Monday, September 22, 2008

My second interesting fact -- the feeble measurement of online news

I don't even think the Pew study is worded correctly.
For example, the 37 percent of people who got online news regularly/yesterday (and why are those the same thing?) is really -- when you see the chart -- really 37 percent of internet users. Which is not everybody.

How many of these Americans are going online specifically for news?
Nearly three-quarters of those who go online have used the medium at some
point for news in 2007, a percentage that has not changed over the past five
years, although the total the universe of online users has grown during this
But, as was the case for more general use, the number going online
regularly for news is growing.
In late 2007, more than 7 in 10 Americans
(71%) said they went online for news, the same number reported in 2002,
according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project. But the number
reported going online more regularly has grown considerably. In the
October to
December survey, 37% went online yesterday for news, up from the
30% who did so
at the same time in 2005 and the 26% who did so in 2002. This
is the highest
number recorded by the Pew Internet project.

And then, I start wanting to know what "news" is.

Measuring the Internet has become increasingly complicated. As advertisers have
become frustrated by the lack of a universally accepted metric, a number of
alternatives have emerged.
Marketers are relying increasingly on data from
companies like Hitwise, an online measurement firm, rather than figures from
Nielsen//Net Ratings and comScore.
When we compared data from Nielsen//Net
Ratings and Hitwise for October 2007, there were some similarities, but a number
of important differences.
Yahoo News, and were the most
popular news sites in both lists. The New York Times was the most popular
newspaper Web site. Over all, 10 sites appeared in both sets of rankings.

Does it seem like they really know?

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