The Blogging Iceberg: Of 4.12 Million Weblogs, Most Little Seen and Quickly Abandoned, According to Perseus Survey

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--()--Oct. 6, 2003--For the BloggerCon 2003 conference at the Berkman Center of Harvard Law School, Perseus Development Corp. randomly surveyed 3,634 blogs (frequent publications of personal thoughts and Web links, also known as Web logs) on eight leading blog-hosting services to develop a model of blog populations. Based on this research, Perseus estimates that 4.12 million blogs have been created on these services: Blog-City, BlogSpot, Diaryland, LiveJournal, Pitas, TypePad, Weblogger and Xanga.

Based on the rapid growth rate demonstrated by the leading services, Perseus expects the number of hosted blogs created to exceed five million by the end of 2003 and to exceed ten million by the end of 2004.

Abandoned Blogs

The most dramatic finding from the survey was that 66.0% of surveyed blogs had not been updated in two months, representing 2.72 million blogs that have been either permanently or temporarily abandoned. "Apparently the blog-hosting services have made it so easy to create a blog that many tire-kickers feel no commitment to continuing the blog they initiate," said Jeffrey Henning, CTO of Perseus Development Corp. and author of the survey. "In fact, 1.09 million blogs were one-day wonders, with no postings on subsequent days." The average duration of the remaining 1.63 million abandoned blogs was 126 days (almost four months). A surprising 132,000 blogs were abandoned after being maintained a year or more (the oldest abandoned blog surveyed had been maintained for 923 days).

According to Perseus' survey, males were more likely than females to abandon blogs, with 46.4% of abandoned blogs created by males, as compared to 40.7% of active blogs being created by males. Abandonment rates did not vary based on age. Those who abandoned blogs tended to write posts that were only 58% as long as the posts of those who still maintained blogs, which simply indicates that those who enjoy writing stick with blogs longer.

The abandonment rate did vary significantly based on which service was being used: Pitas, BlogSpot and Diaryland had above average abandonment rates; Xanga had an average abandonment rate; LiveJournal had the lowest abandonment rate (the sample size for Blog-City, TypePad and Weblogger was too low to compare).

Active Blogs

Blogs are famed for their linkages, and while 80.8% of active blogs linked to at least one external site from a post on their home page, these links were rarely to traditional news sources. Blogs are updated much less often than generally thought. Active blogs were updated on average every 14 days. Only 106,579 of the hosted blogs were updated on average at least once a week. Fewer than 50,000 were updated daily.

Demographics

Interestingly, even as MP3 sharing and instant messaging began with teenagers, teenagers have created the majority of blogs. Blogs are currently the province of the young, with 92.4% of blogs created by people under the age of 30.

Age Range           Blogs Created by Age           Percent
10-12               55,500                         1.3%
13-19               2,120,000                      51.5%
20-29               1,630,000                      39.6%
30-39               241,000                        5.8%
40-49               41,700                         1.0%
50-59               18,500                         0.4%
60-69               13,900                         0.3%
Total               4,120,000                      100.0%

Females are slightly more likely than males to create blogs, accounting for 56.0% of hosted blogs.

Gender            Blogs Created by Gender         Percent
Male              1,810,000                       44.0%
Female            2,310,000                       56.0%
Total             4,120,000                       100.0%

According to the survey, the typical blog is written by a teenage girl who uses it twice a month to update her friends and classmates on happenings in her life. It is written very informally with slang spellings, yet not as informal as instant messaging conversations (which are riddled with typos and abbreviations).

For more information on Perseus' survey, please contact Martha Popoloski at mpopoloski@perseus.com, Tel: 781-837-1555, or view the results online at http://www.perseus.com/blogsurvey/.

Perseus Development Corporation

An Inc. 500 Company, Perseus Development Corporation (www.perseus.com) is a market leader in developing and implementing web-based market research surveys. Founded in 1994 by professionals in the software development and market research fields, Perseus delivers survey software solutions to the general business, healthcare, social science, education, government and professional research markets. Perseus Research Services, a division of Perseus Development Corporation, provides customers with professional web-based research services. In February 2000, Perseus' flagship product, SurveySolutions for the Web 2.0, received a PC Magazine Editors' Choice Award. Perseus has been named by Deloitte & Touche to the "Fast 50" list of fastest-growing technology companies in New England for the past three consecutive years.

Contacts

Perseus Development Corporation
Martha Popoloski, 781-848-8100 x223

Contacts

Perseus Development Corporation
Martha Popoloski, 781-848-8100 x223