Monday, April 26, 2010

Original intentions

In order to fully understand the results of the book blogger survey, one must know the original intentions. See, this project did not begin as a survey but rather as a series of generalizations and assumptions. It began with the simple question: are there more female book bloggers than male ones? This slowly developed into stereotypes and guesses, saying things like, "Well, female bloggers are more likely to..." or "Male bloggers don't really do..." and so on. In general, assumptions are bad. Therein lies the birth of the book blogger survey.

That was the first question: the male/female breakdown. This lead to the first stage of the survey - compiling a list of book blogs and defining them as male written, female, both, or unknown. After collecting several hundred blog titles (in what I suspect is one of the largest book blogger databases in existence, though it is currently closed to the public), I managed to find a rough indicator of male/female percentages. The split came out around 60:20 female to male (with the remaining 20% accounting for unknowns and blogs with multiple writers). This, however, was not enough. It was, as I already pointed out, merely an indicator, seeing as it was entirely unscientific and also not at all concrete - I was guessing genders based on names, hints and personal stories.

It was while collecting book blogs for this database that I realized what's needed is a comprehensive survey. Who are book bloggers on the whole, what do their blogs look like, how do they view themselves? I discovered that there were no such answers online - I found reference to a book blogger survey from almost a year ago, but was unable to find results. It seemed like a suitable project to learn more about the book blogging world and the people behind these excellent blogs.

And so the survey was born. Tune in later this week for the first round of results!

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