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Blogging Survey Results

First of all, I'd like to thank everyone who took the time to fill out the poll I posted. The results were indeed quite fascinating to me. Here's the results as of this morning, along with my commentary:


1. I blog for the following reasons (check all that apply):
As a personal journal 88.7%
To promote my published work 23.9%
To talk about topics that interest me 83.1%
I don't blog, but I use my journal to read blogs 8.5%
Other (please explain in comments) 21.1%


It would appear that these results mirror the Pew survey. The vast majority of people said they blog as a personal journal and to talk about stuff they're interested in. I suppose this should have been fairly obvious, but it's always good to get data. About one-fifth of you are promoting published work, and a tiny but non-insignificant number simply use LiveJournal to read blogs (although one person mentioned blogging elsewhere.)

I'm interested in that last statistic because I started a LiveJournal account solely to read other people's blogs, and the whole blogging thing sucked me in. I wonder how many other people have that same experience.


2. I primarily blog about (check all that apply):
My personal life 84.5%
Movies 40.8%
Television 38.0%
Science fiction 47.9%
Writing 54.9%
Politics 39.4%
Science 25.4%
Religion 25.4%
Other (please explain in comments) 26.8%


After I put together the poll, I realize I had left out comic books, one of my favorite topics. Oh, well.

Personal life is right up there, as the results of the first question also indicated. But what I find fascinating here is that while a slight majority of respondents noted that they blog about writing, the number who blog about science fiction was a little under 50%. So if I do have a lot of science fiction writer types out there blogging, they seem a little more interested in discussing writing than science fiction.


3. I consider myself either an aspiring or working writer.
Yes 63.4%
No 36.6%

This, of course, for me was the main question. As I noted yesterday, I thought I had a skewed view of the blogosphere because I am read by, and therefore read, mostly writers. The statistics bear me out; a little more than three-fifths of the people who responded consider themselves writers. No wonder why I feel the blogosphere is filled with writers!


There were some interesting responses in the comments, and I encourage people to take a look. I don't have time to discuss them all, but I do want to note the comments from bluepapercup and michelel72. Both mentioned the idea that there is a difference between "blogging" and keeping an online journal. I get the feeling that the outside world considers a "blog" something that only a professional or a journalist should attempt, which is why many non-bloggers get confused when they hear that so many of us keep some sort of online journal. My guess is that the definition of the word "blog" is still somewhat amorphous, and will need tightening in the future.

In the meantime, go out there and enjoy your blogging or online journaling!
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Comments

I agree with bluepapercup and michelel72 (hi!) that there is a difference between "blog" and "online journal". I see blogs as being more oriented toward "let me tell you about the world that we both share" and journals being more oriented toward "let me tell you about my own life". But it's a fuzzy distinction: dooce, for example, is often counted as a blog.

What really annoys me is the word "blogosphere", because it implies a shared culture among blogs (broadly or narrowly defined) that just doesn't exist. (Unless you count most-recent-on-top dated entries, two- or three-column layouts, and intemperate language as a "shared culture".) I much prefer Max Sawicky's use of "Blogistan" to refer to the right-wing political blogs and "Blogovia" to refer to the left-wing ones.
I, too, see a difference between blogs and online journals. In addition to what you said, I see blogs as more narrowly focused. joelonsoftware is a blog about software; velveteenrabbi is a blog about (egalitarian, liberal) Judaism; bill_walsh is a blog about writing and editing. Which doesn't mean the authors don't occasionally post "off topic", but the vast majority of posts are on some sort of topic theme.

The theme of my journal, however, is "me". There are certain subjects that come up frequently because I'm interested in them, but if you were just looking for (say) a Jewish blog, my posts about cooking would get in your way, and if you were just looking for an SCA blog, the gaming posts would get in your way, and if you were just looking for a [any topic] blog, the posts about my family, my cats, and what I did last weekend would get in your way. I think "bloggers" are under more pressure to specialize.

I much prefer Max Sawicky's use of "Blogistan" to refer to the right-wing political blogs and "Blogovia" to refer to the left-wing ones.

But what about those of us who are too complex to be described by a simple left-right spectrum? :-)
But what about those of us who are too complex to be described by a simple left-right spectrum? :-)

Blogopolis?
I'm fascinated by these results as well, and wish I had been feeling well enough yesterday to have thrown my own thoughts into the mix.

I'm a different drummer in that I consider myself an aspiring or working editor, rather than a writer; this is why I have writers on my list.

The point about the confusion regarding the perception of "blogging" versus keeping an online journal was recently a cause of friction between myself and a family member. I come from a family of activists, and he thought my LJ was "beneath my dignity", because of the "frivolous" way I write in it. The followup explanatory post is Friends-locked, but the one I linked is not.

It's a personal goal for me to write more about science fiction as a whole, rather than writing about writing, since I seem to be drawn into debates about it recently.

I think I'll point him towards this post.
3. I consider myself either an aspiring or working writer.

Here's a point I wanted to clarify, although I didn't ask:

Do you necessarily mean "aspiring working/professional writer"? Or is "likes to write/approaches the world in a writerly way/always means or wishes to do more recreational writing" enough to self-identify as "aspiring"? ;-)
I chose to let everyone define the question for themselves, as I was more interested in self-perception than anything else.

If I take another poll, I might look into categories of writers.

Just something that made me think of you...

Re: Just something that made me think of you...

This makes me think of me, too... :-) Thanks!
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