Misconceptions about Blogging
Topic: Getting Started
Prior to starting this blog and doing some research, these are some things I thought were true about blogging:
- I thought most bloggers were in their teens and 20s
- I was under the impression that most bloggers made entries at least daily
- I believed that bloggers used this venue to reach a large (read world wide) audience of readers
- I also thought that most blogs were sustained over a long period of time (at least a year)
Now that I've read a wide variety of blogs and sifted through a number of articles and reports, I see that most of what I thought is wrong. I was right about the blogging age group, but that's it! Most of the blogs I've read myself are updated sporatically, if at all. Most seem to have a very targeted audience (e.g., friends, a teacher). And many blogs were less than a year old, based upon archive dates.
I read the Pew Internet and American Life Project
report which surveyed American adults and found that just 2% to 7% are have their own blogs and 11% read blogs created by someone else. Hmmm...any wonder administrators may not be embracing this communication form?
Then I read a report published by the Perseus Development Corporation
. This document looked at use across all age groups, not just adults, and this was where I saw statistics that supported what I was seeing rather than my preconceptions. According to this report, 91.1% of all blogs are the work of young people aged 13-29. No surprise. But then I read that most blogs reviewed for the survey (66%) had been abandoned- no new entries for at least two months. That's a lot of languishing blogs! And, the average 'active' blogs are updated every two weeks, not daily. Females blog more often than males. Their intended audience is not usually the world at large. They're using the blog to keep their friends up to date. The average blog has a lifespan of 4 months before it's abandoned.
This has me thinking about what we might be trying to accomplish with blogs in schools. While I was feeling a little guilty earlier about suggesting that principals use blogs for mundane tasks such as agenda or bulletin reviews, maybe that's not such a bad idea. It would be a blog for a very specific audience. It would not require daily updates- okay, maybe a high school bulletin would, but then teachers could do their own updating, not the principal. It provides opportunities for users to interact about information they (we hope) care about.
There are also ramifications for how teachers use blogs with students, but I think I'll deal with that tomorrow.
Posted by sjbrooks_young
at 4:01 PM PDT