Tuesday, July 05, 2005

MIT survey so far...

How many times have we heard the question: "Where are all the women bloggers?" Look, there's more of them than guys (~16000M vs. ~28000F) according to the current running tally of the MIT study. Look at some (out of many, many) questions as the answers are building so far:

Age: predominantly between 19 and 27 years old. Yet, BloggerCons are full of grey hair. Where are the young bloggers? What are they doing? Do they think about blogging differently than us old fogies? Are they so used to social networking software (e.g,. Friendster, The Facebook) that they use blogs more as tools for social networking while the older people tend to use blogs as personal soapboxes?

People started blogging mostly in 2003, then 2004. There is a small 2005 number probably due to newest bloggers not being part of the network enough to be invited or to know about the survey, or perhaps still too shy about it. As I have stated before, most bloggers are new bloggers, and most new bloggers started blogging on campaign blogs during the primaries (I am one of many), where the blogging atmosphere is much more collective, almost forum-like, than on the old-style individual blogs.

Most people started their own blogs in 2004. Again, that was mainly around the Election Day, I bet. With campaign blogs and forums closing, and many people hooked on blogging (as well as introduced, through links on campaign blogs, to some of the individual blogs like Eschaton or Instapundit), many decided to take a plunge and start their own. I am one of those. Also, the word is coming out about the blogs. New easy-to-use platforms are out, e.g., MSN spaces, so it is spreading among the young people, as well as among the older.

Most people have only one blog, as expected, but numbers of people with two or more is surprisingly large. Is it a case of having individual blogs plus collaborating on a group blog? Or is it having more than one individual blog serving different functions? I have two individual blogs, this one for everything I want to write about, and Circadiana for pure science only. I am also a member of four group blogs! Am I nuts?

Why people blog? Mostly people use blogs as personal journals and for keeping in touch. If you add "meet new people" and "posting pictures and music", those are four biggies. The only category that intrudes into these "social network" uses is the "news editorial" use - the smart political blogger that everyone thinks of when the word "blogger" is mentioned, and the only kind of blogging that MSM ever mentions. Obviously, MSM is missing that majority of bloggers are not political. Many who were political up till the election, and started blogging in order to follow the election, have now moved on and write about personal and other stuff.

In the same vein, if you look at another question, most people write about personal matters more than 90% of the time (followed by 80%, 70%, 60%...). On the other hand most bloggers write about news and current events less than 10% of the time (followed by 20%, 30%, ...., the same as for writing about professional matters). The two bar-graphs are almost mirror-images of each other.

There are many more questions, and I can't wait for their analysis. Go put yourself in the pool - greater the sample the better! Just click on this:

Take the MIT Weblog Survey

posted by Bora Zivkovic @ 11:07 PM | permalink | (0 comments) | Post a Comment | permalink