Technology is making it easier to ignore mainstream media advertising. Instead, consumers are using Web logs, mobile messaging, comparison shopping Web sites, and word-of-mouth to make buying decisions, according to Forrester Research Inc.

Date released Tuesday by the firm reported 10% of consumers read blogs at least once a week, compared with 5% a year ago. Really Simple Syndication (search) feeds (RSS) are used by 6%, compared to 2% in 2004.

"Technology has given consumers an option to tune businesses out, and tune each other in," said Chris Charron, a Forrester (FORR) vice president, in a statement. "On the flip side, technology has given businesses an opportunity to gain greater customer insights at a lower cost," by monitoring blogs and Web sites and message boards "to uncover consumer insight and accelerate the innovation of products, services, and design," he said.

PubSub Begins Industry Blog Rankings

A list of the most "Fashionable Blogs" is the start of an effort by PubSub.com (search) to chart influence and popularity of Web logs catering to special interests and businesses. The first list targets fashion, and has been compiled by a newspaper reporter who ranked what she thought were the top fashion blogs, said Bob Wyman, chief technical officer of PubSub Concepts Inc. If you were an advertiser, and saw which blog was most popular in your product category, you might be interested in using it for your own marketing, he explained. "We hope to do this in the future with PR blogs, law blogs, marketing blogs, as soon as we can find the domain experts who can maintain those lists," Wyman told ClickZ News.

TV Still the 800-lb. Gorilla

A study of consumers' daily use of media concluded the average person watches television four hours a day and spends two hours a day on the PC. The Middletown Media Studies II, conducted by researchers at Ball State University Center for Media Design, found 96 percent of people spent a third of their day using two or media at the same time, most often the Internet and television. Bob Papper, a co-author of the study, said, "As a society, we are consumers of media. The average person spends about nine hours a day using some type of media, which is arguably in excess of anything we would have envisioned 10 years ago." Television is still the 800-pound gorilla because of how much the average person is exposed to it, Papper said. "However, that is quickly evolving. When we combine time spent on the Web, using e-mail, instant messaging and software such as word processing, the computer eclipses all other media with the single exception of television."