Friday, April 22, 2005

Another blog survey-UPDATED

The material in bold has been updated

Take this one with a little skepticism because none of the methods or questions are posted online (I'm going to e-mail the PR contact for more info.) But Web hosting service Hostway says it sponsored a survey (8,900 population, 2,500 rsponse = 29%) through marketing researcher TNS-NFO that has at best mixed results.
  • 80 percent say bloggers should not be able to publish addresses and other personal information on private citizens
  • 72 percent feel the same way about celebrities' information and 68 percent about public officials'.
  • But then again 52 percent say bloggers should have the same rights as journalists (27 percent have no opinion, so there's a lot of squishiness -- and opportunity to make the case -- there)
  • 39 percent said blogs are less credible than regular media, but existing media shouldn't take too much comfort in that because 32 percent had no opinion. That's a huge slice that could go either way. As a subset of that, 28 percent found the information in blogs equal to or more credible than newspaper stories (40 percent said less credible, so I'm not sure where the others went -- a gain, question type and ordering might have had something to do with it). For TV news, that was about 31 percent. Any form of advertising fares much worse, but still, blogging does no better than 45 percent.
More than a third of those questioned said they never had heard of blogs (Compare that with a late 2004 survey from Pew that found two-thirds of Internet users did not know what a blog was. Is this a true gain? These may not be totally comparable, since Pew's was of Internet users. About 30 percent had visited blogs.

(Methodology was not posted, but spokeswoman Tina Janczura later e-mailed me this explanation:
Survey Methodology
TNS conducted the survey online on behalf of Hostway Corporation between March 24 and 28, 2005 among a nationally representative sample of 8,500 U.S. adults, aged 18 and older selected from TNS-NFO ACCESS panel. Responses are based on 2,500 respondents (29%). For more information on survey methodology, please contact Tina Janczura at
The results from TNS were all calculated based on weighted data.

My observation: Online surveys should be taken with a little caution. The first thing that comes to mind here is if the sample was to represent adults age 18 and over, then how do you account for those without computers in an online survey? That would seem to skew the results of visitors, but hard to tell how it would affect awareness. Perhaps those people are avid readers and have read about blogs.

If you want the raw results, they're here.
Here's more from a Cnet story. And as Stephen Baker of Businessweek notes: In the end, the differences will be between reliable and unreliable providers of news. The technology they use won't matter.


At 10/10/07, 11:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For downloadabale questionnaires you might want to check out the Survey Questionniare Archive at:

The Survey Questionnaire Archive is an open collection of survey questionnaires used in social sciences and public policy making.

The archive is created, hosted and maintained by the Center for Applied Demography & Survey Research at the University of Delaware.

This digital collection allows users to browse, search, store and share survey instruments over the web.

The goal of the archive is to collect, capture, disseminate and preserve a wide variety of survey instruments.


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