Global Web Index – global survey of the social web

December 20, 2009
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Global Web Index.pdf (1344 KB)

An interesting map has just been published as part of the Global Web Index – a project measuring the use of social media around the world.
There are some real highlights here.  For example, the survey of 32,000 web users in 16 countries shows that, based on people uploading photos and videos, blogging, microblogging and using social networks, there are hundreds of millions of social web users around the world.  That's a big number, and makes a compelling argument for big corporates and brands to take seriously the social web.
It also reveals a remarkable variation between web use in Asia and the rest of the world – blogging is big in most Asian countries, with 46% of Chinese web users blogging, versus 12% of Americans.  A quarter of Indians use microblog services such as Twitter compared with 5% of Germans, Canadians and Brits.
The authors could really have done with improving their delivery.  The research method needs more of an explanation – for example, the fact that these surveys were conducted online should be discussed, because such a survey will be self-selecting, with respondents more likely than the general population to be social web users.
And there is a confusing explanation of Japan's very low use of the social web.  The authors put this down to the fact that this map is based only on PC access of social media, and excludes mobile access.  That's a pity, because it would say much more if it was based on overall access to social media.
The written English is full of mistakes.  This is such a potentially powerful piece of research, that it is disappointing it is let down badly by poor English.  Example: "The size of the arch's, represents the audience volume in millions."  Actually, the size of the arches represents the size of each group in millions.



  1. With incredible delay I reply to your post.

    The survey is conducted online but the sample is not self selected. Respondents are part of a research panel designed to be statistically significant.
    Actually, doing the survey online allows us to automatically randomize the questions order so as to have better results than if it was paper based.

    The research is very comprehensive on all kinds of social media. We couldn’t just let all our aces out for free;)

    As for the english… somebody’s already got an F on their homework!

    • Thanks for the comment Federico. That does clear up the sample selection, thanks. And I hope nobody got in too much trouble for the English! I guess I was expressing my frustration because these findings are so important, they deserve to be published without any room for question marks. I look forward to your future publications. Please let me know if there’s a blog I can subscribe to in order to keep up to date.

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