The Audience Analysis Cookbook [Part 2/4]

Recipe for Analysing Posts

You will need:

  • A handful of relevant blogs
  • A copy of the codebook
  • A free account on SurveyGizmo, SurveyMonkey or equivalent
  • Google Search
  • Excel, OpenOffice, Google Docs, or equivalent spreadsheet

Instructions:

  1. Take the same sample of blogs and survey that you used in recipe 1 – analysing blogs;
  2. For each blog, review the most recent three posts;
  3. For each blog, assess overall style and tone of the most recent posts, and note down characteristics including the number of external links (and the nature of the destination sites), the time between posts, responsiveness of the posts to users or outside events, and the type of media used;
  4. Next, take the hyperlink addresses of the most recent three posts and enter these in Google search. Count how many unique sites are linking to each of the posts. Visit these sites and note down the general style and tone of those sites;
  5. Complete your online questionnaire for each of the blogs;
  6. Download your data into Excel and compare the findings with those from the other recipes in this series;
  7. As an extra, you can ‘snowball’ sample the sites that are linking to your original blogs by repeating the recipes in the cookbook for those sites.

Results:
When applied to a sample of nine blogs on women’s economic empowerment, this recipe produced the following findings.

Generally, posts made heavy use of text (100%) and still images (89%), with some use of video (11%). The majority of posts took a blended tone of information or commentary with personal story telling (56%). Others had a purely informational tone (33%) or were commentary (11%). No post was purely personal, although 67% of first posts did include some personal identifiers.

The most pervasive style of posts were related to expert commentary (33%) and curated filtering (44% – of which half added synthesis). 78% of posts responded to external events, but none revealed evidence of responding to audience feedback or requests.

The most frequent sources or destinations of links (reflecting the wider network of the blog) are professional (39%) or personal (36%) in nature. Fewer are academic (28%) or business (25%) in nature (some sources were classified in multiple categories).

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