Wednesday, May 31, 2006


Last Friday, the folks at and goo Research put out another intriguing bit of research, this time an update in their ongoing (since April '04) look at the blogging phenomenon in Japan. A total of 1,068 respondents 10 - 70 years old were asked a number of questions, and the key findings were:

  • 96.9% were aware of the existence of blogs;
  • 77.3% had read a blog;
  • 67.3% stated that they had found genuinely useful information through reading blogs;
  • 36.8% had created their own blog, and another 25.9% expressed an interest in doing so;

Key motivations in starting a blog, in order of popularity, were:

  1. To leave behind personal memoirs
  2. To share received information with others
  3. To get others to understand one's opinions

Somewhat curiously, only 6.6% of respondents with blogs said they publish under their real names. Key inhibitors are "fear of publication of my real identity" and "not wanting those close to me to find out."

Being self-effacing is a major part of Japanese culture traditionally (I can genuinely recall colleagues in Japan years ago saying things like "my children are stupid" and "my wife is ugly and can't cook"), so I guess this isn't particularly surprising. I would be curious to see some sort of comparative ethnological research in this area. This report on China last year contained a few fragments on blogging motivation, but it would be nice to see how/if cultural attitudes and values translate to the blogosphere.