In a recent investigation in the March 2012 edition of the online magazine Information, Communication and Society, it is suggested that African-Americans that are connected to the internet are more prone to blogging than their White or Hispanic counterparts. If the digital divide persists, some areas of the internet and the social media are racially more diverse than what had been expected. The author of the study was Jen Schradie, was a doctoral student.
Schradie analyzed the data of more than 40,000 surveyed Americans between 2002 and 2008 by the Pew Internet & American Life Project which tracks down the use of the internet and the tendencies of social media communication. The findings complement a study done in 2011 in which a “digital gap” among producers of online content based on education and socioeconomic status.
According to Schradie, “while African-Americans are more likely to blog than White Americans, it does not mean that the digital gap has ended. The people with the most access and education keep being the most prone to blogging than those who only have a secondary education and internet.”
For African-Americans, the amount of blogs keep rising at 17%, in comparison to 9% of whites. During that period, free online blog platforms such as Blogger, WordPress and Tumblr became widely available.
Aside from having the longest blogs, these have been eclipsed in the past few years by micro-blogging tools like Twitter and Facebook, which keep existing in the digital panorama and which grow at a constant rate.
The study did not analyze why African Americans can blog at a higher proportion than white and hispanic bloggers -a subject that Schradie says deserves more analysis. However, she notes that: “Perhaps African-Americans, because they have been marginalized from the main means of communication, now have a participation platform and are more likely to blog.”
In accordance with the spokespeople of community and political organizations such as ColorOfChange, the means of social communication are a natural extension of the traditional “mouth to mouth” communication that is used in African-American communities.
“Ultimately, the study shows that class inequality is the perpetuation of the digital gap in social media,” said Schradie. “Race matters, but not in the way that we think.”
Source: University of California Berkley
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