Wednesday, 9 January 2008

The Bloggers Among Us: Survey results

The article "The Bloggers Among Us" from the Library Journal, dated 15/12/2007, provides useful survey condacted with 839 blogging librarians from US.
Blogging has become central to communication in libraries and traditional library media in the past few years.
* Almost 70% of respondents have had their current blogs for two years or less. The blogs with the most reach, read by thousands of people, focus on how libraries can use technologies to improve services.
* The majority of bloggers (67%) contribute to more than one blog. There are collaborative blogs and individual blogs, staff blogs, and blogs for patrons.
* Men are more likely to blog than women. While women make up approximately 80% of librarians, they represent only 66% of library bloggers surveyed. Still, the percentage of female bloggers has risen, up from 57% in 2005, perhaps because blogging has become mainstream and no longer an activity predominantly for techies.
* Nearly two-thirds of respondents currently work in academic or public libraries. Two years ago, twice as many academic librarians blogged as public librarians, but now the percentages are almost equal. Still, academic librarians remain overrepresented. Why are academic librarians more likely to blog? Perhaps because so many academic libraries encourage or require their staff to publish—they're also overrepresented among published librarians and conference speakers—and blogging is considered good writing practice (22% identified writing practice as a primary reason they blog).
* Respondents were asked to list their top three reasons for blogging. The majority (69%) identified sharing ideas with others. Other popular reasons include building community (38%), contributing to the profession (23.2%), and reaching out to patrons (23%). Some people use their blogs more as a tool for their own continuing education. Nearly 40% believe their blogs help them to keep up with trends in the profession, and 27.3% cite blogging as a way to process their own ideas.
* Nearly one-quarter of librarian bloggers post anonymously. Some may have bosses who don't support employee blogging. Others simply feel more comfortable expressing themselves under the radar
* Librarian bloggers also read—or skim—a lot of blogs. The bulk (47.7%) read up to 40, while the remainder read more, and 10.7% of respondents even reported reading more than 200.
Some 71.1% of those surveyed said they read blogs in a web-based RSS aggregator (Bloglines, Google Reader, etc.), while 15.1% said they visited each blog individually, 7.5% read blogs in a desktop RSS aggregator, and 4.1 % read blogs on a personalized start page
* What does the future hold for the biblioblogosphere? Clearly, the number of bloggers will increase, covering many subject areas beyond technology. Blogs that focus on certain populations, such as teens or medical practitioners, are gaining in popularity.
Click on the TITLE to read the full-text article

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