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Happy birthday to the Blend

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The Blend turns two today!

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While we’re on the subject of blogs and blogging, here’s information on a Pew Research portrait of the “internet’s new storytellers.” It’s called Pew Internet & American Life report and it’s definitely worth the read.

I always wonder where I fit in on the spectrum in terms of blogging, since you often feel like you are typing your thoughts and posting them out into a void, not sure how they’ll be received, or whether anyone is reading at all.

Of course in the case of PHB, I know that there are folks out there reading these days — bloggers, lurkers and commenters alike, but many bloggers don’t have an expectation of a readership at all — they do it for the enjoyment of putting thoughts out there. That’s how I started out, but eventually the Blend morphed into less of a soapbox, and more of a community, where I post what’s on my mind, but I am now equally interested in what you all have to say.

There’s a lot of information in the report; this is just a sampling.

* The most distinguishing characteristic of bloggers is their youth. More than half (54%) of bloggers are under the age of 30. Like the internet population in general, however, bloggers are evenly divided between men and women, and more than half live in the suburbs. Another third live in urban areas and a scant 13% live in rural regions.
* Another distinguishing characteristic is that bloggers are less likely to be white than the general internet population. Sixty percent of bloggers are white, 11% are African American, 19% are English-speaking Hispanic and 10% identify as some other race. By contrast, 74% of internet users are white, 9% are African American, 11% are English-speaking Hispanic and 6% identify as some other race.

Relatively small groups of bloggers view blogging as a public endeavor.
* Despite the public nature of creating a blog, most bloggers view it as a personal pursuit.
* 55% of bloggers blog under a pseudonym, and 46% blog under their own name.
* 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.
* 52% of bloggers say they blog mostly for themselves, not for an audience. About one-third of bloggers (32%) say they blog mostly for their audience.

…When asked “What does your blog mean to you?” the largest group of bloggers (44%) replied that their blog is “something I do, but not something I spend a lot of time on,” a point that meshes with the findings that bloggers do not update their blogs very frequently and do not spend much time updating their blogs in any given week. Only 13% of bloggers post new material every day. The typical blogger spends five hours per week updating his or her main blog. Another sizable contingent of bloggers (40%) describes blogging as a hobby that they enjoy working on when they can. There is a smaller core of devoted users, just 13%, who say that their blog is very important to them, and describe it as a big part of their life.

More than half (54%) of bloggers are under the age of 30, and about another third (30%) are between 30 and 50. Just 14% of bloggers fall in the 50 to 64 age group and a tiny 2% are 65 or older. In comparison, only 24% of internet users are age 18-29. Nearly half of internet users (45%) are age 30 to 49 and another quarter (24%) are age 50 to 64. About 7% of internet users are 65 or older.

Bloggers are less likely to be white than internet users. While 60% of bloggers are white, 11% are African American, 19% are English-speaking Hispanic and 10% are some other race or ethnicity. By contrast, among internet users 74% are white, 9% are African American, 11% English-speaking Hispanic and 6% are some other race or ethnicity.

While many of the most popular blogs on the internet post material frequently, even multiple times per day, the majority of bloggers do not post nearly so often. 9 One-quarter of bloggers post one to two days a week, and about one in seven bloggers (15%) post three to five days a week. Twenty-eight percent of bloggers say they post new material to their blog every few weeks. About one in five bloggers (19%) post every few weeks or less often.

In our sample, 13% post daily or more frequently. Bloggers who have had a personal website in the past are more likely to post material daily to their blog, as are bloggers who report higher than average levels of blog traffic.

The typical blogger spends about two hours per week on their blog.

On average, bloggers do not spend a great deal of time on their blogs. Six in ten bloggers (59%) report spending one to two hours a week on their blog, and another quarter spend 3 to 9 hours a week blogging. One in ten (10%) spend ten or more hours a week tending their blog. Six percent did not answer the question or did not know how many hours they spent per week. Younger bloggers, despite being more likely to keep a blog, generally spend fewer hours per week working on their blog.

If only I spent two hours on the Blend, lol. I probably spend about 4-5 hours a day on the blog, stolen hours in the late evenings and early mornings, stacking up posts to release during the day.

Hat tip, Holly.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding