A recent Pew Internet Internet Poll (pdf) conducted via interviews amongst over 900 parent-child pairs in the United States had some interesting findings when it comes to social media usage and content generation. One of them was an extension of previously known data, as in 2004 19% of teens were engaged in blogging, whereas now that number is up to 28%.
But there is a split in terms of the sexes. 35% of all online teenage girls were blogging compared to 20% of online teenage boys. Furthermore, nearly all of the growth since 2004 in blogging amongst teenager has really been due to interest amongst girls: older girls blog more than boys of the same age (38% vs 18%), but younger girls are also blogging more than older boys as well (32% vs. 18%).
Unfortunately, there isn’t too much insight as to what’s driving this split, other than the report commenting in a later section that girls as a group are more frequent communicators than boys; whether or not this group-related differences are enough to explain differences in the expression of media is hard to know, as boys tend to post online videos more than girls.
What might be fueling the over all interest in blogging? The report postulates that there is a greater integration of blogging as an educational tool amongst schools; some classes in some schools even report that they were asked to post papers to their blog before submission so that their classmates could comment and provide feedback — both for online and offline conversations in class.
Other interesting blogging-related tidbits include:
Demographics matter: A significant proportion of teen bloggers come from low income families, designated as families with a combined income of less than $50k per year; furthermore, teens were more likely to blog if they came from single-parent households (42%) as opposed to dual-parent households (25%).
Teens who blogs also tend to be well adjusted: teens who were the most active with respect to social networking and blogging activities were also the teens who were most likely to be engaged in extra-curricular activities, such as sports, music or part-time employment.
Lots of them are reading blogs: If 38% of teens are creating blog content, fully half are actively reading blogs, and that percentage goes up to 59% for those who read blogs daily.