July 3, 2008

Japan is the No.1 country for blogging

The survey shows that the total number of blog articles reached about 1.35 billion, providing enough information to fill many millions of books.

The number of Internet blogs in Japan stood at about 16.9 million as of January 2008, with about 20 percent of Japan's 88.11 million Internet users involved in blogging, a survey by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications has found.

The survey by the ministry's Institute for Information and Communications Policy found that the total number of blog articles reached about 1.35 billion, providing enough information to fill many millions of books.

It was the first full-scale survey in Japan on blogs, or Web logs, whose numbers have dramatically increased in recent years.

The report also introduced the results of a survey by an American company that included deleted blogs. The number of blogs across the world totaled about 70 million, it was found. By language, Japanese topped the list, accounting for about 37 percent of all blogs. Second was English, at around 36 percent, while Chinese stood in third place at roughly 8 percent. The figures highlight the popularity of blogs in Japan.

The survey was conducted in February, using systems that automatically collected information from the Internet and through a survey of people aged 15 or over who had the experience of starting a blog.

It was found that blogs used for self-expression, in which people listed daily events like a diary to relieve stress, were the most common type in Japan, accounting for 30.9 percent of all blogs. About 40 percent of the people who started these blogs were aged in their teens and 20s.

Another 25.7 percent of blogs were community types in which people sought acquaintances under themes in which they held an interest. Archive-type blogs in which users organized and released information relating to their interests stood in third place, at 25.0 percent. These blogs were used not by young people but also by users in a wide range of age groups, including those in their 30s and 40s.

It was found that slightly under 20 percent of all blogs in Japan (about 3 million blogs) were updated at least once a month. About 400,000 to 500,000 new blogs appeared each month. Viewers posted an average of roughly 1.5 comments per article, showing that information was being actively exchanged.

About 12 percent of the 3 million blogs that were updated at least once a month were "spam blogs." Of these, 38.3 percent encouraged people to buy goods, 17.1 percent were designed to collect advertising revenue, and 7.0 percent directed people to adult or matchmaking sites.

Blogs started to spread widely across the world from about 2004.