Teens Don't Blog With Strangers

  |  November 2, 2005   |  Comments

The Pew Internet & American Life study finds teenage Web users stay within their own personal network when finding blogs to read.

Nineteen percent of online teens create blogs while 38 percent read them, a new report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project finds. The study, which examined teens' blog consumption and creation, also found they obey the old adage "don't talk to strangers" -- at least when it comes to their blog-related behavior.

"Blogs are about the maintenance and extension of personal relationships," the report states. About 62 percent of blog-reading teens solely read friend's blogs while 36 percent read postings from both friends and blog authors they don't know.

"Teen bloggers and blog readers are reading the blogs of their friends," Pew Internet & American Life Project senior research specialist Amanda Lenhart told ClickZ News. "For young people it's about reinforcing and keeping relationships, not reading opinions of strangers."

Lenhart notes that the data about teen blog readership runs contrary to the conventional wisdom about adult blog readers, which holds that adults most often read blogs written by people they don't know.

The most active segment among teenage bloggers is girls age 15 to 17. One quarter of online girls in that age group blog, compared to 15 percent of online boys of the same age. Only 18 percent of younger teens (boys and girls) create blogs.

The report estimates the number of teenagers between the age 12 and 17 who frequently use the Web numbers 21 million. More than half of these -- 12 million teens -- create content online. Content creation includes blogging; developing personal Web pages; sharing original content; or remixing of content found online.

Highly-wired teens from urban areas are the most likely to share original artistic content. Overall, 33 percent of online teens share artwork, photos, stories and videos on the Internet. Forty percent of those in urban areas create and post their own artwork compared to 28 percent of those in the suburbs, and 34 percent of online teens in rural areas.

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Enid Burns

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