The latest numbers about blogging terms reaching the mainstream masses have little interest to me based on the questions that have been asked. Asking people on the street if they can define RSS or podcasting is like asking about a PSTN or 802.11g wireless networks. It makes much more sense to focus on current uses of the technology to determine the pervasiveness of new ideas.
I’ll use my mom as an example because she is afraid of her computer crashing if she changes anything, even plugging in a new keyboard. Some of the news she cares about the most is thousands of miles away and not well covered by TV, radio, or print publications in California.
My mom would love to have daily updates on a few things: the latest news from Ireland, the latest news from in and around my brother’s military base in Iraq, and updates from my sisters’ schools. If she happens to be home at the right time on a Monday night she can catch 22 minutes of news geared towards Irish-Americans interested in what’s going on “back home.” My parents visit a blog to find the latest news from my brother’s base in Iraq, but they have no clue they are reading what some people call a blog. She visits school websites to find the latest general news.
If my mom opened up her web browser and found all her favorite news sources in one place, time-shifted and waiting for her on her schedule, she would probably be using RSS, podcasting, or some other fancy word but wouldn’t be able to tell you what is powering the experience.