AOL Blog Survey: 50% of bloggers practicing self-therapy?

Heather Green at the consistently interesting Blogspotting breaks the news of an AOL Survey on blogging and why people do it. The story says that the survey reveals 50% of all bloggers blog because it’s a form of self-therapy preferable to counselling. Other data points:

  • 16% blog because they’re interested in journalism;
  • 12% blog in order to break or stay ahead of the latest news and gossip
  • 8% blog in order to expose political information

Now, here’s the kicker, babies--this survey data is based on 600 users who answered it on AOL.
The idea that AOL users might be typical bloggers–or that 600 users is a statistically accurate sample–is the same fuzzy logic that makes MSN want to seriously consider buying AOL.
In other words, now we’ve heard from one segment of the blogging population–how about the rest?
(On the other hand, some of the top bloggers I read are definitely practicing self therapy–in public.)

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  1. eric says:

    Well, actually 600 is a perfectly statistically valid sample with a margin of error (assuming the sample is properly constructed) of around 4 percent, I believe.
    You are correct, however, in pointing out that since the universe was AOL members then the answers are only representative of AOL members and not all bloggers.

  2. susan mernit says:

    Thanks, Eric, fair enough about the sample.

  3. Dossy Shiobara says:

    Actually, according to the article:
    The survey was conducted from July 17-22, 2005 through Opinion Place, an online research site operated by DMS. Opinion Place utilizes real-time, randomized assignment of respondents to surveys based on a scientifically process. A total of 600 Web users completed the survey. The screen qualifications for this study were males and females aged 18 and above who write one or more blogs on the Web.

    Even the article you linked to, Susan, says:
    And 600 people, AOL users and Web users (I guess non-AOL users) completed the survey.
    I’m trying to find out if DMS can/will disclose the percentage of respondents who were AOL members vs. other web users, to see if there’s some selection bias there, but given the benefit of the doubt, the population of 600 could be a representative sample of all bloggers, not just AOL members.

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