Bloggers attract attorneys

Some more blogging statistics:
– 36% of bloggers irritate friends or family,
– 55% identify themselves by their real, full name,
– 83% write personal entries,
– 20% post primarily interesting links,

The article that pointed me to these studies is here: 8,000 bloggers born every day | The Register. (Note that the 12% attracted an attorney’s attention is not acurate. The original MIT study says that 12% of bloggers know a blogger that has attracted attorney’s attention. They might all know the same person!)

Wired News: Bloggers Suffer Burnout

The authors of extremely popular blogs are under constant pressure to produce witty entries. In this article several of them talk about feeling pressure or stress to constantly come up with new posts. If they don’t post, they get asked if they are ok. If they do post, lots of comments are posted immediately.

Online Polling Tools

I was looking for free online polling tools and I found the following, none of them perfect. Let me know if you know of any others.

1. Good: you get to keep and edit your polls, lots of options. Bad: it leaves a huge whitespace in my blog entry.
2. Good: lots of options, best looking. Bad: it changes the background color of my blog, you can’t edit a poll once you’ve created it.
3. Bad: You can’t show the ongoing results to your readers.
4. Bad: You can’t show the ongoing results to your readers.

This was not an exhaustive study or evaluation as I was just looking for a few features such as easy to create, free (or very cheap) and show results in weblog or at least to weblog readers.


When I first went looking for a blogging tool, the lack of good information about the different sites that host blogs was very frustrating. I did find a few tables that compared prices and features but they hadn’t been kept up to date and they didn’t include all of the sites I was looking at. I decided not to post anything about the tools because I wouldn’t have created a complete comparison and I wouldn’t have kept it up to date.

That said, I think there’s a cool technology called RSS that would be interesting and useful to most people who read blogs. RSS, very simply, is a news aggregator technology. It provides a way of “subscribing” to blogs and news sites – you can pull all the information to one place instead of visiting each site independently. However, it’s the technology, not an end user tool.

For a detailed technical description of what RSS is read this article.

I am looking for a good, simple, cheap RSS reader, i.e. the end user tool. A tool that will go to all my favorite websites (that use RSS) and show me the latest news and posts in one place. I’m looking for one right now. If and when I find one I like, I will share it here. If you have any input, please let me know via comments!


My favorite blog so far is Slashdot, News for Nerds. Stuff that matters. It’s like a newsletter for geeks but both the topics and the discussions are supplied by the audience. Today they had an article about a topic I just recently talked about, online networks like Friendster and Orkut. Here’s the Slashdot discussion, Detecting Patterns in Complex Social Networks. The article referred to in the original post is rather sparse, but some of the follow up comments in the discussion have links to some very interesting networking sites. The networking sites have studies that even pull in mathematical theories, globalization, and international trade, as well as other topics. You can get a graduate degree in networking. I wonder who actually hires you if you end up with a degree in networking. Do you end up in economics, strategy, international relations? Any of the above?
The book, The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, by Malcolm Gladwell talked about how new trends spread like epidemics. I don’t have the book in front of me but he talked about three types of people that spread a new trend or idea. Only one of these types of people has large numbers of contacts. This type of person with the contacts has a huge network and spans between groups – they are responsible for a trend spreading. (One of the other types of people was the expert – people trust their judgement.)
One of the articles referred to in the Slashdot discussion says that one of the things researchers study is the clumps. I believe the author of the The Tipping Point would have argued that it’s the ties between clumps that are interesting. They are what holds the larger network together. There are also probably experts and focal points within each network but the network wouldn’t spread to groups with other interests without the connectors.