Already famed for angry labor strikes and philosophical debates in smoke-filled cafes, the French have now brought these passions online to become some of the world’s most intensive bloggers.
The French distinguish themselves, both statistically and anecdotally, ahead of Germans, Britons and even Americans in their obsession with the personal and public journals of the Internet age. Sixty percent of French Internet users visited a blog in May, ahead of Britain with 40 percent and little more than a third in the United States, according to Comscore, an Internet ratings service.
Likewise, French bloggers spent more than an hour in June visiting France’s top-rated blog site, far ahead of the 12 minutes spent by Americans doing the same and the less than 3 minutes by Germans, according to Nielsen/NetRatings, a sister company to the television ratings giant.
More than three million Internet users, or more than 12 percent of those online in France, have created a blog, a study released in June by the ratings agency Médiamétrie found.
“You cannot be elected president of France without a blog,” said Benjamin Griveaux, director of Web strategy for Dominique Strauss-Kahn, a former finance minister and current member of Parliament who in 2004 was among the first politicians to start a blog. “Blogs have not replaced traditional media, but they are absolutely necessary for every politician.”
Some bloggers even harbor a faint hope that flourishing online discussions might curb the French population’s penchant for taking to the streets in protest.
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
I was somewhat surprised by this: