There’s little risk here. Of the 200 million or so bloggers, there are only about 50 million blog readers (it is interesting, at least to me, that 62% of internet users report they don’t know what a blog is). It is so easy to write and cite to prove a point of view (especially if you unabashedly willing to use worldwide figures and compare to US figures or don’t mind that each citation has conflicting data, knowing that most people won’t bother to follow the links or the link’s links or read either.
Using a more appropriately “balanced” approach, so often found in “journalism,” would force me to present data that might confusingly conflict with my particular bias de jour (as well as type a lot more words, actually do research, read what I cite, and offer links to websites that, yikes, might disagree with me). For instance, the Wall Street Journal’s (not always a bastion of “balance”) point seems (“seems” is one of the clues that something might be a conclusion of the author while not necessarily something all people might find to be factual and probably isn’t) to be that no one knows what a blog is, who is a blogger, how many blog there are, how often they are published, how often they are visited by real people (could it be that the search engine robots are real people, too?) and if anyone actually reads anything before clicking to their next conclusion (SIC: snooze).
In spite of now clearly demonstrating (as opposed to proving) that no one will actually read this (one possible exception: bloggers who are reading blogs about blogging), it is incumbent upon me to acknowledge the skill and devotion to balanced reporting and grammar (at least, the New York Times Stylebook version) of journalists and newspaper professionals everywhere (except, and in particular, Fox News). Following in the footsteps of Greeley, Kent and Lane, these diligent, hardworking men and women of the Fourth Estate have given up so much (waistlines and potentially more lucrative careers, mostly) so we can be better informed and more effective citizens (and consumers). Thank you (and you know who you are) for so courageously laying the foundation of truth for which we bloggers everywhere now steal the bricks.