Internet trends: marketing research & predictions

Are we bloggers individualistic or cooperative?

April 3rd, 2007 by

One can suggest that we bloggers share a community focus. Others may suggest we are individuals in search of self esteem and social recognition.

On academic studies we do find differences in “social orientations” between cultures and societies (see ” social orientation”-article on pdf). I will try to investigate this question using a more simple straight forward test: comparing between the use of the word “I” to the word “we”.

Using blogpulse search engine (see graph 1) I found that in blogs “I” is being used three times more than “we” (”I” is found in about 0.45% of all posts, while “we” is being used in 0.16% of all posts).

In order to normalize it and compare it to the English word frequency I used the Brown Corpus Word Frequency. According to their list (edict wordlists), the use of “I” is about twice as much as the word “we” (0.50%, 0.26% respectively, see graph 2).

It turns out that while we blog we use much less “we” than we would normally use (in English language) (0.16% versus 0.26%) and that on blogs we have a much larger difference between the “I” and the “we” (3 times larger in blogs, two times larger in the English language).

I (not “we”) can conclude from this investigation that we (and not only “I”) blog with a more egocentric motive and from an individualistic perspective. Having this finding in mind we bloggers can be inspired to further shape our community values.
graph 1: use of “I and “we” in blogs


graph 2: use of “I and “we” in the English language

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12 Responses

  1. Krishna Kumar Says:

    A blog is usually written by a single person. He or she is more likely to use “I” than “we”. The framework of communication is responsible for this situation, not the characteristics of bloggers themselves.

  2. ABhi Says:

    This is a crude analysis.I(yes I) don’t like the idea of using such bad statistics to prove “I” is used more then “we” .My concerns are:

    1) How many unique instances are counted as one ? By that I mean does “I” appeared once or more then in a blog.

    2) How many blogs are analyzed?

    3) What are the lengths(word counts) of blog? What kind of statistical distribution is that? It would be better to normalize the occurrence of I with the word count.

    It looks like it would be interesting to do a quantitative analysis on such topic though.


  3. Syven Says:

    We reveal ourselves in our body language and our blogging language and so we should welcome any survey that confirms that we all possess a certain percentage of egocentricity.

    Lovers of Surveys must surely be equally, if not more so egocentric, for no statistic on Earth is a form of unconditional love, all statistics are measures and the measures we are interested in are driven through an egotistical framework not a spiritual one.

    Not that spiritual experiences are free from ego, some of the worst occurrences of people pretending to be spiritual are those whose ego’s are addicted to spirituality and claim to be spiritual.

    No one is therefore 100% egocentric, no one is 0% but what we do know is that egocentricity isn’t an intelligence but a primary glue of our man-made social networking, otherwise we would do much more humbler jobs and be fully capable of sharing 50% of the housework in a household where the wife does 100%.


    Note: Explorative

  4. Prolific Programmer Says:

    Bloggers operate as constantly changing ad-hoc communities, which are formed through linking, trackbacks, and comments.

  5. Nonsense Says:

    I- .5099
    have- .3880
    you- .3234
    all- .2954
    are- .4325

    In my example above I score a whopping 10% compared to a measly fraction of one percent.

    My conclusions:

    1. Yet another example of my writing being way above average.

    2. Yet another example of me being over ten times more egotistical than the average blogger.

    (Please excuse my disruptive ignorance. But this is cheaper for me than therapy. I’ll leave you nice folks alone now.)

  6. Basic Thinking Blog » Blogger sind Egoisten Says:

    […] Trendspotting untersuchte die Häufigkeit der Begriffe “we” und “i” und kommt zum Schluss: It turns out that while we blog we use much less “we” than we would normally use (in English language) (0.16% versus 0.26%) and that on blogs we have a much larger difference between the “I” and the “we” (3 times larger in blogs, two times larger in the English language). […]

  7. EDWARD-DESIGNER.COM » Blog Archive » I or We? Says:

    […] source: […]

  8. Nós blogueiros somos individualistas ou cooperativos? « Ana Simples Assim Says:

    […] Concluindo, e só para esquentar, o blog “Trendsspotting”? fez uma pesquisa perguntando? “Nós blogueiros somos? individualistas ou cooperativos?” Filtrando as palavras na blogosfera, descobriram que a palavra “EU” é três vezes mais usada do que a palavra “NÓS” e que portanto os blogueiros são mais individualistas. Há controvérsias nos comentários, olha lá. Mas antes disso, conta aí: o que você acha? […]

  9. Idetrorce Says:

    very interesting, but I don’t agree with you

  10. Barry Says:

    Where I can to find blogs on this topic?

  11. Seniorita Says:

    Superd! I’ll do simliar post in on blog

  12. Home Oxygen Says:

    I was lucky, because everything installed without major hazzles

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