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The topics discussed here grow out of the bread-and-butter issues that confront my consulting and software clients on a daily basis. We'll talk about prosaic stuff like Membership Management, Meetings and Events Management and Fundraising, broader ideas like security and software project management, and the social, cultural, and organizational issues that impact IT decision-making.

Friday, October 27, 2006

The Rise of Private Blogs

For those of use who blog on technology, politics, marketing, fundraising, and other issues, the public image of the blogger as a teenaged diarist or bored young mom giving the whole world way too much personal information is one we combat daily. But a recent study by the Pew Charitable Trust's Society and the Internet Project suggests that maybe we are the odd ones out. By far the largest single group of bloggers are online diarists.

The study found that that there are a lot of blogs:
Eight percent of internet users, or about 12 million American adults, keep a blog. Thirty-nine percent of internet users, or about 57 million American adults, read blogs – a significant increase since the fall of 2005.
And what do they blog about?
37 percent of bloggers cite “my life and experiences” as a primary topic of their blog. Politics and government ran a very distant second with 11 percent of bloggers citing those issues of public life as the main subject of their blog. Entertainment-related topics were the next most popular blog-type, with 7 percent of bloggers, followed by sports (6 percent), general news and current events (5 percent), business (5 percent), technology (4 percent), religion, spirituality or faith (2 percent), a specific hobby or a health problem or illness (each comprising 1 percent of bloggers).
What does the fact that so many people are blogging about their personnal lives say about changing concepts of privacy? Maybe less than we think. I suspect that a lot of people assume that no one see their blog except the friends they have explicitly told about it. According to a piece in the Washington yesterday, Mena Trott, co-founder of Six Apart, the company that now owns blogging platforms TypePad, Movable Type, and Live Journal, sees increasing interest in prvacy options. Her newest venture, Vox, allows a blog to be published to a specific group of members. The newest version of Google's Blogger platform (still in Beta) also allows this sort of controlled readership.

Hard to understand for those of us who live to see our hit counts climb.
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Comments on "The Rise of Private Blogs"


Blogger Vicki Davis said ... (November 5, 2006 at 7:32 AM) : 

My life and experiences is somewhat scary because of the children who fall into that category, posting their schedules, expressing their vulnerability.

I do a lot to teach my students about the dangers of posting private information online but more needs to be done! I've got to go look at this study, thank you for bringing it to my attention!


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