A study conducted on Brits suggests that the majority of people don’t know what blogging and podcasting mean. It seems that the survey was conducted on both Internet users and non-users. There is little reason to expect non-users to know these terms. And based on findings from previous work conducted as part of the Web Use Project and a recent study by Pew we also know that users don’t tend to have a solid understanding of these terms either.
One challenge is to figure out whether it is simply the terms that users do not understand or whether they really don’t know anything about these practices nor do they encounter/use such forms of media. That is, it is possible that people who read blogs do not realize they are reading blogs per se. Among teenagers, it is definitely important to ask about both blogs and Web journals as the latter term seems to be more widespread (probably due to the popularity of such sites as Live Journal and Xanga).
Although an analyst of the British survey does mention that even among Internet users the terms are only known by two-thirds of users, these figures are not broken down by blogging and podcasting so it’s not possible to compare to the results they have published for the sample overall, which also includes non-users.
Overall, the results confirm the notion of a “second-level digital divide” – a focus of my research for over five years now – that suggests different levels of know-how among users with respect to Internet uses.