Who Blogs about Birth?

I was laughing with Lisa Barrett this past week about how much we love our own blogs. We agreed that it’s just fun to open your blog and stare at it with loving eyes. Also, there’s this excitement that maybe someone has left a comment that you don’t know about (all comments come in on my email) or that someone has linked to your witty words! The megalomaniac that lurks within me loves having a blog and is now thinking of adding another one–I may seek some therapy to avoid going there 🙂

Lisa says my blog has changed since I started out and that it’s a lot more current and personal now. Again, must seek therapy and get back to being careful and stand offish. Of course, when I blog, I do so with the knowledge that the Attorney General of my province is reading every word and all of it may be twisted around and thrown back at me in a court of law someday. On the other hand, that may be a good thing if it keeps me from betraying client confidences and helps to moderate my writing.

Today I came across this information from Technorati about what kind of people blog. Most birth blogs that I’ve seen don’t fit this profile (male, wealthy, degree’d) and it would be interesting to do a separate survey to find out who blogs on the topic of birth (if I ever figure out how to do surveyMonkey, I may take charge of this project). When I think about the women I follow, most have technical skills themselves or live with a partner who is computer savvy. A passionate, urgent desire to impact childbirth for the better is the general theme of my favourites. My blog came about as a result of doing a course with Laureen Hudson on ConsciousWoman.org and then requesting assistance from a client’s husband who originally put up my website and was willing to create a WordPress blog for me. (Wave to Troy.)

State of the Blogosphere
Who Are The Bloggers? SOTB 2009
Author: sussman http://technorati.com/people/sussman/
Published: October 19, 2009 at 6:00 am

Overall, bloggers are a highly educated and affluent group. Nearly half of all bloggers we surveyed have earned a graduate degree, and the majority have a household income of $75,000 per year or higher. As blogging is now firmly a part of the mainstream, we see that the average blogger has three or more blogs and has been blogging for two or more years. We are also noticing an ever-increasing overlap between blogging and mainstream media.

Who are the bloggers?

• Two-thirds are male
• 60% are 18-44
• The majority are more affluent and educated than the general population
◦ 75% have college degrees
◦ 40% have graduate degrees
◦ One in three has an annual household income of $75K+
◦ One in four has an annual household income of $100K+
◦ Professional and self-employed bloggers are more affluent: nearly half have an annual household income of $75,000 and one third topped the $100,000 level
• More than half are married
• More than half are parents
• Half are employed full time, however ¾ of professional bloggers are employed full time.

Overall, bloggers in the US are pretty evenly distributed across the country. The states with the highest concentrations of bloggers are:

California: 16%
New York: 9%
Florida: 5%
Texas: 5%
Washington: 5%
Massachusetts: 4%
Virginia: 4%

Over the past several years, we’ve seen blogging move firmly into the mainstream. Half of bloggers who responded are working on at least their second blog, and 68% have been blogging for two years or more.

86% have been blogging for at least a year. About half of respondents have written blogs before the one the one they write now, as have 60% of the self-employed.

The bloggers we surveyed have an average of three or four blogs.

Large or small, professional or casual, nearly half of active blogs have some authority. In looking at the just over five million blogs tracked by Technorati who posted in June, 45% have a Technorati Authority number of 1 or more, meaning they can truly claim their place in the active blogosphere.

As the concepts of blogging and mainstream media continue to converge, it’s not surprising that there is quite a bit of overlap between the two entities. Despite being perceived by some as enemies of the traditional media, bloggers actually carry a journalistic pedigree. 35 percent of all respondents have worked within the traditional media as a writer, reporter, producer, or on-air personality.

By way of contrast, consider that less than 1% of the US labor force was employed as a journalist in 2006. Monthly magazines and daily newspapers are the best-represented types of media outlets among those bloggers who have worked in the traditional media, with radio a strong third.

And the true overlap reveals itself in the 27 percent of respondents who both blog and work in traditional media.

Despite “the sky is falling” rhetoric, respondents do not regard the rise of online media and blogging as the death knell for newspapers or other traditional media. Bloggers do agree their medium is ascendant and 69% agree that blogs are getting taken more seriously as information sources. At the same time, only 35% of this audience gets its news and information from blogs more than from other media sources now, and only 31% believe that newspapers will not be able to survive in the next ten years.

The media picture is therefore muddled: bloggers know they are picking up steam but seem reluctant to claim media hegemony. Maybe it’s because so many used to be traditional journalists…

Media Habits of Bloggers

Television, blogs and social media were the top three media consumed – though the actions necessary for the creation of social media, such as sharing searches (2.58 hours per week among all) or videos (1.69 hours per week among all) are not themselves as popular as passive readership. Respondents also report spending a significant amount of time per week reading physical newspapers – but only 2/3 the amount of time they spend reading newspapers online.

Among media activities, social media is preeminent on mobile devices, though reading blogs is a strong second. Given that podcasts grew up specifically around mobile devices and that Internet radio has recently been optimized for performance in the mobile space, bloggers report devoting surprisingly little time to them on the go.

The myth about blogging is that it’s so easy and straightforward once it’s set up. NOT. Lisa was telling me this weekend that the reason I can’t post pictures from my own computer on my blog is because I never paid for it. Did not know I had to pay for a WordPress blog? Everyone else has great personal photos and I am madly searching on Google images for illustrative photos and it was just a matter of paying money. . . now, I have to find out who gets the money. Soon, you’ll see my photography on this blog. It took me forever to figure out how to get a video to play on the blog. That’s a whole complicated thing about disabling my “Rich Text Editor”. You wouldn’t believe the excited jumping around the first time I mastered that! Then, I have troubles like my entire sidebar configuration disappearing if I link to a photo on the internet. The men at my webserver send me very curt admonitions when I do that stunt but I really don’t understand what I even did. I just thank them for fixing things up and promise not to bother them again for at least 2 months.

So, like all things technical, I have a love/hate relationship to blogging. I’m jealous of those people who have widgets and gizmos installed but I’m paranoid to install extra things in case my whole blog blows up. Right now, I carefully post and dream of the day that a tech-savvy someone will adopt me and my blog and give us both mucho tlc.

8 thoughts on “Who Blogs about Birth?

  1. I didn’t know WordPress charged for that. I have a blog at Blogger/Blogspot where I write about random things, post pictures, and never had to pay for anything.

  2. You have to pay for that on a wordpress blog? News to me. But then again, I host my own, so that might be the deal. I know it’s free on blogger, hosted wordpress, hosted typepad, and livejournal. La.

    Honestly, Gloria, I have loved watching your evolution as a blogger, because as you know, it’s my dream to get the entire natural birth community blogging their little hearts out. I use you as my poster child; in fact, I beat Jane Evans (UK) over the head with you just on Saturday. =)

    Of course… now I have to explain Twitter to you, her, *and* Lisa. =) A tech evangelist’s job is never done…

  3. I can’t believe I did this. After reading your blog I realized that may be I wasn’t proud enough of my blog and that may be I should have a look at it. Well, way too many hours later, after editing and editing back to the way it was different aspects of my blog page, I decided that time would have been better spent writing something of relevance on the said blog!

  4. word press.com is like blogger it’s a word press implimentation but they take out some of the capabilities and is more restrictive than blogger.
    If you want total control you host your own and pay an amount for the hosting.
    wordpress.org and this allows you total control and be able to get your total analytics like google.

    Jem said if you tell him what you have he is sure you can get photos onto your blog.

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