BlogSweden 4 – a survey of more than 1,000 bloggers

Here is the translation of the results from my fourth annual blog survey, BlogSweden 4, possibly the longest running annual blog survey in the world.

A total of 1,500 blog readers responded to an online survey in February 2009. Out of these respondents, 1,065 had at least one blog and the results of their responses are included in this presentation. According to the survey, young women continue to dominate the Swedish blogosphere.

The typical Swedish blogger in the survey is:
• female
• 16 – 20 years old
• reads 6 – 10 blogs daily
• spends 6 – 10 hours per week reading blogs
• often read blogs in the evening (6PM to 12 PM)
• likes to read blogs about everyday life experiences
• reads blogs to be entertained
• has clicked on an ad on a blog
• is a member of one or more social networks in order to stay in touch with friends
• has during the last 12 months shared a negative AND a positive experience online about a company, product or service
• does not publish on a mirco blog
• does not think that social media such as blogs, micro blogs and social networks will influence what party she will vote for in the next election
• blogs because she likes to write
• updates her blog every day
• does not mind being contacted by businesses in her role as a blogger
• is not anonymous
• does not have ads

BlogSweden 4

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The most popular topics continue to be everyday life experiences and fashion & design. Many respondents also say they mostly read friends blogs.

Female bloggers read:
• Fashion and design 60.0%
• Every day life experiences 58.2%
• Phot and art 48.6%

Male bloggers read:
• IT and blogging 63.7%
• Journalism and media 56.8%
• Politics and society 50.0%

More graphs and links will be added shortly. Previous reports can be found in the right sidebar.

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BlogSweden 3 – third annual Swedish blog survey

Between January 1 and 2, 2008, a total of 1,000 Swedish blog readers responded to an online survey about blogs and social media. Of these respondents, 806 are bloggers and it is mainly their answers that are being presented in this report. The report, BlogSweden 3, is a follow up to BlogSweden 1 and 2 from May 2005 and June 2006.

In the survey, three out of four bloggers are women. Here are some more key findings.

Bloggers: The typical Swedish blogger in the survey is:

• Female
• 16-20 years old
• reads 1-5 blogs daily
• spends 1 hour per week reading blogs
• often reads blogs in the evening (6 PM to 12 PM)
• never uses an RSS reader to read blogs
• likes to read blogs about everyday life experiences
• reads blogs to be entertained
• has never clicked on an advertisement on a blog
• is a member of a social network in order to stay in touch with friends
• has during the last 12 months; downloaded video online, listened to radio online or downloaded podcasts, viewed or downloaded video online, have made photos accessible to others online, and has tagged information online.
• has not during the last 12 months; made videos accessible online, saved links via social bookmarking sites or visited virtual worlds.
• blogs because she likes to write
• updates her blog every day
• has nothing against being contacted by companies in her role as a blogger
• is not anonymous
• does not have ads on her blog, from which she gets part of the revenue

In fact, as many as 76.2% of the bloggers in the survey are female.


There are still some major differences between the way male and female bloggers behave:

• Women more often blog anonymously than men (49.2% compared to 34.0%).
• Male bloggers blog to a higher extent than female bloggers to market a product or a service, to influence others, to strengthen their brand, to create an archive of information and because there is a need for more voices in the public debate.
• Female bloggers blog to a higher extent than male bloggers to get in touch with others and to stay in touch with friends and family.
• 66.5% of all bloggers update their blog every day. Female bloggers update their blogs more often than male bloggers (74.1% at least once a day, compared to 42.6% of male bloggers).
• Male bloggers more often than female bloggers have ads on their blogs (14.3% compared to 7.4%).

When a blogger forms an opinion about a company, she thinks that “a person like me or a peer” is the most trustworthy spokesperson. “A blogger” is as trustworthy as the company CEO, according to bloggers.

One in three bloggers have bought a product after reading about it on a blog. An equally high proportion of bloggers have refrained from buying a product after reading information or opinions on a blog. One in three have, after reading information on a blog, acted in order to influence a company or a politician on an important topic.


There are also significant differences between how female and male blog readers behave (all respondents in the survey):

Female blog readers prefer reading blogs about:
• Fashion and design (53.0%)
• Everyday life experiences (51.6%)
• Photography and art (26.6%)
• Parenthood and children (24.3%)
• Music (22%)
• Literature and writing (17.2%)
• Movies and tv (16.9%)
• Journalism and media (16.7%)
• Sex and dating (16.5%)
• Politics and society (14.4%)

Male blog readers prefer reading blogs about:
• Politics and society (49.2%)
• IT and blogging (45.8%)
• Journalism and media (45.3%)
• Everyday life experiences (39.4%)
• Advertising and PR (25.8%)
• Movies and tv (25.4%)
• Music (23.7%)
• Photography and art (19.5%)
• Literature and writing (18.6%)
• Economy and entrepreneurship (15.7%)

Over all, the favorite topics of blog readers are blogs about:

• Everyday life experiences (48.6%)
• Fashion and design (44%)
• Photography and art (24.9%)
• Journalism and media (23.8%)
• Politics and society (23%)

Here is a table of the most popular blog categories among bloggers:


The report BlogSweden 3 is free to download under a Creative Commons license and if you would like to discuss the findings you can join Media Culpa on Facebook or find me on Twitter. More graphs can be found at Flickr.

Footnote: The respondents were chosen through a convenience sample which means that the results from this survey is only representative to the respondents of the survey and not necessarily reflect the profile of all Swedish bloggers and blog readers.

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Power is not influence – DN gets it wrong, again

I wasn’t going to comment on the Swedish study about antisemitism that was published in Dagens Nyheter on 14 March, but when DN for the second time publishes an incorrect phrase I think it’s worth speaking up. The study (pdf, 3MB) has been the subject of much debate since it was published and it made conclusions like “one out of four Swedes don’t want a jewish Swedish Prime Minister”. About 3,000 Swedes were asked a series of negative statements against jews in order to see how antisemitism is spread in Sweden. But I noticed that there was a slight difference between one of these questions in the survey and how that question was reported in the press. It may seem insignificant, but trust is in the details.

In the survey, respondents were asked whether they agreed or not with the following statement.

“Jews have too much influence in the world today”
“Judarna har för mycket inflytande i världen idag”

In the first article in DN, this question had now been changed to:

“Jews have too much power in the world today”
“Judarna har för stor makt i världen i dag”

But “power” is not the same as “influence”.

The same incorrect phrase was used this morning by Mats Bergstrand in DN. I would argue that the second statement sounds “worse” than the first, and in my view it is a careless (and hopefully not deliberate) use of information. Not reporting correctly opens a survey up for critisism, and like in this case, doesn’t help the important fight against antisemitism.

Footnote: the question can be found on page 125 in the report.

Milk PR stunt turns sour

Mjölkfrämjandet is an organization sponsored by the milk industry and that promotes milk consumption in Sweden. They recently made a PR survey of fifteen-year-olds’ drinking habits in school, the results were then split into different Swedish provinces. And the PR stunt was very successful with media coverage in many local newspapers. But some of these journalists must know something about math that I don’t, because how can kids in both Halland, Gotland, Medelpad, Jämtland and Norrbotten all be the ones who drink most milk? Check this out, five headlines from five different regions claiming they have the students who like milk the most:

Halländska killar dricker mest mjölk
15-åriga killar i Halland dricker mer mjölk än jämnåriga i övriga delar av landet. Det visar en undersökning som Mjölkfrämjandet gjort genom den populära webbplatsen Lunarstorm. […] 59 procent av killarna dricker mjölk, av tjejerna väljer bara 44 procent mjölk till maten.

Gotlands Allehanda:
Gotländska elever toppar “mjölkligan”
81 procent av killarna och 58 procent av tjejerna på Gotland dricker mjölk till skolmaten. Därmed dricker fler gotländska elever mer mjölk än eleverna i övriga landet.

Sundsvalls Tidning:
Ungdomar i Medelpad etta på mjölk
Hela 75 procent av 15-åringarna i Medelpad dricker mjölk till skolmaten. De
siffrorna visar att ungdomarna är bäst i landet på den vita, näringsrika drycken.

Sveriges Radio Jämtland:
Jämtländska killar är bäst i Sverige på att dricka mjölk.
I varje fall om man får tro en undersökning på ungdomssajten Lunarstorm om dryckesvanor i skolmatsalen. Mjölk är den överlägset populäraste måltidsdrycken bland 15-åringarna i Jämtland, och allra mest dricker alltså killar. 92 procent av dem säger att de dricker mjölk till skolmaten, vilket kan jämföras med bara 61 procent av tjejerna i Jämtland.

Norrländska Socialdemokraten:
Norrbottens unga toppar mjölkligan
Ungdomar i Norrbotten dricker mer mjölk än ungdomar i övriga landet. Det visar en färsk undersökning från Mjölkfrämjandet. […] 72 procent av pojkarna och 55 procent av flickorna väljer mjölk till måltidsdryck

But the kids in Närke was “worst”:

Sveriges Radio Örebro:
Eleverna i Närke är sämst i landet på att dricka mjölk till skolmaten.
Det visar en undersökning som ungdomssajten Lunarstorm, på internet, har gjort. 41 procent av eleverna i Närke dricker mjölk i skolan. Genomsnittet för hela landet är 54 procent.

The confusion continues, but it seems that (pdf) kids in Medelpad are the heaviest milk drinkers (75%) while boys in Jämtland drink milk more often than any other region, so Sundsvalls Tidning and SR Jämtland seem to be the two that got it right.

I don’t know if the different press releases implied that all regions “won” or if it was sloppy journalism, but it’s not rare that headlines overinterpret an article to the extent that the claim is false.