Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A Few Words on Surveys, Blogs and the News

Funny as it folds in on itself, there's a note on the Chronicle's wired campus blog that reading blogs can be habit forming. Goes on to detail a study at Cal-Irvine, but when you hit the bottom you realize that:
A) 15 people studied at one college
B) That's not a sample worthy of mentioning
C) Wasn't the concept (that people will read the same blogs habitually) a foregone conclusion?

Strikes me the same as if I asked 15 people at UA if they read the newspaper each day. As blogs -- a term I'm increasingly sick and tired of using -- become news sources, why would be be surprised at all if people feel compelled to check them each morning.

Could we now say that ESPN SportsCenter is an addiction? Looking up the forecast through Local on the Eights on the WeatherChannel is habit forming?

People seek information. They gather it through the easiest method to their particular circumstance. They value it in proportion to the proven ability to provide what the end user sees as truth. A person with computer skills would use on-line sources. A news-o-phile picks it up in print on the doorstep. A radio fan hears it through a talk show.

In this case, the new versions of a medium get confused with the truism running through time.

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