Is the average blogger poorer than the average person?
January 12, 2005 6:21 PM   Subscribe

After reading hundreds of blogs (Why, oh why?), I’ve come to the conclusion that a big number of the people who write about their own financial situation, explicitly or indirectly tell of how broke they are; Like Jim Anchower, many describe low wages and bad jobs, job losses and unemployment, crashing bills, life in apartments with roommates who don’t care and having a hard time paying rents & bills, etc. I understand that the real median household income in 2003 was $43,318 (US), and I know that times are hard for most people. Still, is the average blogger poorer than the average person?
posted by growabrain to Society & Culture (18 answers total)
No, the average person just doesn't complain nearly as much as the average blogger... ;-)
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 6:31 PM on January 12, 2005

My guess: the average blogger is younger than the average worker, and is therefore making less money. Not to mention the fact that most live in cities, where $43,318 won't get you very far.
posted by Eamon at 6:49 PM on January 12, 2005

I agree with Eamon in that bloggers tend to be younger, and younger people tend to make less money than the average. Also, there's a selection bias inherent in the question: who spends their time droning on and on about how financially secure they are?
posted by mcwetboy at 6:56 PM on January 12, 2005

Just some thoughts: The average blogger is probably more likely to be single and younger than the average person.

The median household income may be 43K, but often that includes more than one income. The median income in single-person households will be lower.

And of course income generally rises with age, so again, bloggers will have lower median incomes.

Further, having enough money is never a story..."This week the first of the month came around and I have to pay my rent by the fifth, so I sent a cheque." is not something you're likely to see on anybody's blog. A story about shuffling money between 3 credit cards, and selling your stereo on ebay in the nick of time is really much more interesting.
posted by duck at 6:58 PM on January 12, 2005

Maybe if they went out and did a decent day's work, instead of spending all their time on a computer, they'd have more money ;)
posted by carter at 6:59 PM on January 12, 2005

People who complain about their money situation tend to have less money. People who have more money tend not to like talking about it.
posted by pwb503 at 7:01 PM on January 12, 2005

Maybe happy, sincere, honest people generally don't blog.
posted by angry modem at 7:17 PM on January 12, 2005

I think everyone is generally dissatisfied with their way of life, regardless of the money they make. Generally speaking, most people react to having more cash by upping their tastes and their minimum standard. People who shop at Old Navy but move on to Banana Republic because they can afford to then start to pine for higher-branded stuff from Gucci and Armani. This is all very materialistic, of course, but who said that living in a commercialist society wouldn't foster this sort of behavior?

GQ has an article titled Why Men Bitch that may be an interesting read.

Also, I figure bloggers appear to complain more than other people because they have an outlet to air their grief for the world to see. I'm pretty sure the overall consensus is that everyone complains, but having a weblog makes it easy to do.
posted by riffraff at 7:18 PM on January 12, 2005

Even among the people who earn a decent salary, a significant portion are likely living beyond their means, and thus having financial problems.
posted by agropyron at 7:19 PM on January 12, 2005

Also, if you're a young hip blogger, chances are a chunk of your budget includes High Speed Internet, a cell phone, and a digital camera to take pictures to post to your blog.

This is probably indicative of flawed priorities.
posted by Stan Chin at 7:20 PM on January 12, 2005

I am a pauper. Hence the wishlist, in the naive hope a rich benefactor will buy me stuff. But generally I don't whine about it.
posted by exlotuseater at 7:26 PM on January 12, 2005

It's also easy to talk about being broke. It's like talking about "the missus" or "that damned job". Or baseball, or the weather. It's a generic thing to talk about.
posted by Hildago at 7:44 PM on January 12, 2005

People who have more money tend not to like talking about it.

Especially when everyone else is complaining about how poor they are.
posted by smackfu at 10:09 PM on January 12, 2005

hrm. I am married, have no regular cellphone contract nor broadband access, and never post photos to my "page".

I try not to call it a blog, though. Maybe that's the distinction.

(I'm not particularly well off, nor am I a complete pauper. Let's say that I make less than forty thousand US dollars a year right now but more than ten.)
posted by codger at 10:42 PM on January 12, 2005

21, no job, full-time college student, living with my parents, scraping by to buy whatever weed and beer I can. I'm a blogger, and I complain alot. Sorry, but I just proved you right.
posted by puke & cry at 11:36 PM on January 12, 2005

All the successful people I know don't blog.
posted by sled at 4:38 AM on January 13, 2005

There is probably a selection bias as well, where bloggers are more likely to buy digital toys and etc. Someone already mentioned this, but it seems like the root of it for me. When I was 25, I had a stereo and a tv, both cheap. Oh, also a computer. But 25 year olds today, who are tech savvy, tend to have those things and an MP3player (maybe an iPod, which is incredibly overpriced), a cell phone, a pda, a digital camera, a PS2, nice speakers for the computer, broadband, etc etc. This list is by no means exhaustive, nor is it farfetched.
posted by OmieWise at 6:31 AM on January 13, 2005

Not only are bloggers likely to be younger, but if you're basing your observations even partly on MeFi, there are other good reasons for the low incomes. There's a large proportion of people here who work for non-profits: libraries, academia, museums, advocacy groups. It's surprising how many. And salaries in those fields are depressed, yet they attract people who thrive on information and need to understand technology.

At least, that's my excuse for not having my own plane.
posted by Miko at 10:29 AM on January 13, 2005

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