Sunday, May 23, 2004

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So who are you?

Henry Copeland has posted some preliminary results from his survey of blog readers that I linked to last week. He got a decent sample size -- 17,159 respondents.

Among the more interesting findings:

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....

They are also far more male -- 79%! -- than I expected, versus 56% of's readers.

The political breakdown is also interesting:

Democrats -- 40.2%
Republicans -- 22.5%
Independents -- 20.2%
Libertarians -- 11.3%

Comment away....

posted by Dan on 05.23.04 at 06:27 PM


How representative of blogs as a whole is this survey, I wonder? Sometimes I ignore the whole Kevin Drum-Instapundit blog world and spend time in the 'food blog' world or the 'stay at home' (mostly Moms) blog world which seem, on the surface, to be from very different demographics than the one described in this survey. Hmm....

posted by: MD on 05.23.04 at 06:27 PM [permalink]

MD: You ignore the whole Kevin Drum blog world? How could you?!?

Dan: Blogads skews heavily toward liberal blogs, so I don't think his party breakdown is meaningful. In fact, you should take that into account when assessing all of these results.

posted by: Kevin Drum on 05.23.04 at 06:27 PM [permalink]

I agree that the party-line results were off, but I think there are probably a number of reasons. Mostly I'm unclear about what "Independent" means; it seems like it could be just about anything.

posted by: Carl on 05.23.04 at 06:27 PM [permalink]

79% male!--I suppose more men than women spend significant time on the internet but I'm still surprised the difference in this survey was that great. I tend to think (perhaps wrongly) that women like filling out surveys more than men, and this makes these results the more surprising to me.

posted by: Lily on 05.23.04 at 06:27 PM [permalink]

The large majority making over 45K a year is not really surprising; what stood out to me was the rather large percentage (if respondents were anywhere near honest) of people earning 150 to 400K a year.

News junkie/bloggers look pretty much like I pictured them: guys in their 30s and 40s with advanced degrees, high-paying jobs and skeptical mindsets (and the women of similar backgrounds who stay home with their children).

By the way MD, what ARE those blogs for at-homes? I gotta get out of the talking head ghetto more often.

posted by: Kelli on 05.23.04 at 06:27 PM [permalink]

And my wife would like to know where all the food blogs are?

posted by: Enzyme on 05.23.04 at 06:27 PM [permalink]

Josh Marshall did his own survey, which actually got more responses (20,708, IIRC) than the Blogads surveyed. It turns out that Talking Points Memo readers are even maler and richer than the Blogads respondents.

posted by: Frederick on 05.23.04 at 06:27 PM [permalink]

The survey results are interesting but the sample is self-selected rather than randomly generated so the results are meaningless, in the sense that they can't be used to explain much of anything.

posted by: steve on 05.23.04 at 06:27 PM [permalink]

Steve is right. Who's read their alumni quarterly lately? If you extrapolate from the BS self-reported success stories in the alumni columns, everyone who went to your school is on the verge of discovering a cure for cancer, has rocket-scientist babies, a house that was featured on last month's cover of Architectural Digest and/or is about to receive a Nobel Prize. It's laid on a bit thick. For the record, I didn't participate in the survey (as, apparently most female blog readers did not) because I find it oogey to tell complete strangers personal details. I save my fabrications and embellishments for the AQ!

posted by: Kelli on 05.23.04 at 06:27 PM [permalink]

Steve is wrong. Results of this survey could be very persuasive to certain kinds of advertisers that spending some money on blogads is a good idea. Of course that wasn't the reason the survey was done. Not that there would be anything wrong with it if it were. But it wasn't.

posted by: Zathras on 05.23.04 at 06:27 PM [permalink]

More than self-reflective exaggeration, the self-descriptive nature of the survey has other pitfalls. How would the political breakdown change if each participant's political bent was assessed by their peers?

I call myself an independent, but few of my colleagues agree (sob).

posted by: wishIwuz2 on 05.23.04 at 06:27 PM [permalink]

Enzyme - is a good food blog

Kelli - is a nice 'stay at home Mom' blog.

posted by: MD on 05.23.04 at 06:27 PM [permalink]

why should it be suprising that a well educated male like me would read blogs .... am i really supposed to be stupid enough to think the nytimes is news?

posted by: bruce on 05.23.04 at 06:27 PM [permalink]

I thought the Political Party question was meaningless. I describe myself as a Libertarian, however I retain many personal conservative convictions. I answered "libertarian" for the survey, but rarely am I inclined to join the Libertarian Party on any positions.

The question would have been better posed through options of "Conservative, Liberal, Progressive, Libertarian, Classical Liberal, etc.

posted by: Brennan Stout on 05.23.04 at 06:27 PM [permalink]

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