Friday, July 21, 2006

New Pew Survey Defines Today's Bloggers

Who are all these bloggers spouting their opinions anyway?

This United Press International story about a new survey on the continued growth of blogging as well as the potential for millions more brand new readers in the coming years has this particular blogger jumping for joy at the possibility of reaching those people with the message of livin' la vida low-carb.

The Pew Research group released the results of their "Internet & American Life Project" this week and reported on several very distinctive trends in blogging and with the bloggers themselves. The blogging format is quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with and this new research shows the influence that blogs are having will only continue to get bigger and bigger.

Among the characteristics of bloggers, here's what they found:

- Most bloggers share their personal experiences
- Most bloggers are content with small readership
- Most bloggers use their blog as a personal journal
- Most bloggers don't consider what they do as journalism
- Most bloggers write about the things they are most passionate
- Most bloggers try to be a leader in the subject they blog about
- Most bloggers write daily or almost daily
- Most bloggers LOVE to write and are good at it
- Most bloggers have a full-time job (and it's not blogging!)
- Most bloggers are young, primarily 18-30 year olds
- Most bloggers blog about first-hand knowledge or skills
- Most bloggers have never published their writings before
- Most bloggers remain anonymous using a fake name
- Most bloggers spend hours on the Internet per day
- Most bloggers enjoy reading other people's blogs
- Most bloggers share original works of art or expression
- Most bloggers allow people to comment on their blog
- Most bloggers post pictures and photos on their blog
- Most bloggers are willing to post links to other similar blogs
- Most bloggers are not in it to make money

Those are some very keen observations about what constitutes the great bloggers of our day and I can't really disagree with any of them because most of them are very apropos. While all of us bloggers are not all the same, we certainly have areas of commonality that bind us together that define who we are as a whole. Can you think of any other descriptions of what most bloggers are like that the Pew survey missed?

It's the year 2006, but I'm still amazed at the reaction I get from people when I tell them I have a low-carb blog.

"You've got a what? A clog? Do you need some Liquid Drano for that or something? Oh, you said a blog. Duh, what's that?"

Sigh. Thankfully the blogosphere is starting to get a little more recognition now that 12 million adults in the United States (8 percent of the Internet population) are active members of this emerging community of interactive opinion-makers sharing their thoughts and ideas on whatever is on their mind with a whopping 57 million American adults (39 percent of the Internet population) reading these blogs.

So, where are the other 61 percent of Internet users going for information on their favorite topics? Come on people, you've gotta start reading the blogs to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and thought on whatever it is that interests you the most. The two best places to find blog posts that feature up-to-the-minute news and commentary on your favorite topics is either at Google BlogSearch or Technorati. Go ahead, give 'em a try!

Among the different kinds of blogs out there, here is the breakdown:

Personal life - 37 percent (can you say
Political - 11 percent
Entertainment - 7 percent
Sports - 6 percent
News/Current Events - 5 percent
Business - 5 percent
Technology - 4 percent
Religion/Faith - 2 percent
Health - 1 percent

Frankly, I'm surprised health blogs were THAT small. Nevertheless, I believe with obesity and diabetes continuing to grow and expected to remain in that upward direction in the coming years, you will very likely see the emergence of even more blogs that discuss health, diet, nutrition, and weight loss to help people deal with these conditions. In other words, the blog format I have chosen is NOT going anywhere anytime soon. Good! :)

What does this Pew survey mean for the "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb" blog specifically? Not a whole lot since I seem to be doing a lot of the right things by offering my readers quality content on a daily basis that they are interested in. I take my blogging responsibilities very seriously and I never want to just settle for anything less than the best I can offer. That's not fair to you as my reader and I wouldn't want you to expect anything less from me. It's the least I can do to reward you for your faithfulness to my blog.

I feel I am offering my readers much of what they are looking for in a blog based on the numbers who visit here daily. Yet, I would be interested in knowing what the Pew people find out about the READERS of blogs and what they expect in a blog and

You know what, though, I'm not willing to wait until they do their research to find out. :D Let's just make up our own informal survey with this blog post right here, right now.

What do YOU as a reader of blogs look for when you visit a blog? In other words, why do you keep coming back to read the same blogs every day or every few days? Are there any specific things you look for in a blog that make you WANT to keep coming back? If so, what are they?

Please feel free to expand upon these questions and share your comments about being a blog reader by clicking on the comment link below.

The blog format is indeed exploding and a lot of companies and businesses are JUST beginning to realize this. The savvy marketing teams are falling all over themselves trying to get in the good graces of the most popular bloggers right now and that only makes good business sense. If you have a blog that attracts a lot of people, then be prepared to be approached by all kinds of companies that have products and services related to your blog topic. If not already, then it is coming.

For me, I'll keep blogging away because I aim to educate, encourage and entertain people with news, information and opinions that will hopefully help them in your weight loss efforts and keep them informed about what's going on in the wonderful world of low-carb. Keep on reading the "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb" blog as you keep on livin' la vida low-carb!


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