Poetry or Persuasion?
Once again the Pew Internet Project has produced a research masterpiece with its just-released study, Bloggers: A portrait of the internet's new storytellers.
In addition to reporting all the valuable demographic data (12 million blog creators, 57 million blog readers), Pew drilled into the motivations and behaviors of bloggers, producing many rich insights. Looking at reasons for blogging, Pew's authors focus on the desire of bloggers to express themselves creatively (79%) and share their personal experiences (76%), leading marketing guru Seth Godin to title his comments on the study, Blogging is the new poetry.
But the study also delivers a portrait of bloggers as “among the most enthusiastic communicators of the modern age” and as motivated persuaders — 61% blog to “motivate others to take action” and 51% to “influence the way other people think.” For you fundraisers and organizers out there, older, wealthier bloggers are more likely to list “motivating others” as a major reason to blog. Among all bloggers, 11% indicate “politics and government” as the main topic of their blog (more likely for bloggers in their thirties and forties and those college-educated, second after “my life and personal experiences” at 37%). Bloggers are the most avid online news news readers, particularly political news.
I'll bet that if you passed bloggers through the traditional Roper “Influentials” screen, they'd over-index like crazy, even though they skew so young (only 16% are 50 years or older).
Plenty of meat to chew on in this report. Get it. Read it!