Article originally published as Social Media & Blogs Now the #1 Online Activity on by James Lewin (Aug 3 2010).

Research firm Nielsen reports that social media & blogs are now the top online activities:

Americans spend nearly a quarter of their time online on social networking sites and blogs, up from 15.8 percent just a year ago (43 percent increase) according to new research released today from The Nielsen Company.

The research revealed that Americans spend a third their online time (36 percent) communicating and networking across social networks, blogs, personal email and instant messaging.

Here’s how how people’s time online now breaks down:

Based on the Nielsen report, it looks like mainstream Internet users have joined the first adopters, making new media and social media a key part of what they do online.