OK, so not all bloggers are toxic–a new study

April 24, 2009

You’ve heard me talk about “toxic talk,” the propensity of the social media/blogosphere/online community to engage in over heated, hyper-sensitive, hair trigger outrage and activism. Here’s an article about a study relating to bloggers comments about retail brands and comparisons to comments in the mainstream media.

A quick summary. Blog comments about national retailers were 41% positive, 31% neutral and 28% negative.

And while bloggers overall were a little more likely to say something negative than mainstream media and less likely to be positive, this comment shows a key difference:

Bloggers were more likely to have extreme negative reactions in their coverage, while the mainstream media was more likely to be “slightly unfavorable” or “intensely positive” when covering global organizations.

A few reasons why I think that is so: no accountability (at least for most), anonymity, and teh fact that they are not linked in most cases to ad revenue. I would guess that those who depend on ad revenue tend to be a little more careful about biting the hand that feeds them. On the other hand, it is often the outrageous comments that generates the traffic that feeds the ads.

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