What You Think About Blogs

A huge thank you to the 69 people who ended up taking my little survey about blogs. I REALLY appreciate that you took the time to answer my questions and I value your perspective immensely. I’m sorry that I couldn’t figure out how to include a write-in answer; I know that caused some people to skip some questions, or to answer in a way that didn’t fit as well with their actual thoughts as they would have liked. I hope if I ever write another survey that I can figure out how to include a write in response for each question.

I promised to post the results, and here they are. In an attempt to save myself some time, I included screen shots of the results page and I wrote a little something under each one. I know they are too small to read very well on my page, but if you click on the images, you will see a much bigger, and easier to read, version. Hopefully my little summary/commentary underneath will give you the gist of the response.



So, how do you feel about Captcha? 28% of you think its a pain in the ass, which was actually the least “bad” of the three negative responses. Of course, 19% of you (like me) hate it with the fiery heat of a thousand suns and it makes 18% of you want to throw your phone against the wall. So the majority of respondents (65%) feel negatively about Captcha, while 22% think it’s not so bad and 19% understand why people use it and are okay with it. I suppose I’m lucky in that my site is not big enough to attract massive raids by spam bots and Askimet seems to be able to filter out the spam comments that I do get pretty effectively. I know there are people that don’t want to use it but feel they have to, and that’s a shame because they are almost certainly losing comments because of it.



Yes, 34% of you reported that there are many times when you don’t comment because of Captcha, and 29% reported that they sometimes don’t comment with Captcha, especially when they are on their phone. 13% rarely comment because of Captcha and 4% never comment because of it. Only 19% reported that Captcha rarely prevents them from commenting, so it seems clear that Captcha hurts commenting, but I’m assuming the people who use it know that.



It was on question three that one response really pulled ahead, and that was expressing the hope that links embedded within a post will open in a new tab or window. A whopping 80% of you answered that way. 7% didn’t care, 7% had never thought of it before and only 6% want links to open in the current window. I will admit, the landslide nature of this response surprised me, and I appreciate knowing I should keep setting links to open in a new tab.



As for how you follow blogs, 62% use a reader (I’d love to hear what readers you all are using–feel free to let me know in the comment section). I was surprised to see that the runner up–with 23%–was clicking through from a blog roll. Maybe this is why I still get so many hits every day from Life and Love in the Petri Dish? (The fact that I get 50 some odd hits from that site every day never ceases to amaze–and confound–me.) Only 9% of you subscribe to your regularly read blogs and 6% of you just type in the URL. One response I didn’t think to include (but should have) was bookmarking. I wish it had been an option.



As for the posts that can’t be read in their entirety via a reader or subscription: 32% of you are annoyed by teaser paragraphs, and don’t click through to finish them very often. 26% are mildly annoyed by them but click through to finish the posts anyway and 19% hardly even notice them. Only 4% don’t read those blogs at all. The question didn’t apply to 18% of you because–as question four indicated–you don’t follow blogs via reader or subscription anyway.



Ads on blogs: Almost half of respondents (49%) don’t think much about the ads on the margins of a blog. 35% aren’t fond of them and 9% really dislike them. 7% are happy to see a fellow blogger making a little cash for their trouble.



As for the banner ads at the bottom of mobile sites: 43% of you think they are a pesky nuisance but just shut them down and keep reading. 28% of you are like me, and they drive you batshit crazy (not the exact wording on the survey). 13% of you don’t think about them much, 10% don’t know what I’m talking about and 6% are again, stoked to see bloggers making some of the green stuff.



38% of respondents return to a post to check the comment section every once in a while, 17% of them do so regularly and 7% of them do so all the time. 16% maybe do it every once in a while and 4% don’t return to read comments hardly ever.



It’s clear to me now (thanks Deborah for the heads up) that I should have spaced the numbers on this one differently, offering more differentiated options for below 50 blogs, because 68% of you are following less than 50 blogs at the moment and I’d love to have a better idea of where that 68% stands. 20% of you follow between 51-100, 4% follow between 101-200 blogs and only 7% of you are like me and follow more than 200 blogs.



I was really surprised to see that “None, I don’t comment much.” won the question of how many blogs do you comment on regularly, with a significant 36%. 26% of you comment on 1-3 blogs regularly, 16% comment on 10 or more blogs regularly (like me), 12% on 4-6 blogs and 10% on 7-6 blogs.( I’m realizing there should have been an option that expressed something along the lines of, “I comment regularly but not on any specific blogs.” Hindsight is always 20/20.)

So those are the results of the survey. What are your thoughts? Did anything surprise you? Do any of the results validate your feelings about a certain topic? What questions would you have asked?

14 responses

  1. I’m using the reader Newsblur. Free accounts only get to follow 64 sites, so that’s how many I follow – I actually find it useful having a limit, though.

    • Newsblur… interesting. I haven’t heard of them before. I wonder what I would do if I were restricted to 64 blogs. It might be a good exercise for me, in choosing who I really wanted to follow, and culling the inactive blogs.

  2. Follow-up thoughts:
    -I use bloglovin.
    -I was surprised by people’s hatred of captcha, because it really doesn’t bother me much. I was also surprised by the people who don’t comment and yet did do your survey, since I thought there would be a connection (people who comment more likely to do surveys).
    -I have 32 blogs in my reader, of which several are completely inactive (your public blog, for instance). I recently deleted a few whose writers I think are never coming back.

    • How do you like Bloglovin? I’m not totally in love with Feedly, and am curious about Bloglovin, that is probably what I would try next.

      Captcha really bothers me on my phone. It’s so frustrating and takes a good solid minute for me to get through. I can’t read the whole thing word or number sequence, and then I have to move my screen to see it, and then, because I touched my screen, I have to say that I’m done with writing in the text box and then go back into the text box to finish. On a computer I don’t mind it nearly as much, but since I read and comment almost exclusively on my phone, it really bothers me.

      And you have a good point about defunct blogs. If I look at my reader, I have 200+ subscriptions, but if I actually counted the ones that post even monthly, the number that I actually follow would go down significantly, probably closer to 150. I hadn’t thought of that.

      And finally, as far as commenting goes, maybe those people do comment some, but don’t consider themselves to comment “regularly.” I wish I had asked more questions about commenting, but I wanted to keep the survey to ten questions.

    • I haven’t heard for NewBar either. What do you like and not like about it?

      I use Feedly and have the app on my phone. The app isn’t the best, mostly because I can’t consistently comment in it. With about half of blogs, I have to open the post in my browser to comment, but since I just lose a comment when it doesn’t work, I basically ALWAYS open a post in my browser to comment, and I don’t appreciate that extra set of steps.

  3. I am so glad you shared these! I am shocked about the links opening in another page and am going to have to start doing that on Scrambled Eggs! I have to give you one thought about your blog, because it has been driving me nuts for ages now – the white text on black background is SO HARD to read! Any chance you would consider switching it? I actually don’t read you as much as I would like because it hurts my sad little uveitis eyes so much! (I only just started reading from a reader so I can read black text on white background, but can’t comment unless I come here).

  4. Thanks for sharing the results. I use feedly and sometimes NetVibes, which does cool things that I never really set it up to do but I still hold out hopes that someday I will. I, too, get tons and tons of hits from Love, Life & the Petri Dish, which is not a blog I ever read much — at least not enough to deserve all that traffic 🙂

  5. Used to use google reader, now use the old reader. I can live with captchas (although for reason lately they don’t show up on my iPhone 5 so if they are there, my comment that I diligently typed goes poof), but I HATE when blogs don’t fully show in a reader. Why do this? Clearly if I use a reader I’m a busy person and I want it to be easy. Several offending blogs are also on the L&LITPD blog roll, hint hint people….

    • I think the except in the RSS feed is to drive up page views, so no one can read your whole post without loading your site directly. At least that is my understanding.

  6. I use FEEDLY for my blogroll now that google reader is gone. It’s not bad, really.
    I HATE catchpa, and I truly don’t think the majority of people who have it understand how much it hurts commenting. Honestly, I think “blogger” bloggers instead of “wordpress” bloggers tend to have less understanding of all of this – I know that was certainly true for me. This also pertains to commenting – one of my fav features of WP blogs is the little notification when ppl reply to my comment. Because I’m like you and follow hundreds of blogs, no way do I remember to click back to a post to see if the author replied to me otherwise.

    This was really interesting!

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