Traffic to online trading and online brokerage Web sites increased 30 percent during the week ending September 21 2008. Sites such as Online Trading Category, Fidelity.com and Sharebuilder.com found unique visitor numbers expanding as compared to the weekly average from July through early September, some by over 200 percent. Blogs using the terms "Wall Street," "bailout" and "401k" all saw an increase in traffic, primarily the first two terms. The highest performer, "Wall Street" blog volume increased approximately 80 times on September 29, according to a report September 30 from Nielsen Online . The Nielsen Company measures and analyzes online audiences and advertising for their business clients marketing strategies.

An Associated Press article quotes President Bush, "The dramatic drop in the stock market that we saw yesterday will have a direct impact on retirement accounts, pension funds and personal savings of millions of our citizens," Bush said. "And if our nation continues on this course, the economic damage will be painful and lasting." With the ramifications of the stock market manifesting at a consumer level, it is no surprise that they are learning more about the events that are affecting them so directly. In this process, these individuals develop an opinion, and the increase in related blog entries shows that.

"Consumers are voicing opinions about the financial crisis - both on- and off-line. While members of congress are reporting an increase in phone calls and e-mails from constituents, many are sharing thoughts and concerns with the world online," said Charles Buchwalter, senior vice president, research and analytics, Nielsen Online.

The increase in traffic to these online trading Web sites occurred while the total number of people accessing the Internet remained stable. "It will be interesting to watch the traffic patterns to online trading sites over the next few months," continued Buchwalter. Just as interesting as the events that are causing these redirections of the traffic.