A telephone survey of a nationally-representative sample of bloggers has found that blogging is inspiring a new group of writers and creators to share their voices with the world.
We find that bloggers blog for many different reasons – some blog to exercise their creative muscles, others want to motivate or influence others. Bloggers may want to stay in touch with family and friends, others want to network and meet new people. Bloggers may use their blog as a way of documenting ideas and events and storing them for later retrieval, while others view it as a way to share, to entertain, and even to earn a living.
Some observers have suggested that blogging is nothing more than the next step in a burgeoning culture of narcissism and exhibitionism spurred by reality TV and other elements of the modern media environment. But others contend that blogging promises a democratization of voices that can now bypass the institutional gatekeepers of mainstream media. This democratization is thought to have implications for the practice and business of journalism as well as the future of civic and political discourse.
The Pew Internet & American Life Project wanted to explore the questions of who, what, where, when and how of blogging by going directly to the source – bloggers themselves. This report details the findings of a callback telephone survey of bloggers conducted over approximately six months in 2005-2006. In standard internet tracking surveys of nationally representative samples of American adults by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, a question is asked of all internet users about whether they maintain a blog. Once several hundred bloggers were identified in those standard surveys, the bloggers were called back and asked questions about their specific motivations, their blogging behaviors, the content of their postings, the features on their blogs, and their views about the impact of their blogs.