I was happily surprised by last year's blog reader survey. This year's survey continues the trajectory of happy surprises.

Last year, we got 17,159 responses. This year, 30,079 blog readers responded.

Last year, 61% of responding blog readers were over 30 years old. This year, 75% are over 30 years old.

Last year, 40% had family incomes greater than $90,000. This year, 43% exceed that figure.

Year over year, some figures are remarkably stable. One reader in five is a blogger. As was the case last year, exactly 1.7% are CEOs. Almost the same number (44%) spend more than $500 for air tickets. 86% purchased music online, last year and this. Last year, 79% were men. This year, 75% are men.

The most interesting news comes in section 8. Aficionados of PR-speak will recognize these questions as benchmark tests to identify who is an opinion maker, a member of the ten percent of Americans who are believed to set the agenda and steer the opinions of the other 90%. To qualify as an official "influential," RoperASW, the leading firm consulting in the field, you have to answer 3 of those questions (excluding a petition) in the affirmative. Clearly the blogosphere is crawling with certified grade A opinion makers. (When we can get SurveyMonkey's filtering software to behave properly, we'll be able to tell you exactly how many.)

How much credence should you give this survey? The survey was designed as much to provoke as to prove. I'll paraphrase what I wrote last year: the survey's responses are a fragment of a sample of a subset. There are millions of bloggers. Last week I e-mailed roughly 100 of them -- some of the biggest bloggers, many of whom focus on politics and/or sell blogads -- suggesting they link to they survey. Some of the bloggers I wrote to (and some I didn't) linked to the survey; some of their readers clicked; some were offended by questions written mostly for Americans; some aspiring respondents were unable to complete Surveymonkey's sometimes buggy forms. So wield a salt shaker as you munch on this data.

But remember also that the blogosphere is all about biases and conversations and boot-strapping and not waiting for some authority-- a newspaper editor or university dean or foundation officer or venture capitalist or government agent -- to tell you something but figuring it out yourself, and, finally, about sharing fragments of imperfect data with peers to arrive at some useful collective knowledge.

As Trent Lott and Howell Raines learned, the blogosphere's numerous voices can capture and amplify ideas that are too complex or contrary for traditional organizations to see or speak. (This year, we can add Howard Dean, Dan Rather, George Bush, Eason Jordan and Jeff Gannon to the list of public figures rerouted by bloggers.)

Soon bloggers who directed readers to the survey will get their own breakouts to use or share. And more survey results -- breakouts by party affiliation and other metrics -- coming next week.

Henry Copeland
March 12, 2005
www.blogads.com/weblog

Blog reader survey March 2005

1. Age?
 Response PercentResponse Total
  <14
0.1%17
  14-21
4.6%1398
  21-30
20.3%6101
  31-40
24.5%7378
  41-50
23.3%7007
  51-60
18.4%5549
  61-70
6.8%2040
  71+
2%591
Total Respondents  30081
(skipped this question)  -2
2. Sex
 Response PercentResponse Total
  Male
75.5%22711
  Female
24.5%7370
Total Respondents  30081
(skipped this question)  -2
3. Annual family income:
 Response PercentResponse Total
  0-$10,000
2.8%799
  $10-$20,000
3.6%1042
  $20-30,000
6.1%1746
  $30-$45,000
10.6%3038
  $45-$60,000
13.3%3811
  $60-$90,000
21.3%6113
  $90-$120,000
17.8%5103
  $120-$150,000
9.2%2633
  $150-$200,000
7.4%2124
  $200-$300,000
4.3%1248
  $300-$500,000
2%589
  >$500,000
1.7%502
Total Respondents  28748
(skipped this question)  1331
4. Job title:
 Response PercentResponse Total
  Accountant/auditor
1.5%441
  Admin Assistant
2%599
  Analyst
2.5%757
  Artist/musician/entertainer
1.6%494
  Architect
0.6%169
  Associate
0.7%215
  Broker/trader/adviser
1%287
  CEO/Chairman/President
1.7%518
  CFO,COO,CTO,CIO
0.7%222
  Clergy
0.5%142
  Clerical worker
1%294
  Computer professional
8.1%2450
  Consultant
3.2%963
  Director
2.2%665
  Doctor
1.3%380
  Educator
5.6%1674
  Engineer
4.5%1368
  Entrepreneur
1.8%545
  Government official
1.3%384
  Health care worker (other than Dr.)
1.2%373
  Homemaker
2.2%661
  Lawyer/Judge
5.1%1521
  Manager
4.9%1473
  Military officer
0.4%135
  Partner/principal/owner
1.6%492
  Researcher
1.9%567
  Sales
2.7%814
  Skilled labor
1.2%348
  Scientist
1.8%534
  Service provider
0.7%222
  Student
10%3009
  Supervisor
0.7%220
  Technician
1.6%477
  Vice President
1.3%396
  Writer/editor
4.8%1442
  Retired
6.7%2002
  Other (please specify)
9.4%2828
Total Respondents  30081
(skipped this question)  -2
5. Industry:
 Response PercentResponse Total
  Accounting
0.9%249
  Agriculture
0.7%197
  Architecture, Design
1.2%344
  Arts, Entertainment
4.8%1313
  Computers, Software, Tech
10.5%2891
  Construction
2.1%574
  Consulting
3.1%859
  Education
14.8%4088
  Engineering
3.4%940
  Finance, Banking, Brokerage
5.6%1560
  Government, Diplomacy
5.3%1458
  Health care
5.7%1566
  Homemaker
1.4%386
  Import, Export, Trade
0.4%106
  Information Management/Library
1.2%344
  Insurance
1.6%429
  Legal
7.1%1950
  Manufacturing
4.2%1148
  MarCom, Advertising, PR
2%542
  Media
4.4%1202
  Military
1.4%382
  Non-profit/Associations
2.8%767
  Pharmaceuticals
0.9%251
  Real-estate
1.7%478
  Recruiting/HR
0.2%67
  Religious
0.7%205
  Retired
2.1%593
  R&D
1.4%380
  Retail
2.5%683
  Social Services
0.7%197
  Telecommunications
2.1%579
  Transport
1.4%397
  Travel, Hospitality
1.1%313
  Wholesale
0.7%190
Total Respondents  27628
(skipped this question)  2451
6. Politically, you are:
 Response PercentResponse Total
  Apolitical
2.6%774
  Democrat
39.3%11475
  Republican
27.3%7971
  Libertarian
7.7%2253
  Independent
19%5561
  Green
4%1183
Total Respondents  29217
(skipped this question)  862
7. In the last 6 months, how much money have you spent online in each of the following categories?
 Spending range
0$1-$100$100-$199$200-$499$500-$999$1000-$1499$1500-$2499$2500-$4999$5000+Response Total
Contributed to a cause/campaign
33% (8977)28% (7701)13% (3641)13% (3574)7% (1863)3% (710)2% (430)1% (252)1% (238)27386
Software
41% (10915)29% (7780)14% (3717)10% (2555)4% (963)1% (316)0% (112)0% (60)0% (68)26486
Music
34% (8987)42% (11309)14% (3800)7% (1928)2% (509)1% (162)0% (64)0% (29)0% (31)26819
Books
14% (3928)35% (9894)24% (6669)19% (5470)6% (1676)2% (457)1% (161)0% (53)0% (40)28348
Plane tickets
36% (9872)1% (290)3% (719)15% (4108)19% (5237)12% (3236)7% (1982)4% (1136)3% (708)27288
Computer
52% (13470)10% (2508)7% (1702)8% (1959)7% (1944)6% (1613)6% (1632)4% (939)1% (342)26109
Consumer electronics
46% (11896)14% (3779)11% (2784)15% (3843)8% (2191)3% (851)2% (396)1% (248)0% (122)26110
Subscription to a publication
46% (12051)41% (10756)9% (2364)3% (811)1% (184)0% (50)0% (20)0% (7)0% (19)26262
Total Respondents  29446
(skipped this question)  633
8. Which of the following have you done in the last twelve months:
 Response PercentResponse Total
 Written or called any politician at the state, local, or national level
66%17289
 Attended a political rally, speech, or organized protest of any kind
43.2%11322
 Attended a public meeting on town or school affairs
33.1%8666
 Held or run for political office
1.5%403
 Served on a committee for some local organization
25.2%6589
 Served as an officer for some club or organization
23.6%6171
 Written a letter to the Editor of a newspaper or magazine or called a live radio or TV show to express an opinion
43.8%11465
 Signed a petition
71.9%18836
 Worked for a political party
25.6%6704
 Made a speech
14.9%3915
 Written an article for a magazine or newspaper
16.2%4251
 Been an active member of any group that tries to influence public policy or government
31.6%8290
Total Respondents  26198
(skipped this question)  3881
9. Magazines you subscribe to:
 Response PercentResponse Total
 Ad Age
1%233
 Adbusters
1.7%400
 American Record Guide
0.2%39
 American Rifleman
3.8%900
 The American Prospect
3%706
 Analog
1.1%268
 Asimov's
1.1%263
 Atlantic Monthly
11.1%2610
 Aviation week
1.1%249
 Barrons
1.9%439
 Baseball Weekly
1.1%269
 Baseball America
1.1%248
 Blade
0.2%48
 Blender
0.9%216
 Bon Apetite
4.3%1014
 Business 2.0
2.2%516
 Business Week
4%928
 Car and Driver
2.9%669
 Christianity Today
1.3%303
 Computer Gaming World
1.3%295
 Cosmopolitan
1.1%264
 Daily Variety
0.6%148
 Depatures
0.3%61
 Downbeat
0.3%75
 The Economist
12.1%2834
 ESPN Magazine
3.9%912
 Entertainment Weekly
5.5%1281
 Esquire
2.8%662
 Fast Company
1.6%379
 Field and Stream
1%238
 Forbes
4.3%1013
 Foreign Policy
2.4%563
 Fortean Times
0.4%90
 Fortune
2.5%576
 Guidepost
0.8%192
 Harpers
7%1639
 Harvard Business Review
1.2%283
 Inc.
0.6%147
 IT World
0.7%167
 The Jerusalem report
0.2%56
 The Jerusalem Post
0.8%185
 JAMA
0.7%169
 Kiplingers
1.5%346
 Mac Addict
2.3%530
 MacWorld
3.8%892
 Maxim
2.9%689
 Mens Health
3.3%776
 MIT Tech Review
1.8%425
 Money
2.3%546
 Mother Jones
4.9%1154
 National Geographic
12.8%2997
 The Nation
7.4%1726
 National Review
8.4%1975
 New York
1.8%432
 The New Yorker
17.9%4193
 The New York Review of Books
4.7%1098
 The New Republic
5.9%1384
 New Scientist
1.7%394
 Newsweek
11.2%2620
 NRA Rifleman
2.5%592
 Onion
4%947
 PC Gamer
1.3%296
 People
1.9%439
 Popular Science
2.9%675
 Playboy
2.7%623
 Reader's digest
4.4%1032
 Real Simple
2.8%659
 Reason Magazine
2.2%520
 Road and Track
1.2%276
 Rolling Stone
3.4%785
 Scientific American
5.9%1379
 The Smithsonian
5.4%1266
 Spin
0.9%217
 Sports Illustrated
6.7%1574
 Salon
8.1%1898
 Smart Money
1.1%259
 Southern Living
2.4%563
 Soldier of Fortune
0.3%73
 Time
6.9%1612
 TV Guide
3.2%739
 Town & Country
0.6%143
 The Week
1.3%298
 Time
3.7%869
 US News & World Reports
5.7%1332
 Utne Reader
2.5%580
 Vanity Fair
5.8%1351
 Wall Street Journal
10.4%2426
 The Washington Monthly
2.5%579
 Weekly Standard
4.9%1150
 Wine Spectator
2.1%490
 Wired
7.6%1771
 Other (please specify)
37.5%8792
Total Respondents  23426
(skipped this question)  6653
10. Please rate how well the following media provide you with news and opinion:
 Usefulness
NAWorthlessSomewhat usefulUsefulExtremely usefulResponse Total
Word of mouth
15% (3678)19% (4734)47% (11530)14% (3472)4% (1033)24447
Television
4% (1149)31% (8525)44% (12326)17% (4731)4% (979)27710
Radio
10% (2632)12% (3294)32% (8575)30% (8103)16% (4270)26874
Newspapers (print)
11% (2960)16% (4217)37% (9924)27% (7284)9% (2467)26852
Newspapers (online)
7% (1817)4% (1119)33% (8763)38% (10136)19% (5092)26927
Magazines (print)
13% (3310)11% (2839)38% (9755)29% (7530)9% (2298)25732
Magazines (online)
20% (4862)6% (1509)34% (8363)30% (7394)10% (2556)24684
Blogs
1% (328)1% (374)14% (3880)33% (9505)50% (14345)28432
Forums
46% (10242)16% (3441)23% (5040)11% (2457)4% (980)22160
 % of total media consumption
010203040 5060708090100Response Total
Word of mouth
40% (7427)49% (9136)7% (1338)2% (373)1% (156)1% (147)0% (55)0% (37)0% (22)0% (28)0% (36)18755
Television
23% (5573)45% (10811)18% (4464)7% (1767)3% (672)2% (437)1% (169)1% (128)0% (85)0% (49)0% (40)24195
Radio
19% (4489)38% (8846)21% (4797)11% (2465)5% (1072)3% (694)1% (266)1% (209)0% (114)0% (83)0% (60)23095
Newspapers (print)
25% (5722)43% (9873)18% (4000)8% (1707)3% (590)2% (426)1% (150)1% (116)0% (58)0% (39)0% (31)22712
Newspapers (online)
10% (2445)41% (9651)25% (5973)12% (2867)5% (1180)3% (742)1% (304)1% (188)1% (120)0% (82)0% (37)23589
Magazines (print)
24% (5150)51% (10727)17% (3545)5% (1050)2% (319)1% (186)0% (61)0% (48)0% (43)0% (21)0% (18)21168
Magazines (online)
25% (4946)51% (9987)16% (3129)4% (842)1% (240)1% (152)0% (72)0% (67)0% (41)0% (30)0% (23)19529
Blogs
2% (491)18% (4821)25% (6461)22% (5688)12% (3180)10% (2599)5% (1231)3% (859)2% (518)1% (305)1% (160)26313
Forums
62% (8995)27% (3981)6% (853)2% (331)1% (136)1% (129)0% (38)0% (33)0% (35)0% (36)0% (29)14596
Total Respondents  29430
(skipped this question)  649
11. How many blogs do you read daily?
 Response PercentResponse Total
  1
7%2094
  2
8.8%2653
  3
12.3%3702
  4
10.3%3108
  5
14.4%4317
  6
7.4%2224
  7
3.8%1144
  8
4%1197
  9
1.1%336
  10
9.5%2853
  11-15
12.1%3639
  16-25
5.4%1633
  26-50
2.4%714
  51-100
0.9%273
  101-200
0.4%119
  200+
0.2%73
Total Respondents  30079
(skipped this question)  0
12. In an average week, roughly how many hours do you spend reading blogs?
 Response PercentResponse Total
  0
0.6%195
  1
5%1513
  2
9.2%2764
  3
8%2416
  4
6.6%1978
  5
9.2%2769
  6
4.8%1429
  7
6.7%2009
  8
5%1492
  9
1.3%382
  10
16%4804
  11
0.4%133
  12
4.3%1303
  13
0.3%104
  14
4.6%1369
  15
5.2%1575
  16
0.9%277
  17
0.2%64
  18
1%293
  19-24
6.9%2087
  24-30
2.1%632
  30-36
0.5%156
  36+
1.1%336
Total Respondents  30080
(skipped this question)  -1
13. Do you have your own blog?
 Response PercentResponse Total
  Yes
20.7%6232
  No
79.3%23847
Total Respondents  30079
(skipped this question)  0
14. You read blogs for:
 Response PercentResponse Total
 Faster news
59.8%17793
 Latest trends
35.2%10491
 Transparent biases
43.8%13023
 Better perspective
74.6%22202
 More personality
46.7%13905
 More honesty
60.6%18024
 News I can't find elsewhere
75.3%22421
 Other (please specify)
15.5%4603
Total Respondents  29765
(skipped this question)  314
15. List up to ten of your favorite blogs (to make this data parsable and useful for bloggers, please put each blog name on a new row and provide at least the first full word of blog's name):
 Total Respondents  
26956
(skipped this question)  3123
16. Referring blog:
 Total Respondents  
27744
(skipped this question)  2335
17. You read blogs via RSS:
 Response PercentResponse Total
 Never
72.4%19097
 Occassionally
16.5%4364
 Often
7%1843
 Always
4.6%1214
Total Respondents  26372
(skipped this question)  3707
18. You listen to how many podcasts each week:
 Response PercentResponse Total
  Never
92.1%25804
  1
3.1%868
  2
1.7%484
  3
0.8%220
  4
0.3%97
  5
0.5%131
  6
0.1%37
  7
0.1%37
  8
0.1%20
  9
0%9
  10
0.2%57
  11-15
0.1%34
  16-25
0.1%22
  >25
0%11
  Monthly
0.2%58
  Weekly
0.1%37
  Daily
0.3%77
Total Respondents  28003
(skipped this question)  2076

Aggregate data is published under the Creative Commons Attribution License by Pressflex LLC.