Japan Top Blogging Country? Masaka!

July 3, 2008

I have to say, Japan being listed as the top blogging country in the world is a little crazy. I can only imagine that the unnamed American company that did the survey knows nothing about Japan and worded the question poorly enough to construe the results.

I’m not trying to detract too much, but you see if you read the description of the types of blogs involved, you’ll read that:

  • 30.9 percent like diaries listing daily events
  • 25.7 percent were community types in which people were looking for acquaintances with similar interests
  • 25% were also hobby or interest related blogs

It sounds to me that a lot of people listed their MIXI diaries as “blogs”, or even their activity on mixi or other communities as “blogging”. I would really love to see the Japanese wording of the questions they used in the surveys. Part of me thinks they may not have even used the word “burogu” for blog, but “nikki” (diary) instead. I’d like to have a little more information about this survey.

Calling Japan the top internet blogging company becomes even dicier when you look at the other facts listed in the article:

  • under 20% of blogs (or about 3 million blogs) were updated at least once a month

(that means over 80% of this incredible number of blogs are updated less than once a month, right?)

  • 12% of the updated blogs were spam blogs

(meaning that 2.4% of the total blogs or hundreds of thousands of blogs were spam blogs)

Now we have that maybe 17% of all blogs in Japan are active, meaning posting at least one time per month. 30.9% of those seem to be mixi diaries, and another 25% seem to be community based (if we can trust this unnamed American company’s data.

(Not that they would falsify, but just that the questions, methods, sample are not described so it’s hard to be sure how accurate the research is. We don’t even have a standard of deviation for these percentages.)

So what does this give us? It seems to show that Japanese people may not be blogging any significant amount more than people in any other country. Certainly blogging as a profession has not progressed as far as it has in the United States.

If we start with assumptions of technological savvy, it’s easy to jump from there to conclusions of technological expertise or even superiority. The problem lies in differences in the way the internet is used and thought of in the US and Japan.

As someone who has to do research on a variety of topics in both languages everyday, I have to say that there are tons more useful information in English than in Japanese. Someone might say that’s obvious, but the data in this article seems to indicate that Japanese is one of the dominant languages on the net. I say there is a large Japanese presence, but it’s generally business related and doesn’t really provide users with much useful information. This is something that we Japanese language bloggers have to work on in order to move the Japanese language portion of the net onward and upward.