In my first blog entry, I wrote about getting on the train or getting run over by it. Having spent the last year as a passenger on that train, I’ve been pondering the whole BLOG idea. There’s still something about the word that makes me laugh. But after posting a few dozen entries – and getting a response or three – I’m not lining up to drink the Kool-Aid but I’m definitely more interested in the idea of blogs as a means of communicating with the masses than I was a year ago. I decided to find out more about this brave – or not so brave – new world.
A Washington Post article in 2006 said that the 12 million bloggers (at that time) were generally under 30, with only about 15 percent of them making money at it.
Robin Good wrote on his blog in Sept. 2008 that 2/3 of bloggers were men who were generally younger than the women who blogged and not as good at figuring out ways to make blogging pay.
Technorati’s State of the Blogosphere for 2009 says that they’re still mostly male, mostly young, affluent, well educated and are making money – LOTS of it – from their blogs.
Apparently celebrities love to blog, but they’re either too busy (or something) to write their own, so they hire people to do it for them. (They also do this for their Twitter accounts, which begs the question, why bother?)
WHAT THEY’RE WRITING
According to caslon.com, in 2007 researchers for the Oxford English Dictionary claimed that among the 15 most frequently used words in the blogosphere were such erudite expressions as stupid, me/myself/my, oh, yeah, OK, stuff and nice. Apparently, the ability to write without restriction hasn’t improved our communication skills.
In 2007 blogger Chris Brogan decided to create a Top 100 list of topics he hoped people would write about in their blogs. Some of the more interesting titles:
• Somebody Has to Say It
• How I Find Time to Make Media
• My Mother is On Facebook
• Do Rock Stars Need Social Media Strategies
• Ten Guilty Pleasures
I’ve talked about everything from advertising jingles you can’t forget to innovative new courses in the SMC to events we’ve planned and executed. I’ve had the chance to salute the efforts of students working on community-based service learning projects; cheered for the national champion Bateman team; complained about bad advertising; wondered about the state of the motion picture industry; bemoaned the lack of readers in today’s society; advocated student internships…and the list goes on. Blogging has given me a platform from which to promote causes I believe in and point fingers at those I don’t.
A 2004 blogads.com survey attempted to create a picture of the typical blog reader. He was 30-50 years old and made more than $45,000 a year working in education (student or teacher) or (surprise, surprise) the computer industry.
His magazine reading consisted of the New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, National Geographic, Time, Newsweek and The Economist. (Interesting note: 54 percent of respondents said print magazines were worthless or only somewhat useful as a source of news and opinion.) He spent up to 10 hours a week reading 3-6 blogs a day. Although he considered himself an opinion maker, he didn’t blog himself. But he did feel that blogs were faster, more honest and gave better perspective than traditional media and offered news not available elsewhere.
As part of the 2007 Blog Reader Project, someone attepted to identify demographically Perez Hilton’s blog readers. Less than 10 percent were under 18, 62 percent were Democrats and 37 percent went to church. Nearly 90 percent were female, and more than 30 percent were likely to comment on the blog.
So what does the blog reader of 2010 look like? It’s hard to say. Data don’t seem to be available. I guess everyone’s too busy blogging. And that includes me.
Here’s to a new year with many topics to choose from and to write about. I don’t have a Top 100 list, so feel free to send me any ideas that you have.