NEWS

Male, 30, employed, well-educated, Athens-based, uses broadband

The typical Greek blogger is male, employed, 30 years old, lives in Athens and has a university education. He follows traditional news sources (the press, radio and television) for less then an hour a day. An Internet user for eight years, he is online for more than four hours a day, using a broadband connection. He runs one or more blogs, at least recently, and has in the past published his own work on other platforms and has participated in online forums. An initial picture That’s the profile that researcher Karambasis presented Monday to the postgraduate research program «Virtual Communities: Psycho-sociological Approaches and Technical Applications,» run by Panteion’s psychology department. «The survey has certain inherent weaknesses, as do similar international surveys, because the questions were asked in March 2007, before the blogosphere expanded, and because there is no way of knowing exactly which are Greek-language blogs or how many of them there are,» said Karambasis. «Nevertheless we gained a good initial picture, and we can be certain about trends, because so many bloggers themselves participated.» The number of participants was 1,367, about 30 percent of bloggers at that time. According to mpouligator, a system that records and monitors blogs created in 2006 and 2007, there were some 9,000 registered Greek-language blogs in early 2007, of which 4,639 were active. Last month the Greek Justice Ministry attempted to make a distinction between blogs that cover news and those focusing on other subjects, but the survey shows that most cover many themes. Culture is the prime topic, followed by personal matters then public issues. Everyday life, hobbies, entertainment and the arts were the first four preferences, with news, science/technology and politics in sixth, seventh and eight place respectively. Greek blogs get updated once or twice a week or less, with bloggers spending less than five hours a week on them. They write mainly because they like writing and want to influence other people who are interested in the same things. Each blog gets fewer than 100 visits a day, and most webmasters do not monitor the comments posted by their readers. One in four Greek bloggers is engaged in telecommunications and computer technology, while 16 percent are occupied in communication (journalism, advertising). More than half (58 percent) are in full-time employment, and 23 percent are students. The remaining 47 percent of workers do not fall into any single large category. Very few bloggers are unemployed. Apart from the platform they provide for voices that might not otherwise be heard due to the cost or a lack of technical expertise, Karambasis pointed out that the growing popularity of blogs shows a shift away from the traditional media and a change in the relationship between producers and consumers of news. News consumers have gone from being «readers-spectators-listeners» to being blog users. Only 8 percent of Greek blogs get more than 250 visits a day, with 55 percent getting fewer than 100 visits, and 21 percent being read mainly by friends and acquaintances. Most of the survey respondents (80 percent) said they kept a blog to publish things they thought would interest other people. Many (46 percent) said they had a blog «for themselves» and 39 percent said their blog was directed at their friends.