts can inspire us all into action or thinking about important issues in a different light."

(via Scripting News)