Teens and 20-somethings make up 92 percent of bloggers, or at least that’s the estimate Perseus delivers in their recent survey of eight blogging services.
“In many ways, what transpires online is an extension of the social interactions that take place at school,” writes K. Oanh Ha. “There are online cliques as well as the digital equivalent of hallway banter and gossip. Yet, what occurs online mostly lives in a digital reality that seldom crosses over into real life.
“Most teens abide by an unwritten code of the blogosphere: What happens online stays online. Many have digital friendships with classmates but never socialize in real life ‘because we don't hang with the same crowd.’”
- The Mercury News, 5 July 2004
Teens today seem to have a whole new repertoire of exclusionary criteria that were unavailable when I was their age.
What the San Jose Mercury News piece ignores is the other end of the survey which reports that older folks [age 50 plus] make up only .7 percent of bloggers, or 32,400 of us. Broken down further to my personal age category, 60 and older, we are just .3 percent of bloggers or 13,900 of us. With stats like that, we'll soon all know each other.
Our numbers will grow as more older folks join the online world, as younger people grow into our age demographic and as blogging software gets easier to use. Meanwhile, it would be interesting to know now, among us Older Blogger pioneers, what it is we - as opposed to the teenage hordes - get out of blogging, what purposes we put it to and why we do it.
I am not looking for numbers in this very casual, completely unscientific survey. Instead, I’m asking that you send me an email or leave a comment on this entry about how you use blogging. In a week or so, I’ll see what trends or commonalities emerge – or not – and I’ll post some of the most interesting answers.
It’s not necessary, but it would add, I believe, to our understanding, if you include your age. Here are some questions - not necessarily to answer, though you may - to get you started thinking:
- How did you discover blogging and why did you start?
- Were you a proficient computer user when you began? How difficult was it to master the technology?
- Is yours a journal, or do you write about a specific topic? How do you choose what you write about each day?
- How much personal information do you reveal? Do you have rules for yourself about that?
- Do your friends and family know about or take part in your blog? Do they read it and comment? Do you use your real name or an online alias? Are any of you “secret bloggers” who don’t tell anyone who knows you?
- Have you made new friends because of your blog?
- How comfortable have you become with new friends you have made through your blog? Compare to offline, real-world friends.
- How important to you is your blogging life? What does blogging give you that you don’t get from other parts of your life? What does it take away?
- Do you think blogging is here to stay?