japan.internet.com, in conjunction with goo Research, recently published the results of a survey into what people think when blogs crash and burn. They interviewed by means of a private internet questionnaire 1,084 people from their monitor group, 57.1% female, 22.9% in their twenties, 43.4% in their thirties, 24.4% in their forties, and 9.2% in their fifties.
I must admit to quite enjoying a flame war on the whole, as long as the level of abuse remains relatively intelligent. However, this being the internet, things usually deteriorate to either mindless flaming or argument by Google, where people quote the first URL they find that agrees with their position.
Now I think about it, I do dislike a real flare-up; intelligent abuse is usually not serious, I feel, and will soon blow over.
First a basic figure: of the 1,084 people in the survey, 929, or 85.7%, have viewed a blog (it is not specified if this means ever or just recently). The following questions were asked of these 929 blog readers.
Q1: Do you read the comments attached to blog entries? (Sample size=929)
Often read them 22.4% Sometimes read them 53.3% Don’t read them much 17.2% Almost never read them 7.1%
Q2: Have you ever seen a flame war in a blog entry comments field? (Sample size=929)
Yes 53.7% No 46.3%
Q3: What do you think is the reason for blog flame war happening? (Sample size=499, multiple answer)
Votes Percentage The commenter is being oversensitive 299 59.9% A problem with what the blog author wrote 193 38.7% The commenter is the member of a clique 157 31,5% There’s a problem with the topic the blog author chose 126 25.3% The specific blog entry URL gets spread on large-scale bulletin boards 105 21.0% Don’t know 28 5.6% Other 42 8.4%
When asked what should be done when a flame war breaks out, the most popular suggestion was that the comments field should be locked down. Other suggestions were for apologies or shutting down the whole blog.
Q4: What do you feel when you see a blog flare up? (Sample size=499)
Enjoyment 3.2% Discomfort 67.1% Cannot say either 29.7%