Elderblogger Survey - Part 3
Elderblogger Survey - Part 5

Elderblogger Survey - Part 4

Today, the final group of findings from The Elderbloggers Survey is all about blogs and blogging. It is the longest section, but graphs are easy to read.

Before we get started, here again is the standard reminder about this Survey:
  • It is not balanced against the general population

  • It is not balanced against even the elder population

  • Respondents are self-selected, so not a representative sample

  • Therefore, the survey has no statistical validity

Nevertheless, because the survey was distributed mostly among elderbloggers themselves and other elders who read blogs, we can get a bit of an idea of who we are and what we are like, particularly in relation to one another of us who took the survey. 373 responses unless otherwise noted in parentheses following the question.

36. How did you find out about blogs and blogging?

36bhowfindblogs

“Other” includes such sources as television, offline classes, and work.

37. How much do you participate in blogging?
More than one answer was allowed.

37blogparticipation


38. What method do you most often use to read blogs?

38readmethod


39. How long have you been reading blogs regularly?

39timereading


40. How much time do you spend reading/commenting on blogs?

40btimecomment


41. How many blogs are on your regular must-read list? (371)

41numberblogsread


42. Why do you read blogs?
This is a tough question to graph because 56 write-in answers were difficult to categorize. Some of the groups into which I put those answers are fairly arbitrary, but some order had to be put to it not have dozens of categories.

For lack of space on the graph, some answer choices are shortened and may not make sense, so here are those two full answers: To connect with others/friendship and To be part of a community.

42bwhyreadblogs

The “other” category contains five answers each under what I termed “to learn about the human condition” and “inspiration.” Some fell into categories with fewer than five responses:

Find opinions
Stay informed
Read stories
Help others
Personal validation
Promote my art
Writing

43. How long have you been blogging? (263)

43howlongblogging


44. How many blogs do you regularly publish? (244)

44numberofblogs


45. What blog platform do you use? (210)
Quite a number of respondents wrote in WordPress only in the text box not distinguishing between .com and .org, which are different platforms, so I combined them all into WordPress.

45blogplatforms

In the “Other” category, one each for Drupal, Greymatter, Tinderbox, OpenDiary and Hurricane Electric (which appears to be a hosting service), along with one answering “I don’t know.”

46. On average, how often do you post to your blog(s)? (199)

46postfrequency


47. How would you describe your main blog? (205)
This question contained a text box for respondents to enter other answers. All but one (link blog) could be categorized with the other choices, which I’ve done.

47bblogdescription


48. On average, how much time do you spend preparing a blog post? (207)
Don’t even ask how long it took me to prepare these survey posts with all the graphs; it’s way off the scale.

48postpreptime


49. Why do you blog? (Check all that apply) (209)
There are almost as many reasons for blogging as there are respondents. Multiple choices were allowed as well as write-in answers. Some write-ins matched the categories given and were folded into the percentages in the graphs. To make the results more easily readable, they are divided into two graphs with answers in descending order of popularity.

49areasonsblog

49breasonsblog

There were so many interesting individual answers that didn’t fit categories, I’m listing them for us:

To store sites I like
Publish my writing
As a spiritual practice
To inform family (avoid email) of what I’m doing
Show my photos
Links to websites
Share my gratitude
Job duty
Feel good
Understand blog technology
To share thoughts
Entertain
To remember after a stroke
Addicted to blogging
To rant and vent

50. Right now, as you take this survey, how interested are you in continuing to keep your blog(s)? (208)
Some write-in answers that did not address the question have been placed in the “other” category. Some write-ins closely matched categories and have been folded in. A handful of people had answers that did not match categories:

I’m quitting, but I may return
I’m committed to blogging, but don’t match categories
I may post less often now

Here are the main responses. Although there are only eight categories, I’ve divided them into two graphs because some answers can’t be easily abbreviated.

50afeelabout

50bfeelabout


51. Have you met people through blogging whom you now consider to be friends? (187)

51bmadefriends


52. How do your blog relationships compare to real-world friendships? (373)

52comparefriends


53. Have you met any blog friends in person? (373)
This was a multiple choice question.

53bmetinperson


54. Thinking of one blog friend you have met (if you have), how did it work out? (116)

54howmeetworked


55. How much do you trust the information you read on ELDERblogs? (373)

55btrustelderblogs


56. Do you specifically seek out blogs written by elders? (365)

56seekelderblogs


57. Do you read Time Goes By regularly? (373)

57readtgb

Tomorrow, in the final post about the Elderbloggers Survey, some commentary.

The ElderBlogger Survey - Part 1
The ElderBlogger Survey - Part 2
The ElderBlogger Survey - Part 3
The Elderblogger Survey - Part 5

[In the continuing Mother’s Day series at The Elder Storytelling Place today, A Mother’s Last Best Lesson.]

Comments

Wow, Ronni, a confirmed readership of at least 259 people. I knew that you attracted many readers, but I am impressed. Congratulations! (Yes, I know you didn't ask question to show off; but kudos, anyway. Bask!)

I am amazed at the amount of work you must have put in collating all of those answers. I think that 373 samplings is as much as other surveys take and they call their results accurate.

I think it is a good snapshot of elder bloggers habits in spite of your caveats.

It is NOT a snapshot of elderly (or your misuse of the word 'elder', if you prefer) bloggers, it is a self-selected group of mostly social and financial liberals. I am a social liberal, but I am most definitely a financial conservative. I find the ideas set forth on this blog to be intriguing, whether I disagree with them or not.

That would have been a most telling and interesting question, but I believe Ronni was trying to keep bias out of the survey. I believe she did an excellent job of it, whatever our political differences.

One note: if you think that men stay away from this blog in droves because they just don't blog, think again. Most men over the age of 50 are politically conservative and have little use for liberal points of view. Just as most liberals over the age of 50 have no use for conservative points of view. Most postings to conservative web sites are by men. Most members of CATO are men. Most of them are over the age of 50.

We should all be willing to look at the other side of the picture, if nothing else, to convince ourselves that our views are from solid reasoning. If everything you read just shores up your belief in your own righteous stance, you have become nothing more than a set of pompous attitudes.

Only YOU can prevent Old Fogieism.

I'm climbing down off my soapbox and dismantling it on this blog. Nobody is interested in my opinions (this is not my platform) but I am certainly interested in Ronni's.

Ronni, your writing keeps me reading!


Ronni,

Thank you for all the work you did both publishing the survey and presenting us with the results.

You made it easy for us to understand the reasons that people read and comment to blogs.

We were able to compare ourselves to everyone else who responded, and now perhaps we understand each other just a little better now....

This information is absolutely amazing, Ronni. Thanks for creating the survey and then compiling it for us. Your work at Time Goes By is actually a full time job and then some.

I find this survey to be most informative as you make very clear the limitations.

I'm delighted to have TGB be one very unique and special blog to which I can come for information examining intelligent thought-provoking topics and ideas, identifying problems, often offering suggestions for solutions. When a point of view is reflected, others are solicited from those who may or may not agree. I find my thinking stimulated in such an environment.

Speaking for myself (and I suspect the same may be true for many of your other readers) I also seek out information, other perspectives and points of view, some of which are quite different from those expressed here.

I think it's a mistake for anyone to assume that the readers/commenters who visit this blog mindlessly limit themselves to only what they read here on issues.

The reality is that if there is agreement among many readers here, that is likely because all other views have been considered and thoughtful analysis has resulted in conclusions expressed here by each of us. Sometimes we all agree with Ronni. Sometimes we don't. Sometimes we agree with only some of what is written here. This stimulation of thought, links to other blogs and web sites is part of what I value about this blog.

I hope you continue to present surveys in the future as they do offer interesting information -- some more meaningful than those foisted on us by many sources.

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