Friday, July 21, 2006

Reaction: Pew research on bloggers

A few highlights from the newly published Pew Research on bloggers entitled:

Bloggers: A Portrait of the Internet's New Storytellers

According to Alexander Halavais, an assistant professor of interactive communications at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut:

"The average blogger is a 14 year old girl writing about her cat."

The report also says there are about 12 MILLION people writing blogs. That is a lot of 14 year old girls with cats, if you ask me.

Tidbit and Tiggie approve of this trend.

They think that I am a 14 year old girl.
(What do they know...)

The study commented that the under 30 blogger writes as a means of self expression, and the over 50 to 64 year olds writes to convey practical knowledge or skills.

Hmmm...does millinery come under the heading of conveying "practical knowledge or skills"?

Duh. Of course! Everyone should know how to whip up a really cool hat using a bowl from Ikea or Marshalls.

Another interesting (to me at least...) quote:

"Of all the bloggers out there, there are only about 10,000 that have an audience beyond their friends and family," said B. L. Ochman, a business blogger who tracks online trends.

Math has always been my weak point, but....

If there are 12 million bloggers, and only 10,000 are read by non-friend and family, then the fact that I am apparently read by a few people who are not family (based on comments that are posted to my blog), would put in in the top what percent?

I really should run next door and ask my neighbor who is working on her Phd in Discrete Mathmatics to crunch those numbers for me.

But roughly I would say ***I am floored****

Now, back to the report.

Who are bloggers?

14% of bloggers are in my age bracket (50-65)
Sadly, only 2% of bloggers are over 65.
54% are under 30.

Like under 30 year old have so much important insight, and why are the over 65 (who are RETIRED for heaven sake, they should have time for this) not putting their acquired wisdom out for electronic eternity?

Interesting also that 60% are white. The other races make up the rest. The voice of the minority is being heard. I wonder what percentage of bloggers are white over 65 year olds?

95% of bloggers get their news from the internet. Read: They really care about what is happening, and seek out information several times a day. They may read a news event from several sources, staying well ahead of the curve of the local newspaper edition.

47% of blogger also read what other bloggers are saying about the news.
A public forum, at last!
Pictures rise up in my mind of colonial gents crowding the town square to hear the latest "Hear ye, hear ye!" pronounced, and then discussing the news with each other, eventually birthing a nation.

How fabulous to read reactions not filtered by news media, and television and radio personalities.

77% of all bloggers have shared something that they have created, such as artwork, song, poem, story or video.
One blogger in Texas shares her hat making.
(I'm making that last part up, it wasn't really in the report. This time.)

35% of bloggers take the time to verify facts before publishing.

13% post daily.

Bloggers are evenly split between men and women. So it isn't just a guy thing or a girl thing.

The most popular blog tool for those with a college degree is Blogspot (my personal choice)

27% of American's have college degrees
37% of bloggers have college degrees.

13% of Americans are knowledge based professional workers
38% of bloggers are knowledge based professional workers.

The Pew study was partly titled "New Storytellers". I had the rare opportunity to study story telling in graduate school. Most people think story telling is just a "Once upon a time..." narrative.

They are wrong.

Story telling is the communication of an event, a vision, or a signifier from one person to at least one other person. I personally believe it is story telling that keeps society and families whole. Once a society or family stops telling stories about themselves, then it is as if that society or family has no past.

The Hawaiian people use the phrase "talk story" to signify that they want to get together and talk.
Like "We need to talk story, wanna come over tonight?"

I think blogging is just another way to "talk story". And I am truly grateful that blogging is such an easy forum from which to share. Posted by Picasa

1 comment:

Kate said...

Interesting info, Jill! Always love having the benefit of your research.

My thoughts are that probably the majority (tho' not all) of 65+ year olds are not so comfortable with computers as younger folks - especially the very young. A shame since they have the really good stories to tell. I always tried to get my mother to write down her stories about growing up during the Depression and her years living in London during the Blitz in WWII. Tho' she was a wonderful letter writer she was not comfortable with writing about herself. It's a terrible shame since she's had a stroke and now cannot tell her stories. So, GO Bloggers!

Another thought, college experience means writing experience which may be why more bloggers have some college experience.

Suburban living (no town square) and far flung families and friends, perhaps, has left us hungry for a sense of community which blogging gives us...the new back fence?

As for me, I enjoy the writing (and picture taking) process and have always loved an audience (being a ham from WAY back!). The nice thing about blogs is that you're not in people's faces. They come to you.

Kate Q:-)