77% of People Consult Blogs Before Shopping: Bad Reporting?

I saw a post on The Blog Herald today: 77% of people find blogs useful for shopping: survey. The post referred to a BBC article: Shoppers Use Blogs For Bargains.

This article claims that Hostway did a survey that found:

More than three-quarters of those questioned in the research said they had consulted blogs before shopping.

I find that statement completely and utterly incredible (as in no credibility). How could 77% of people use Blogs to research purchases when I’m sure that 77% of people don’t even know what a blog is? Neither the Blog Herald nor the BBC article mentioned where the survey results could be found so I did a little digging. I found the following survey results at Hostway.com.

The first line in the survey is: Percentage of participants surveyed familiar with blogs. The answer – 63.1%.

Later in the survey we see this:

Have the participants ever referred to blogs to look for information about products or services they were considering buying?

  • 69.0% No
  • 23.2% Yes
  • 7.8% Can’t Remember

I am assuming that the only people who answered this question were those familiar with blogs. (Or else how could they even answer that question?). So if we multiply 63.1 by 23.2 we get about 14%. How did the BBC reporter get a 77% result out of this???

It could be that I am looking at a different survey, but even if that’s true why are the numbers so radically different on two different surveys taken by Hostway?

Can someone explain what is going on?

Update I sent a note to Hostway about this and got a response that said “The BBC article was a actually a little misleading as it was actually that 77% of people would use blogs to find information rather than 77% do actually use blogs”. I think that clears things up a little.

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