Thanks to the 17,159 blog readers who responded to our survey!
This survey shows that blog readers are older and more affluent than
most optimistic guestimates: 61% of blog readers responding to the survey
are over 30, and 75% make more than $45,000 a year.
Moreover, blog readers are more cyber-active than I'd hoped:
54% of their news consumption is online.
21% are themselves bloggers and 46% describe themselves as opinion makers.
And, in the last six months:
- 50% have spent more than $50 online on books.
- 47% have spent more than $500 online for plane tickets.
- 50% have contributed more than $50 to a cause or candidate,
and 5% have contributed more than $1000.
(Only 25% of NYTimes.com readers have contributed anything online in the last year.)
Blog readers are media-mavens: 21% subscribe to the New Yorker magazine,
15% to the Economist, 15% to Newsweek and 14% to the Atlantic Monthly.
They are also far more male -- 79%! -- than I expected, versus 56% of NYTimes.com's readers.
To be clear, the survey's responses are a fragment of a sample of a subset.
There are millions of bloggers. On Monday morning, I e-mailed roughly 50 of
them -- some of the biggest bloggers, many of whom focus on politics and/or
sell blogads -- suggesting they link to they survey. I explained that the
survey would "boost both public appreciation of blogging AND your revenues."
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 patron -- 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
As Trent Lott and Howell Raines unhappily learned, the blogosphere's
numerous voices can amplify ideas that are too complex or contrary for
traditional organizations to articulate.
I'm sure you'll find some new ideas in the following summary of these
17,159 responses. More factoids and trends will emerge next week as we
parse the blog-by-blog demographics and distribute them to each respective
blogger who linked to the survey. Even more will emerge as we run filters
like "Democrats versus Republicans," or others you suggest by e-mail or in
the comments below.
I've spent two years helping bloggers sell advertising to everybody from
Blackmask E-books , our first
advertiser, to Roadrunner broadband
to John Kerry to
ActforLove Personals to, yesterday,
Minnesota State Rep. Lynn Wardlow.
I've had a hunch that blog readers are a special audience.
Now we have hard evidence.
Whether on the left or right, blog readers have traits in common that often
are absent in today's public spaces: passion and initiative. Sharing these
traits, blog readers of all political stripes seem more alike than different.
Likewise, blog readers are united in their apathy about traditional news
sources: 82% of blog readers say that television is worthless or only somewhat
useful as a source of news and opinion. 55% percent say the same about print
newspapers. 54% say the same about print magazines.
Meanwhile, 86% say that blogs are either useful or extremely useful as
sources of news or opinion. 80% say they read blogs for news they can't find
elsewhere. 78% read because the perspective is better. 66% value the faster
news. 61% say that blogs are more honest. Divided on so much else, blog
readers appear united in their dissatisfaction with conventional media and
their rabid love of blogs.
What conclusion do I draw from this week's effort to articulate the
demographics of blog readers... as women or men, lawyers or programmers,
Californians or Floridians, Republicans or Democrats?
I conclude that blog readers are, themselves, a distinct and important new
demographic cohort: blog readers.
Thanks to the bloggers and blog readers who powered this survey.
Have fun with the today's data and what will follow soon.
||May 21, 2004|
Update: Here are some survey slices: