Study completed December 2006
Note: Following the trend in changing the way researchers communicate, rather than publishing the study of female bloggers in a peer-reviewed journal, I have decided to publish on the MotherPie site in small bites and when completed, publish the study as a whole online as part of the open access movement. Also please note that the intent was to study female blogs with a subset on mom blogs but the majority of respondents were overwhelmingly mothers, whether they type themselves as "mom bloggers" or just female bloggers who are mothers as well... The research and theories were developed and much of the paper as presented here was presented for the final project and deeper analyzation of data has come this spring. The paper probably needs to be reworked as it needs
to be less 'mom blog' and more just bloggers that might or might not
have children with the majority being female. There is lots of fodder for further study. Thanks to everyone who helped participate and add comments and share links to this material. ;)
This study in female blogging and the identity, social structure and motivations of bloggers, was made as a final project for a Media Studies graduate class in Digital Media Theory.
Because the influx of women into the blogosphere has been fairly recent, few studies have been made of women bloggers and in particular, the sub-genre of mom bloggers. The purpose of this study was to study the trends in blogging, and to study in-depth female attitudes and blogging participation activity in general with a sub-focus on blogging by mothers. Of particular emphasis in this study were the motivations and trends for blogging, theoretical issues of identity and privacy, commodification/economics, and the new medium of blogging as it relates to the self in technical presentation.
The word “blog” became Merriam-Webster Online’s word of the year in 2004. There were 7.8 million blogs in March of 2005, 14.2 million by July 2005, according to Technorati Founder David Sifrey's State of the Blogosphere, and in August 2006, Sifrey reported that the blogosphere was 100 times bigger than it was three years ago -- a total of 50 million by July 2006 with 35% of the postings in English.
The study involved a blog survey posted online via primarily female bloggers and was promoted with announcements on female blog sites such as BlogHer and emails with links sent to female bloggers as well as mom bloggers with the intention of reaching this particular audience. The survey ran from November 7 through December 7, 2006. A total of 555 respondents participated in the study. Additionally, the contents of female blogs (with the majority being "mommy blogs") were studied from mid-October through December 7 for analysis and open ended questions on the survey produced additional research material.
The results of this study offer profound and intriguing trends and developments in this particular subgroup that can potentially change not only women and mothers, but the way in which they perceive themselves and become influential in impacting the world around them. When analyzing the blog contents for this study, only blogs that allowed for interaction in comments and blogs that allowed for contact with the author were considered. The interactive attention was significant for two-way communications and the theories that relate to communication, relationships and social spaces.
This study was female-centric with a special market sub-niche of mothers. The majority of the respondents were parents (70%) with 64% being females with children. Only 2% were males without children. Females without children comprised 27% of respondents.