I am much indebted to the people who took the survey which I circulated to a sample of bloggers last Sunday. I will be forever in their debt for their generosity in terms of the giving of their time (it was a long survey) and the many positive comments I received. My dissertation would be dead in the water had they not agreed to participate. Following feedback from some bloggers a couple of issues arose:
It was an oversight not to let people know when I contacted them, how I had gotten their contact details. The sample was taken from bloggers on Planet Journals and irishblogs.info. I only contacted people who had contact information (either email address or contact form) on their blog or on a webpage linked to on their blog.
A question arose as to the scope of the project. I am primarily looking at blogging in Ireland in terms of the questions asked in the questionnaire - questions such as
who is blogging in Ireland in terms of sex, age etc.
what topics are Irish bloggers writing about?
how active are Irish blogs e.g. frequency of update, age of blog
How interactive are Irish blogs e.g. how prevalent is the use of the comment
facility for feedback?
what tools/services (blogware) are being used by Irish bloggers for editing,
organising and publishing weblogs,
why do Irish people blog?
I draw very much on previous literature and research on the blogosphere in general. My own perception was that while Ireland's blogging community is very active and committed, the general public has been slow to adopt this form of online communication. The sample was taken from Planet Journals and irishblogs.info. An obvious limitation of this and therefore a limitation of the study is that these services by and large require manual registration and there is no means of determining how many Irish sites don't choose to be listed. However while the conclusions may not be generalizable it is hoped that there will be sufficient data to make some level of interpretation.
Business blogs and blogs belonging to politicians were excluded as I am primarily interested in personal blogs. Also no Bebo users were included. There were a couple of reasons for this. Firstly my research proposal was submitted and the research underway before the popularity of Bebo among Irish teenagers came to the fore in March/April (well at least that's when I became aware of it). Also other studies indicate that teenage bloggers obtain different gratifications from blogging than adults do. I reckon the popularity of Bebo would be a very interesting research area but in its own right.
A number of people expressed an interest in seeing the finished product. I have taken their details and will follow up when I finish.
And what do you know.....the rain has finally stopped