2006 Blog Reader Survey Results

BlogAds has released the results of their 2006 blog reader survey. Henry Copeland notes,

As I’ve noted in past years, the results of these surveys are anything but scientific. For one thing, we are surveying the choir. For another, the results are skewed by the blogs that choose to participate. For example, this year, the Republican share of the blogosphere seems to have dropped; this is simply because three big Republican blogs, Andrew Sullivan, Michelle Malkin and Little Green Footballs, who participated in prior years didn’t jump in this year.

They didn’t “jump in,” presumably, because they have left the BlogAds network–Sullivan for Time magazine and the others for Pajamas Media. But, yes, that skews the results somewhat. Chris Bowers perhaps overstates it by stating that “Nearly the entire universe of progressive blog readers visit progressive blogs that use Blogads as their primary advertising service. With the advent of Pajama’s media, that is not the case for Republican-leaning blogs anymore.” Most of us are, after all, still on BlogAds and almost everyone who reads InstaPundit and Malkin also reads some non-Pajamas blogs.

Understanding that blogosphere is definitely not one entity, but a series of sometimes overlapping, sometimes mutually exclusive communities, this year we chose to survey spheres separately. So we offered up separate surveys to readers of political blogs, mom blogs, gossip blogs and music blogs. This is a big advance from all too common simplistic overviews and stereotypes everyone currently relies on when they talk about “blog readers.”

An excellent innovation, although one that can create a small-n problem in the subgroups.

The median political blog reader is a 43 year old man with an annual family income of $80,000. He reads 6 blogs a day for 10 hours a week. 39% have post-graduate degrees. 70% have contributed to a campaign. 69% have bought music, 87% have bought books [online]. 58% say blogs are “extremely useful” sources of information. 52% leave comments on other people’s blogs. Just 18% of political blog readers have their own blogs. (As you’ll see, that’s a lot lower than in other blogospheres.) Of these, 53% blog to keep track of their own ideas, 50% to let off steam, 36% to influence public opinion.

Interesting stuff. It confirms once again that readers of political blogs are older, smarter, better educated and more successful than portrayed in the dominant media. Indeed, as Bob Fertik points out, readers of both Democrat- and Republican-leaning blogs are smarter, richer, and more active than readers of the NYT and WaPo.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.