Bloggers as research partners

Nick Buckley
New Social Media, GfK NOP, United Kingdom

Josephine Hansom and Alison Palmer
GfK NOP Social Research, United Kingdom

INTRODUCTION

Online participation by the general public is a relatively new phenomenon. Functionality that allows users to publish, interact and communicate with others has become commonplace, negating the need to understand, create or manipulate the technology involved.

This paper will make a number of observations about blogging, the activity of contributing regularly to a dedicated, often personal, online space, and ask questions of people who blog. In 2007, Mintel reported that 15% of adults aged over 16 years had written a blog.1 Two years on, with the emergence of micro-blogging (Twitter) and the social networking boom (Facebook), the number of bloggers worldwide has considerably increased. Blogging is a global trend and the interest generated by blogs and their subject matter should not be underestimated by the market research industry, nor should the authorship of such posts be ignored.