State of the Hispanic Blogosphere report 2009
Since its huge emergence in the late XX century and the beginning of the XXI century, many have been the studies that have attempted to approach to the blog phenomenon in Spanish.
Most of these researches have been based on surveys of bloggers or experts in the field, using indirect data and small sized samples.
Now for the first time in history, Bitacoras.com publishes the results of a study based on the platform’s internal data, with the intention of offering a broader perspective about the reality of the blogosphere in Spanish.
A first report that extends and supports previous studies and tries to promote and spread the phenomenon of blogs beyond their own borders.(note 1)
2. Introduction and methodology
Bitacoras.com is a social network where bloggers and readers of blogs in Spanish, can communicate with each other, share knowledge and promote content. The system collects real-time updates of thousands of blogs, making it an essential tool to understand what happens in the blogosphere at any given time.
Among the entire set of services, highlights the social aggregator, which is able to filter the entire volume of content continuously generated by blogs and whose methodology combines an automatic detection of links and also a manual vote system for users.
In this way, Bitacoras.com has a huge volumen of information that feeds the database (users, blogs, notes, tags, etc...), from 16 Spanish-speaking countries and more than 15 platforms for creating, managing and hosting blogs.
The project does not use third-party data (Google and Technorati, for example) and unlike other systems ensures the quality of content because, before they are indexed, all the blogs pass through a human filter that ensures that the content doesn’t violate rights of third parties (xenophobic, racist, sexually explicit, etc.), blogs are not created solely for promotion or positioning (spamblogs or splogs), are written in Spanish language and have the generally accepted format. (note 2)
Therefore, all the results in this study and presented below are based on an analysis of the data of the platform that we believe are representative and relevant of the Hispanic Blogosphere.
As a starting point, here are our four basic indicators of activity of the system in April 2009:
- Blogs indexed: 319.026
- Posts indexed: 3.067.058
- Links processed: 16.070.273
- Registered Bloggers with complete profile: 119.161
3.1 Users (bloggers)
About 81% of Hispanic bloggers are men and only 19% women. The difference in the use of Internet between the sexes is accentuated in the case of blogs, where only 2 out of 10 bloggers are women. (note 3)
Approximately 80% of Hispanic bloggers are aged between 19 and 44 years, being the segment between 25 and 34 years the most active with 38% of the total.
Nationally, we show below the main cities with the highest number of bloggers:
3.1.4. Social networks
Hispanic Bloggers often use different social tools where Flickr and Twitter are two of the best known. Bitacoras.com allows bloggers to join their accounts to these services with their profile and we have found that 53% use Twitter and 46% Flickr.
3.2. Contents (blogs)
The blog distribution by country follows the line we have seen in the case of bloggers, Spain being the nation that groups more than half of the Hispanic eNewspapers (54.5%), followed by Argentina (10.2%) , Mexico (8.9%) and Chile (7%).
Another highlight is the average number of blogs run by user: 1.23 which indicates that, on average, Hispanic bloggers publish in more than one blog.
3.2.2. Most used topics in blogs
The graph shows a comparison between the most written and valued topics in the Hispanic blogs.
In the most written topics, we found a high percentage of autobiographical and personal blogs (34%). There are three major groups. The first consists of blogs about News (11%), Culture and Society (9%), Journalism and Media (6%), Education (5%), History, Art and Literature (4%) and Politics (4% ). The second, consisting of blogs with the following topics: Technology (3%), Internet (2%) and Blogs (2%). Finally, with a small percentage, blogs with a very varied topics: Humor (2%), Photography (1.9%), Fashion and Design (1.9%), Jobs (1.8%), Music (1.8%), Science (1.6%), TV and Video (1.5%), Travel (1.2%) Curiosities (1.2%), Sports (1.1%), Erotic (1.1%) and Marketing and Advertising (1%).
If we analyze the most valued topics, there are significant differences. First of all because there is a wider distribution among the topics and second, because the most valued topics by users do not match with the most published. Specifically highlighted in top: Blogs (11.3%), Journalism and Media (8.5%), Internet (6.9%), Marketing and Advertising (5.4%) and Technology (5.2%).
The topics of the most valued posts in Bitacoras.com in the last months, confirm these conclusions.
Topics of the most valued posts in Bitacoras.com in the last months:
- La elección de González Sinde una provocación de Zapatero contra Internet
- Arranca la blogocampaña contra el porno infantil
- Microsoft cierra mi blog por denunciar públicamente que tiene pederastas en su red Windows Live
- Entrevista con el webmaster de infopsp
- Aclaraciones sobre la primera sentencia condenatoria a una página de enlaces
- Me acaban de prohibir usar el twitter en la Comision
- Le roban maestrosdelweb.com y forosdelweb.com a Christian Van Der Henst
- Hernán Casciari nos lleva a la tumba
- Promesa pública a la Ministra
- Prey: Y rastrea tu computador robado
- Free Blogger: ayudemos a los bloggers italianos
- Los insultos de Teddy Bautista
- Revientan y ridiculizan la campaña "Si eres legal, eres legal"
- 7 razones por las que ser Productivo
- Facebook permite hacer público el perfil a todo el mundo
- Bloguero liberiano escribe sus posts con tiza y pizarrón
- Videoblogs en español
- En la muerte de un periodista: Julio Alonso, compañero, amigo maestro
- Contrato del bloguer y el comentarista
- 11,5 millones de euros no bastan para hacer una web decente, la vergüenza nacional de Renfe.es
- Así funciona la SGAE, en cuatro enlaces
- Cómo vivir con un cerebro y dos conciencias
- Gripe porcina en España: Primer caso confirmado
- Exclusiva: El gobierno ultima un plan para dar un ordenador a cada niño de primaria
- Jazztel confirma el bloqueo de servidores de Wordpress.com
- ADN.es cierra
- Tras reiniciar, dibujamos la hoja de ruta
- Pocoyó sí se merece una cartera ministerial
- 21 días... haciendo cualquier cosa menos periodismo
- Salvemos a Internet de convertirse en una televisión
- Público cambia de director
- El día que Zapatero perdió Internet
- El fracaso de la prensa
- Encuentran un árbol creciendo dentro del pulmón de un paciente
- Nueva licencia Creative Commons 0, sin ninguna restricción
- El Partido Popular y sus ‘Mariconadas’ homófobas
- Otro Día, En Extranjería
- El rediseño de Facebook no gusta… y no lo van a cambiar
- Arte anónimo por las calles de Madrid
- Google Chrome, navegador de Google
- Lo que los gurús del Social Media no quieren que leas
- Mentiras y gordas
- The Hispanic blogosphere is very endogamous, evaluating mainly entries related to the medium itself.
- Using blogs mostly as a tool of social protest (pornography, anorexia) and as a political protest against measures affecting the Internet and free culture (Copyright, p2p, etc.).
(note 4) (note 5) (note 6)
3.2.3. Search Terms
If we look at the searches that users have performed through Bitacoras.com, we found primarily technological terms, news and entertainment, without any connection between them.
With the new tool "Trends" recently released in Bitacoras.com, we can also make comparisons between the popularity of terms, phrases and URLs.
3.2.5. Update frequency
The day of the week with higer volume of publication in the Hispanic Blogosphere is on Wednesday with a 16.3%. From there, this value will decrease to its lowest record on Sunday when he starts the recovery.
If we look at the different time slots, most published content occurs at 16 hours, with the logic decreases of activity at night and during the hours of breakfast, lunch and dinner. (note 7)
Therefore, the peak of activity in the Hispanic Blogosphere during the week is on Wednesday from 16 to 19 hours.
3.2.6. Blog Networks
We have used quantitative (number of blogs and posts) and qualitative parameters (votes received in the social aggregator) to analyze the main Hispanic blog networks.
Considering the number of blogs in it, the main network would be 100 blogs alongside with Redactores.es with more than half a hundred blogs. Given the volume of publication highlights Ocio Networks, Weblogs SL, Hipertextual, Actualidad Blog and Bitablog with over 25,000 entries. Based on the number of votes in the social aggregator Bitacoras.com we found La Voz de Galicia, Hipertextual and ABC Blogs.
Therefore, the number of blogs in a network and its update rate, has no direct relation to their relevance. (note 8)
Some of the platforms for creating and hosting blogs in Spanish with the greatest number of blogs indexed in our system.
The cloud shows the Hispanic blogs that have the largest number of votes garnered in the social aggregator Bitacoras.com in the last months.
4. Discussion and conclusions
First of all, this is the first study of these features so we started with an initial restriction in the evolution of the phenomenon, it was impossible to make comparisons with previous periods, something that we will be able to do in future deliveries of this report.
However, based on the data we have in Bitacoras.com and we have used in this study, we can say that the Hispanic Blogosphere is seething. It had never before had such a volume of blogs, posts and links, although we start to see some slowdown in the growth that we hope to ratify in forthcoming studies.
Furthermore, it is important to distinguish between volume and update. There is a considerable volume of Hispanic blogs, but only a small part is frequently updated.
From November 2007 to the present, the number of blogs indexed in Bitacoras.com rise to 319,026, that have published 3,067,058 posts, generating a total of 16,070,273 links.
If we look at the activity over the past few months we find that:
- 38.914 blogs posted in the last 6 months.
- 22.278 blogs posted in the last months.
- 12.493 blogs posted in the last 7 days.
- 6.465 blogs posted in the last 24 hours.
- 709 blogs posted in the last hour.
This means that only 6.98% of the Hispanics blogs are updated with some frequency, and only 3.91% of them are actually active.
It is interesting to compare these figures with the results of the latest report on the state of the global blogosphere presented annually by Technorati:
“Over the 133 million blogs that exist in the world, only 1.1% has been updated in the last week, which means that only 1.5 million blogs are active.”
Therefore, the percentage of Hispanics blogs which are frequently updated are above the world average given by Technorati.
Hispanic Blogger Profile
The Hispanic Blogger is mainly a man between 25 and 34 years old located in Spain, Argentina, Mexico and Chile, that uses Twitter as a complement to his main blogging activity, and publishes posts related to his personal life, news, culture and society, but when it comes to consume content, prefers topics as environment, technology and the Internet.
Publish mostly on weekdays, especially on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays in the afternoon and write in more than one blog.
A blog also called weblog is a log book on the Internet with one or more topics and a number of characteristics: updating, organizing, speaking, facilitation and distribution.
- Updated because the author or authors often published posts.
- Organization because these entries are sorted by date and by category.
- Conversation because allows comments from readers and visitors to the site to encourage dialogue and debate on the published issues.
- Simpler because it is very easy to create, use and publish posts in a blog. You no longer need to know complex programming languages to communicate on the network. This also provides a universal tool.
- Distribution because it organize the content in a file called "feed". Syndication offers the opportunity to read entries from a program called news reader or aggregator without having to visit the blog.
The set of blogs that exist on the network is called the blogosphere.
Some of the major studies on the phenomenon based on surveys to bloggers or experts in the field, agree on many of the conclusions highlighted in this report. Among the studies we have consulted:
- State of the Blogosphere 2008. Technorati
- Perfil del blogger hispano. III Encuesta a Bloggers. Tíscar Lara y Fernando Garrido. Revista Diálogos de la Comunicación, número 76. Enero-Abril 2008. Encuesta realizada en la plataforma de Netquest.
- Estudio sobre uso, interés, conocimiento y percepción de la blogosfera española. Zed Digital. Abril de 2007. 8 entrevistas en profundidad a bloggers.
- Blogs y Medios – Las claves de una relación de interés mutuo. José Manuel Noguera Vivo. 2008.
- Informe anual sobre el desarrollo de la sociedad de la información en España, eEspaña 2008. Fundación Orange.
- 11ª Encuesta AIMC a usuarios de Internet. Febrero 2009.
Some studies like the annual report eEspaña 2008 on the development of information in Spain (Fundación Orange), or the 11th AIMC survey of Internet users, shows a digital divide between men and women that becomes even more apparent in the case of blogs.
For the study of the most written topics in the Hispanic Blogosphere (3.2.4), we have taken the tags used by users in each of its entries, as well as data contributed by each blogger in the profile of every blog.
For the study of the most valued topics we have used data from the social aggregator Bitacoras.com whose running is as follows:
The social aggregator Bitacoras.com uses both, the links received by a post and the votes by users. Its methodology can be summarized basically as follows:
The total sum of points is determined by a post:
- Links from blogs: Our system filters the entries (posts) that users send by ping, looking for links to other posts in Bitacoras.com.
- Quantity and quality: When we find a link, we give a score to the post linked based in the position of the blog who links in the TOP Bitacoras.com. Each found link is summed to the previous points.
- Votes by users: Any anonymous user can vote the posts from our system, its vote is worth 1 point. For registered users we have a system that changes the weight of a vote from "1 point" to "5 points" depending on the position of the user in the Top Users.
- System restrictions
- The user can only make one vote per entry.
- An anonymous user can send a maximum of 10 votes per hour.
- We consider only the first 3 links found to a blog post sent by the same user. The fourth link will appear in references, but will not give points in the system..
We have avoided posts referring to the launch of Bitacoras.com
Data analysis was made with the time differences of each country.
We consider a blog network, a user with more than 8 blogs in its profile and expressly declares so. For the study we have included those networks that ping our system.
- Fernando Garrido
- Tíscar Lara
- Fernando Tricas
- Sonia Blanco
- José Luis Orihuela
- Sergio Mahugo
- JJ Merelo