Friday, June 08, 2007

Blogging: What, When, and Why?

As a newcomer to Blogger, I find myself curious about how others tend to use the blog medium. The Pew Internet & American Life Project collected an interesting set of statistics last year about the habits of bloggers, based on follow-up interviews with 233 self-identified bloggers who had participated in a random-digit-dialing telephone survey on American internet usage.

About half of the bloggers surveyed said that they blog mostly for themselves, and about one-third indicated that their blogs focused on their lives and experiences. After personal experience, the second most popular primary topic for bloggers was politics and government (11%), followed variety of other minor topics. I was surprised, however, to find that only 4% of those surveyed indicated that technology was the primary topic of their blog, given that the medium, as I understand it, began in the techie circles as a web log--that is, a log of one's web surfing activities.

Most bloggers surveyed (59%) spent only one or two hours per week on their blogs, and another quarter spent between three and nine hours. The median number of ours spent per week was two. In terms of the frequency of posts:

  • 13% post at least once a day
  • 15% post three to five times a week
  • 25% post one or two times a week
  • 28% post once every few weeks
  • 19% post less often than every few weeks
Given that most bloggers post rather infrequently, it isn't surprising that 70% say they post only when inspiration strikes, while 22% (roughly the same as those who post three or more times per week) say they post on a regular schedule.

The report also includes other interesting information about the type of people who blog, what motivates them, how they choose what they write, and so on.

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