PEW Internet Blogging report

Pew Internet.jpg

Thanks to my colleague Jedd for drawing my attention to the latest report from Pew Internet titled Bloggers: A Portrait of the Internet???s New Storytellers ( PDF download available here )

This report is interesting because, despite a small sample size, it is the second in a series of surveys looking at the same questions, and thus provides some sense of the growth and development of blogging as an online activity.

Adding to the summary of key findings summarized on Jedd’s blog, the part of the report I found really interesting was the section relating to the audience and motivation for blogging – (worth noting in relation to the comments made by Graham Wegner in my previous blog entry.)

When asked whether they blogged for themselves or for their audience, more than half of
bloggers (52%) responded that they blog for themselves. About a third (32%) of bloggers blog mostly to entertain or engage their audience, and another 14% volunteered that they blogged for both themselves and their audience equally.

In response to a question about what kind of attention bloggers receive from their blogs and from whom, the report states:

Most frequently, bloggers received attention from other bloggers, either through exchanges of links or discussions proceeding from postings and their responses, either via comments or on other blogs. Nearly 60% of bloggers had been noticed by other bloggers. Young bloggers (age 18-29) were most likely to say that they had received this kind of attention. About half of bloggers (52%) report that their blog has been noticed by family members.

On a different note, I found the comment regarding the use of RSS very interesting. According to the report, few bloggers offer an RSS feed, possibly because many bloggers are not aware of the technology.

RSS does not have a strong presence yet, even within the blogosphere. Only 18% of bloggers in our survey say they offered an RSS feed of their blog. Nearly 6 in 10 (59%) say they do not have an RSS feed for their blog content, and close to another quarter (23%) say they do not know if they had a feed, or did not answer the question.

In relation to this finding, the writers comment that this is not un-typical, and that in a general internet-user survey conducted in May-June 2005 only 9% of internet users said they have a good idea of the meaning of the term ???RSS feeds.??? I’d expect this figure to change dramatically in the next 12 months!

One thought on “PEW Internet Blogging report

  1. RE the RSS comments, derek;“only 9% of internet users said they have a good idea of the meaning of the term ???RSS feeds. I’d expect this figure to change dramatically in the next 12 months!” I agree, and I think this will change dramatically once RSS happens without any need to know what it means, and what it does. Similar phenomenon to blogging, wikis, and collaborative document writing I think; the applications and tools that have moved beyond the need to know code/html/tags are now taking off. Subscribing to feeds is also much easier these days, for example the way it is integrated into the Flock browser, and RSS functionality is surely likely to move the same way.

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