Update on our survey of older bloggers: how and why they blog

The Older Bloggers’ Survey is now closed. I’ll leave this page here just for the record, and update you elsewhere when the results are clear. (Working on it!)

People say the Older Bloggers Survey was fun, and we hope it will lead to new policies and opportunities related to the ageing population. We have made assumptions, and now we want facts. We want to know how you blog, why you blog, when you started, and what you gain from blogging. You can do the survey no matter what your age, as long as you have your own blog.

Older bloggers' survey Have your say!

The Older Bloggers Survey ran in June 2018. And now it’s history.


cartoon of woman blogging

See the lady blog. Blog, lady, blog!

Seniors with a personal blog: an unexamined sphere

We are part of a huge community of bloggers with an important role to play in the world. But who pays attention to us? All research into blogging seems to be focused on business blogs, but most of us are blogging for personal reasons.

  • We’re the first cohort to be getting old en masse, and we are finding our way. What to do when you are old in the internet age?
  • We’re the first cohort to plunge into blogging as a retirement activity, because blogging wasn’t possible before.
  • We know our own blogging world very well, but we’re like a secret society to the rest of the world.

My reasons for launching a survey of older bloggers

For years my work was focused on business, government, academic and non-profit content. Then I withdrew from my business and launched a personal blog on an unrelated topic—ageing. To my surprise I found numerous kindred spirits, many of them also writing about the strange and unexpected experience of growing older. This world, buzzing with active, eloquent, knowledgeable people, has been pretty well undocumented until now, and I always want to know more. Don’t you?

I want to test these hypotheses—in other words, assumptions that may be right or wrong:
  1. Blogging provides social, emotional, and mental benefits for people over 60
  2. Older bloggers have some problems with usability and accessibility
  3. Blogging could usefully be promoted for the social and emotional benefit of isolated older people

The survey will shine a light on the world of personal blogs

First let’s get some facts. Then we’ll see how our experience can help others, and maybe solve a few problems along the way.

Thank you to our seven testers: as a result of your input we have made many questions clearer, added some new questions and removed others.

There will be a time limit to this historic survey of older bloggers—but so far, it’s open to all. Ready, steady, go!

Take the Older Bloggers’ Survey today on the popular SurveyMonkey website

Our credentials as researchers

The people behind the Older Bloggers’ Survey are Rachel McAlpine and Dr Judith Davey. It’s wise to be cautious about surveys, so we hope our bios will show you that this is a genuine initiative, and that your data is in safe hands with us.

Rachel McAlpine

I was a pioneer in the field of web content, researching and writing and teaching about this topic from 1996 onwards. My non-fiction books include Web Word Wizardry, Write Me A Web Page, Elsie!, Crash Course in Corporate Communications, Business Writing Plus, Global English for Global Business, and Song in the Satchel: Poetry in the High School. I am a poet and novelist, and for a brief period was a Chartered IT Professional of New Zealand. I am not an academic but I do have has a BA Hons in English Literature and a Dip. Ed. in Education.

Dr Judith Davey

Judith’s personal focus for research is the ageing of the population and its policy implications.  She is a keen advocate for Positive Ageing and for everyone to enjoy “the stage of life formerly known as retirement.”

Dr. Judith Davey was Director of the New Zealand Institute for Research on Ageing (NZiRA) from 2002 to 2007 and is now a Senior Research Associate of the Institute of Governance and Policy Studies (IGPS) at Victoria University of Wellington. She is also a voluntary policy advisor and blogger for Age Concern New Zealand.

Prior to joining Victoria University in 1991 she was the Deputy Director of the New Zealand Planning Council and started up in business as a consultant on social policy and social research in the 1970s. Judith is a graduate of London University and did her PhD at Durham University. Before coming to New Zealand, she was also a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Cambridge.

PS: Daily Prompt — Assumption.

46 thoughts on “Update on our survey of older bloggers: how and why they blog

  1. Su Leslie says:

    Excellent idea (but i’m a data junkie so I would say that). Looking forward to seeing the results and analysis.

    1. Me too!

  2. Bernadette says:

    Took the survey and it will be interesting to find out the results.

    1. Great, we are on our way!

  3. Ally Bean says:

    That was fun! Thanks for putting the survey together.

    1. Terrific! I hope you’ll tell your blogger-friends about it Ally because they’re full of ideas too.

      1. Ally Bean says:

        My post today directs my readers to your survey. Wonder if any of them will make their way to you? 🤔

      2. I bet they will—you’re so persuasive! Thanks Ally.

  4. Yes, I am another who did the survey and look forward to reading the results.

    1. Yay. This no longer just a Good Idea. It’s a real thing! Thanks Suzanne.

  5. Great job, Rachel! It was both fun and interesting to take. I am looking forward to reading the results!

    1. That’s great news!

  6. I think that might be the first survey I’ve taken about blogging. It was certainly interesting to do. Thanks for creating it. – Marty

    1. Glad to hear that, Marty. Thank you!

  7. Awesome idea! Looking forward to reading the results

  8. beetleypete says:

    Just did the survey, and will reblog on my site today.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  9. beetleypete says:

    Reblogged this on beetleypete and commented:
    An interesting idea, a survey of older bloggers designed to improve the blogging experience by researching into why people blog, and what they think about the process. It’s anonymous, and I have been happy to complete it.

    1. Oh thank you for reblogging! This always gives me a thrill, and I have just discovered that such comments are put straight into the Akismet-is-this-spam? folder, hence delay in responding. And of course thank you for taking part in the survey. Results are trickling out as fast as I can process them in my little brain.

      1. beetleypete says:

        I am looking forward to seeing them. Please let me know when you post them. 🙂
        Best wishes, Pete.

  10. Sue says:

    Just about to do the survey, great idea!

    1. Thank you Sue!

      1. Sue says:

        You are most welcome, Rachel!

  11. beetleypete says:

    Just to let you know, my reblog of this post has had 100 views so far today, and many of my followers have told me that they have completed your survey as a result.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. Pete You are a gem! Warmest thanks.

  12. cedar51 says:

    I thought long and hard about the survey – because of the words relating to “older” – but I’ve taken it and at times reflected that whatever I selected wasn’t exactly what I was thinking/wanting…but not knowing how I wanted it be.

    I might be older than my neighours but I’m not old, I’m still in apprentice stage- my late 60s…nor do I consider myself old (only sometimes) because that’s not how I think. Nor do I look old…have had some problems using my gold card! Not from a bus driver but from a passenger…

    hands not cooperating well…so won’t say anhymore right honw

    1. Actually age is not a barrier! You state your age so that is taken into account in the analysis. There is even a category for under 45!

  13. Can’t wait to see the results, but I’m a data junkie too. Hey maybe that’s the common thread …. just joking.

  14. There’s a bunch of us out there. I am starting to think this is not a merely survey but a future book. Oh no, not another one Rachel! But truly even the comments are extremely interesting to me, with wide implications.

  15. rita says:

    Completed the survey

  16. Reblogged this on Are You Thrilled and commented:
    Would you be willing to take a survey for Rachel McAlpine? I took it, and it did not take long and was not painful at all.

    1. That is high praise indeed! Thank you.

  17. Aunt Beulah says:

    I’ll take it, Rachel, and I’m looking forward to seeing the results.I’m interested in all three of the hypotheses.

    1. I’m so glad! You really get it.

      1. Aunt Beulah says:

        I just completed it. Taking it was interesting and thought-provoking.

      2. That’s excellent news.

  18. That was a fun survey, Rachel. I’m looking forward to learning the results. I fit into the crowd of older bloggers and many of my blogging buddies (my tribe) are older as well.

    1. Great to hear this. Thanks for taking part and spreading the word.

  19. Garfield Hug says:

    Interesting quest and I hope it works as the silver tsunami is upon us. I personally have a friend called Judith Davey too but she isn’t a doctor, lives in NSW, Australia but was pleasantly surprised that there is another person with the same name out there.

    1. Garfield, thanks, everything is going fine. Aha, we have our namesakes. Mine are singers, famous and otherwise.

      1. Garfield Hug says:

        Happy weekend Rachel!

    1. Thanks a million! I so appreciate your support.

  20. joared says:

    Look forward to the results. I would think there are significant differences among the personal, business and professional blogs — though many seem to integrate them with one another.

    1. Me too! I have blogged both ways. The survey is open for another week.

%d bloggers like this: