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State of the Blogosphere

The researchers at the Pew Internet and American Life Project have taken another of their regular looks at who is blogging and why.

According to the survey, 8% of internet users in the US are blog writers (that’s about 12 million people) while 39% of them are readers, a slight increase over fall 2005.

There are many more numbers running around the report but here are a few that drew my attention.

  • 84% of bloggers describe their blog as either a “hobby” or just “something I do, but not something I spend a lot of time on.”
  • 59% of bloggers spend just one or two hours per week tending their blog. One in ten bloggers spend ten or more hours per week on their blog.

For me it’s a hobby on which I definitely spend a lot of time. Many weeks, I’m in that ten or more hours group, if you count scanning sources that may turn into posts.

  • 34% of bloggers consider their blog a form of journalism, and 65% of bloggers do not.
  • 57% of bloggers include links to original sources either “sometimes” or “often.”
  • 56% of bloggers spend extra time trying to verify facts they want to include in a post either “sometimes” or “often.”

It’s hard to know how to define “journalism” these days. However, linking to original sources and fact checking posts just seem like they should be standard requirements of writing for the web.

  • 87% of bloggers allow comments on their blog.
  • 41% of bloggers say they have a blogroll or friends list on their blog.

Every blog should allow comments and include a blogroll.

  • Only 18% of bloggers offer an RSS feed of their blog’s content.

Most likely only 18% of bloggers KNOW that they offer an RSS feed.

The results of any survey should be taken with a healthy skepticism, this one included. But the Pew group has a pretty good record and these findings seems to be an interesting snapshot of who’s blogging and why.

blogs, pew internet, survey

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2 Comments

  1. I started blogging about six weeks ago and have loved it. In fact, I’ve enjoyed it so much that I’m hpoing to have an opportunity to do more writing to generate additional revenue. I’m like to use my blog to attract attention to my website and perhaps gain a few new clients. As such, I spend many more than ten hours a week working on my blog. If earning a living wasn’t necessary however, I’d still love blogging.

    But here’s another question to consider: What does it take these days for a blogger, who spends significant time blogging, to break into the A List?

    Andrew Pass
    http://www.Pass-Ed.com/blogger.html

  2. tim

    I’m not sure what you mean by the “A list” and I’m certainly not the right person to ask how you get there. I suspect it will take more than six weeks. :-)

    From what I’ve seen, no one has a magic formula for success in any media, much less blogging. The best I can suggest is to write regularly and try to make it interesting, relevant and unique. Above everything else, however, be honest.

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