Blogging and Demographic Groups

Every generation make its mark by adopting different preferences and standards in language, clothes, music, etc. from the generations that have gone before.  Generational determined lifestyles and values have as much influence on buying and purchasing as more common demographic factors such as income, education and gender do. Most of today’s consumers belong to one of three primary generations that typically fall into the following categories:  Baby Boomers -born between 1943 and 1964,  Generation X- born between 1965 and 1980, Generation Y- born between 1981 and 2000.

Bloggers: Demographic breakdown

young adults computer

June 2010 – With blogs becoming an increasingly popular way for Internet users to get information, it is interesting to see where this content is coming from and who’s writing it. We analyzed more than 100 million blog posts that provided information about their age, gender and location information.  — Inside Blog Demographics

  • Bloggers in the 21-to-35 year-old demographic group account for 53.3% of the total blogging population.
  • People 20-years-old or under are 20.2%
  • 36-to-50 year-olds  are 19.4%
  • 51-years-old and older account for 7.1%.

Online advertising:  Generation gap

family computerAugust 23, 2010 – Only 17 percent of Internet users find online advertising to be appealing and most people considered it to be “intrusive, repetitive, unappealing and cheap,” a study conducted by Connect Insight revealed, NewMediaAge reported. The agency explained that the differences in opinion among age groups are related to the early Internet experiences that older users had.  Then advertising was used in an intrusive way,  now the younger generation directly interacts with brands and companies through social media.

  • 24 percent of the 16-to 34-year-olds do think this type of advertising is appealing
  • 50 percent of those over 55 years old said they avoid websites where ads would pop up and “interrupt their online activities.” — Study: Internet users dislike online ads

babyboomer couple Baby Boomers

Baby Boomers are the the result of an “explosion” of births occured after  soldiers returned home from World War II. The sociologists define those born between (and including) 1946 and 1964 as “baby boomers.”  When we think of the baby boomer generation, we often think of the 60s; the decade that seems to have defined the boomers.  Since baby boomers make up such a sizable portion of the consuming public, their spending habits and lifestyles have a powerful influence on the economy.

middleage coupleSilver Surfers

Silver Surfers are older adults, generally 50 years of age or older, who frequently surfs the Web and spends time online (“silver” refers to the color of their hair). Unlike neophytes, silver surfers are considered netizens, experienced users of the Net. The phrase silver surfer is commonly heard in the U.K., but applies to midlife adults (generally those in their 40s, 50s and 60s), and seniors (age 70 and over) everywhere.

  • Account for 70 percent of the U.S. net worth, controlling $9 trillion;
  • Inherit over $12 trillion from their parents — the largest wealth transfer in history;
  • Control 80 percent of the personal financial assets
  • Represent 50 percent of U.S. discretionary spending
  • Own about 50 percent of all credit cards.

older couple computerEmerging trends in social networking

August 27, 2010 – According to the studies and surveys conducted by The Pew Research Center and American Life Project social networking use among internet users ages 50 and older has nearly doubled — from 22% to 42% over the past year;

(47%) of internet users ages 50-64 and one-in-four (26%) users ages 65 and older now use social networking sites;

Between April 2009 and May 2010, internet users ages 50-64 who said they use a social networking site like MySpace, Facebook or LinkedIn grew 88% and those ages 65 and older grew 100% in their adoption of the sites, compared with a growth rate of 13% for those ages 18-29.

The news that older adults from the baby boomer generation and seniors  are entering the online environment in significant numbers is important factor to bloggers, who wish to expand their readership by attracting members of those demographic groups.

Attracting Baby Boomers and Silver Surfers

My blog is focused those who are learning to blog and who want to improve their blogging skills and you can see the current demographic data for it in  Silver Surfers: The New Social Networking Wave. As there is a dramatic increase in baby boomers becoming silver surfers and taking up blogging,  I’m hoping to increase my readership among older internet users.  Do you?

Discussion Questions

  1. Do you aim to create content that attracts readers from all demographic groups?
  2. Or do you focus on specific demographic groups?

8 thoughts on “Blogging and Demographic Groups

    1. I found the numbers to be of great interest. I have experienced communicating with these three demographic groups not only on my blogs but also in online forums. There’s little doubt in my mind that the baby boomers like myself communicate differently than those who are in generation X or generation Y. We are far more polite and capable of sticking to the topic when conversing.

      What I experience and consider to be offensive is that the two younger demographic groups curse continuously, and have a far greater tendency to stoop to personal attacks rather than sticking to the subject matter. They are also more inclined to present fallacious arguments and when this is politely challenged they can become extremely rude and nasty.

      This is not to say that there aren’t some baby boomers who are likewise in need of some basic lessons in common courtesy and education about what a fallacy is, it is to say that I experience only a tiny minority of rude, irrational, ill logical, and discourteous baby boomers.

  1. More relevant comments on demographics for one’s own blogs:

    If it’s a niche subject blog, then it does help to understand the different subcultures that potential audiences might be part of. Some of those subcultures are age-related but not always.

    Cycling has an array of subcultures– people on fixies (might interested in fashion/hip stuff), racing, regular commuters, travel touring, etc.

    It is also type of activity that can be social/group oriented but the nature of the activity is solo/loner oriented so if younger people are interested in reading such blogs..probably geeky/loner types. I am aware at least the youngest type of readers to both blogs cyclewriteblog and thirdwavecyclingblog, are recent college/university graduates..people in their early to mid ’20’s. They are people who cycle regularily/care about sustainability issues/graduated with a degree or 2 in urban design /transportation planning, etc.

    Or they are young folks who are cyclists but are creative/artsy types not bound by 1 lifestyle choice..which is why I do write about art because it happens to be also a lifelong interest of mine. After all cycling invites creative exploration of the world in corners that a car cannot reach at times.

    Then there’s a whack of people who have taken up cycling at mid-life and onward who are interested in general stuff.

    So I define the readership not so much by age group, but cycling subcultures, and their type of interest in cycling that sustains their interest. This is what guides me to write: is to reach the audience by using cycling how it changes/affects at each stage of their life.

    1. Yes I can see that there are subculture groups within the cycling community that are not necessarily defined by age groups. I hope the links I provided so you can determine the demographics for your blogs prove to be of some help to you.

  2. I am willing to bet that people in their 40’s and up want to blog or try it but lack the time. They have acquired all sorts of life experiences which they are willing to share with others. By that point in life, folks who have experienced some major life experiences, know that it cannot be easily distillated in simply a tweet.

    Admittedly I have not thought through if I am trying to reach particular demographic groups or increase the breadth, diversity of my readership particularily for my personal blog.

    The business blog http://www.thirdwavecyclingblog.wordpress.com does need to have a particular focus which assumes at least high school level literacy, but more likely, even higher and assumes the audience is accustomed to reading some technical details. Probably an audience that isn’t just cycling oriented (thought that helps) but likes learning about stuff from reading non-fiction sources.

    I simply write for my personal blog just so that I can be understood by the broadest English language audience. I doubt my personal blog writing style attracts the attention of people who love gossip, controversy, movie star/celebrity papaprazzi. For instance, I have a blog post on the singer Sarah Mclaughlin whom I did see perform for an hr. in person this past spring. My style of writing is less gushy, hyperbolic vs. someone else who enjoys being exposed to celebrity type stuff.

    If people who like to shock or create controversy, have any interest in my personal blog, it would be the photos themselves..which hopefully shows some follks some different ways of seeing the world because of cross-cultural interaction, lifestyle changes, etc. I do aim to have photos of other people that reflect respect and some scrap of human dignity.

    I have not yet made my personal blog (nor third wave cycling blog) translatable in several languages. For certain, my personal blog does use some creative phrasing which I would be afraid an automatic translation software would get it wrong and cause some misunderstanding / turnoff a reader by simply me looking stupid /clueless.

    I am intrigued by people who want to blog and often want to create controversy in their writing style. To deal with a person like that face-to-face would be exhausting. So I tend not to read blogs that emulate that style. Maybe my attitude is reflection of my background, age, etc. Life is short, I want to learn and from reading, read more on subject later from other sources.

    Ok, I deviated from demographics chat.

    1. The deviation is not a problem. As usual you have replied in the context of your own experience and blogs and that’s a good thing. We can see how much thought you will be giving to your blogs and the bicyling subculture groups you aim each one to appeal to. Thanks for your comment.

  3. timethief – these are fascinating numbers. Youth far outnumber the Silver Surfers! I try to have a broad appeal, although my topics may appeal less to the young crowd.

    1. Youth do indeed outnumber silver surfers and they are also far more tolerant of advertising on blogs that baby boomers are. I was surprised to read that 24 percent of the 16-to 34-year-olds do think this type of advertising is appealing. However, the more I thought about it the more I realized most kids live in cities and cities are over-saturated with advertising everywhere. So given these kids grew up in such an environment their tolerance levels to advertising are different than those of the older demographic groups.

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