(Tech) Research about blogs

Blog Survey: Expectations of Privacy and Accountability by Fernanda Viégas, 2004

Here we report the findings from an online survey conducted between January 14th and January 21st, 2004. During that time, 486 respondents answered questions about their blogging practices and their expectations of privacy and accountability for the entries they publish online:

- the great majority of bloggers identify themselves on their sites: 55% of respondents provide their real names on their blogs; another 20% provide some variant of the real name (first name only, first name and initial of surname, a pseudonym friends would know, etc.) - 76% of bloggers do not limit access (i.e. readership) to their entries in any way - 36% of respondents have gotten in trouble because of things they have written on their blogs - 34% of respondents know other bloggers who have gotten in trouble with family and friends - 12% of respondents know other bloggers who have gotten in legal or professional problems because of things they wrote on their blogs - when blogging about people they know personally: 66% of respondents almost never asked permission to do so; whereas, only 9% said they never blogged about people they knew personally. - 83% of respondents characterized their entries as personal ramblings whereas 20% said they mostly publish lists of useful/interesting links (respondents could check multiple options for this answer). This indicates that the nature of blogs might be changing from being mostly lists of links to becoming sites that contain more personal stories and commentaries. - the frequency with which a blogger writes highly personal things is positively and significantly correlated to how often they get in trouble because of their postings; (r = 0.3, p below 0.01); generally speaking, people have gotten in trouble both with friends and family as well as employers. - there is no correlation between how often a blogger writes about highly personal things and how concerned they are about the persistence of their entries - checking one’s access log files isn’t correlated to how well a blogger feels they know their audience - despite believing that they are liable for what they publish online (58% of respondents believed they were highly liable), in general, bloggers do not believe people could sue them for what they have written on their blogs.