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?
“Other” includes such sources as television, offline classes, and work.
37. How much do you participate in blogging?
More than one answer was allowed.
38. What method do you most often use to read blogs?
39. How long have you been reading blogs regularly?
40. How much time do you spend reading/commenting on blogs?
41. How many blogs are on your regular must-read list? (371)
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.
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:
Promote my art
43. How long have you been blogging? (263)
44. How many blogs do you regularly publish? (244)
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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
Understand blog technology
To share thoughts
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.
51. Have you met people through blogging whom you now consider to be friends? (187)
52. How do your blog relationships compare to real-world friendships? (373)
53. Have you met any blog friends in person? (373)
This was a multiple choice question.
54. Thinking of one blog friend you have met (if you have), how did it work out? (116)
55. How much do you trust the information you read on ELDERblogs? (373)
56. Do you specifically seek out blogs written by elders? (365)
57. Do you read Time Goes By regularly? (373)
Tomorrow, in the final post about the Elderbloggers Survey, some commentary.
[In the continuing Mother’s Day series at The Elder Storytelling Place today, A Mother’s Last Best Lesson.]