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August 13, 2004

UThink is 4 months old!

Tomorrow will be the 4 month anniversary for UThink, the University Libraries blogging system. With very little advertising and a lot of word of mouth, the system has generated these kinds of statistics:

Total number of blogs: 464
Blog authors: 544
Blog entries: 3804
Comments to all blogs: 1476

I've run some other queries against these numbers and I've found that of the 464 blogs, 72% are "active." This means that 72% of them have had at least one post since June 14. Why did I base this statistic on a two month range? One of the most famous surveys on blogging in general, the Perseus Blog Survey, used that criteria to find that 66% of blogs in general are abandoned. So, right now, UThink has a 28% abandonment rate.

That isn't too bad, but I also ran some queries to deduce how many blogs only have one post to try to figure out how many people are even remotely "consistent" users. According to my query 31% of UThink blogs only have one post. Ha! That is very interesting.

So, where are all the posts coming from? According to some other computations I've made, the top 50 bloggers, the 50 blogs with the most posts, account for 85% of the posts on UThink (3,262 out of 3,804). So in other words, some people really get into it, and other people ... not so much. Actually, that isn't fair. If a person only blogged once a month on UThink they would only have four posts, but maybe that is how they want to blog. Who knows?

Some other interesting stats: about 4 blogs get created everyday on the system and every day there are about 31 posts or entries put on the system. And of the users, the breakdown is thus:

Faculty and P/A: 88
Staff: 57
Undergraduates: 110
Graduates: 155

This is a little surprising to me considering how many more undergraduates there are at the U as opposed to graduate students. However, I unveiled UThink at the end of Spring semester four months ago right around finals time. You could argue that grad students are the biggest users because there are more grad students on campus than undergrads during the summer months (?). I'm just speculating.

I also took a hard look at about half of the blogs to get a sense of who these people are and what they are using UThink for. As you might imagine, this took me quite a long time. 55% are male and 45% female so that breaks down as you might expect. Of the blogs I looked at I also found that 28% are personal in nature, 9% are research related (citations, thesis/dissertation discussion), 5% are for a class or class project, 11% are work related, and 47% are just testing or kicking the tires a little bit. It will be very interesting to see how these statistics change as we get into a "real" semester, but I'm going to have to figure out a better and more accurate way of doing random sampling.

Anyway, that is about it. Let me know if I should run some other type of statistic.

Posted by snackeru at August 13, 2004 10:55 AM | UThink


I'll be interested to see how many blogs stay active during the semester. The school year gives students more to write about but less free time with which to do it.
-Carl / QWERTY

Posted by: Carl at August 13, 2004 12:28 PM

While you may be right on in terms of personal blogs, I think we'll see a fair number of class or class project based blogs come into existence and remain active. I've already had a number of professors contact me to tell me they are going to make blogging a part of their class requirements. It will definitely be interesting.

Posted by: Shane at August 13, 2004 1:07 PM

Shane, do you know of any good resources for ways to use blogs in the classroom? I am teaching a course in the BAS program in the spring and I was thinking that posting questions for class discussion might be useful - but I'm sure there are many other strategies I'm not thinking of.

Posted by: Sno-Cones at August 15, 2004 11:35 AM

The young UThink is truly an enviable success so far. I'm putting together an awards-show entry of sorts of my favorite UThink posts. It's somewhat of a sister entry to my shameless "Best of Qwerty." I can't say much yet, because it's still in the works. Look for it on Qwerty sometime before the semester starts.

Posted by: Carl/Qwerty at August 15, 2004 6:33 PM

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