Andrew Cushen’s thesis studying the NZ Political blogosphere has been published and is online. Many (160) bloggers and (789) readers took part.
It is a weighty 252 pages, and has taken a while to get through. I’ve extracted some of the stats I find more interesting:
- 24% of bloggers are aged under 25 and 87% are aged under 50
- 79% of (political) bloggers are male and 21% female
- 23% of bloggers earn more than $100,000 a year and 24% earn less than $20,000 a year. Only 9% earn between $20,000 and $40,000
- Most of the low income bloggers are students (16/25)
- 69% of bloggers have a degree, half being a post-graduate degree
- 32% of bloggers are self employed, 26% work in the public sector, 29% work in the private sector, and 12% work for NGOs
- 69% of bloggers have been a party member or volunteer
- 34% of bloggers are in Wellington, 29% in Auckland, 11% in Canterbury, 6% Otago and 9% are overseas
- 5% of political bloggers blog only on politics. 38% blog between 75% and 100% politics.26% blog between 50% and 75%, 24% blog between 25% and 50%.
- 19% of bloggers explicitly support National, 16% Labour, 12% ACT, 12% Green, 4% Maori Party, 5% Progressive, 17% other parties and 50% do not support a party. Half the others are Libertarianz.
- 46% of bloggers blog under their own names
- 7% of bloggers have been blogging for 5+ years, 30% for under 1 year
- 17% of bloggers update more than once a day, 12% daily, 40% several times a week, 11% weekly and 21% greater than weekly
- There is a clear correlation between posting frequency and readership levels
- 15% of bloggers spend over 10 hours a week blogging, 38% of bloggers spend under two hours a week
- 16% of bloggers make money from advertising on their blogs
- 18% of bloggers have 5,000+ unique readers
- 96% allow comments
- 6% of bloggers feel they have a leading influence upon political discussion, 18% a major influence, 30% average influence and 43% minor influence
And similar data on blog readers:
- 78% of readers are male
- 14% of readers earn under $20K and 21% over $100K. Most earn under $60,000
- 71% of readers have a degree, and again half are post-graduate
- 22% of readers are self employed, 40% work in the private sector and 31% in the state sector
- 43% of readers have been a party member or volunteer
- 36% of readers in Wellington, 28% Auckland, 10% Canterbury, 5% Otago and 7% overseas
- 86% of readers read blogs as they offer alternate viewpoints on news and issues, 60% cite the fact they like the opinion of the author
- 60% of readers read blogs more than once a day and 25% daily
- 28% of readers spend over 5 hours a week reading blogs
- 69% of readers have left a comment on a blog
- In terms of inaccuracy of media types, 14% of readers said blog were inaccurate compared to 45% who said TV news was inaccurate
- 52% of blog readers say blogs are very entertaining, compared to under 5% for all other media types. This is a fascinating stat – people enjoy the blogs far far more.
If you have the time, the full report is worth a read.