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Is Social Media more or less anonymous today? A look at the numbers—Part 2

In the previous post we looked at the degree of anonymity across the four largest volume media types in our data repository and saw that blogs are leading the pack in authors choosing to remain veiled in mystery when making their online contributions.  This discovery prompted me to look a little deeper, particularly in relation to the question of whether or not the growth in popularity of Facebook and other social networks like Google+ where people more openly identify themselves has influenced how people handle their activity across Blogs and Forums over the last three years.


This above graph compares the data collected for same week of July, year over year, for 2009, 2010 and the current year 2011.  You’ll notice that the variance in the amount of authors posting anonymously in Forums is minimal while the authors posting on Blogs, both original blog posts and comment posts, have steadily increased.  This came as a surprise to me as I expected to see the trend show a decrease in the amount of anonymous authors.  My logic was that as people become increasingly more comfortable identifying themselves in social networks, as well as creating handles and user names across multiple media types that they would be more apt to self-identify.

Why do you think there are more anonymous posts on Blogs these days?  Is the lack of community you get with Forums a contributor?  Are Blog authors and readers that make comments looking for a different type of communication?  With the often heated and long-threaded blog discussions that I run across I haven’t settled on an answer that makes sense to me yet—I’d really like to hear your thoughts on the matter.

In next week’s conclusion to the series,  I’ll share what I found looking in Visible Intelligence using our powerful Topic Discovery analysis to see what common topics and issues these anonymous posters have been talking about.  Stay tuned!


Tags : social media

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