Blog Design: significant customization among weblog users is rare

Common Visual Design Elements of Weblogs

To our knowledge, very little work has been done to date that examines either the visual elements of weblogs or the relationship between the visual and textual elements of those same sites.

[…] In this study, we apply content-analytic methods (Bauer, 2000) to a random sample of weblogs as a means of exploring current visual trends within the blogosphere. Detailed coding for the presence of common structural, visual features allows correlation of those trends with the demographics of content producers.

And they end with the following conclusions:

One pattern clearly emerging as a result of this research is that individual webloggers do not tend to make substantive structural changes to the layout of their sites. This confirms one of the predictions / observations leading to this study: that „significant“ customization among weblog users is in fact somewhat rare.

[…] As a general prediction, we believe that the number of weblogs with significant visual customizations is unlikely to change substantially in the near future. The growth rate of weblogs is still increasing, and we observe that the population of new users is less likely to be comfortable with the process of customization than those users who have a great deal of familiarity with technology and the weblog format.

Personally I am sure that we don’t have the tools created yet, that make it easy enough to change the layouts of one’s blog. If the technology gets better we probably will also see more customization on individual weblogs.

Another point missing in this valuable study is the case of blog communities. If people want to belong to a certain community, they certainly are less enclined to change their layout, than if they choose to open an independent weblog.

Via Laurent Haug

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