Blogging Phenomenon Sweeps Asia

According to New Research from Windows Live Spaces



28 Nov, 2006, 00:00 ET from Microsoft

    HONG KONG, Nov. 28 /Xinhua-PRNewswire/ --
 
     Key Research Findings
 
     -- Nearly half of those online in Asia have a blog
     -- 74% find blogs by friends and family to be most interesting
     -- Young people and women dominate (except India where it is
        overwhelmingly a male domain and Korea where blogging is a part of
        everyday life for all)
     -- 50% believe blog content to be as trustworthy as traditional media
     -- 41% spend more than three hours a week blogging
     -- More than 40% have less than 10 visitors per week
     Asia's blogosphere is surging forward with nearly half, 46%, of those
 online actively blogging, according to research released today by
 Microsoft's MSN and Windows Live Online Services Business. The research
 showed that blogging is a social phenomenon with Asians primarily blogging
 as a means to maintain and build their social connections and to express
 themselves.
     Blogging as a corporate or business tool still appears to be nascent in
 most markets, with little interest from consumers in blogs from business or
 political leaders. The exceptions are online powerhouse Korea where
 blogging has permeated all aspects of life and India where a culture of
 self improvement is seeing business related blogs become very popular.
     Blogging Asia: A Windows Live Report, released today, details the
 research findings which are based on an online survey of more than 25,000
 MSN portal visitors across seven markets.
     Social Connections and Self Expression Drive Asia's Bloggers
     According to the report, the region's bloggers are primarily driven by
 the need to express themselves and share their lives with family and
 friends. The highest number of respondents (53%) indicated that they chose
 to start a blog to share a diary or photo album with loved ones.
     The report also showed that Asia's blogosphere is fueled by youth with
 almost half of all bloggers (56%) under 25, while 35% are 25 to 34 years
 old, and 9% are 35 years old and over. When broken down by gender, 55% of
 bloggers in Asia were found to be female and 45% male.
     "User created content and community based online services are really
 propelling the Internet in Asia right now," said Alex Stewart, Director of
 Microsoft's Online Services Business, Asia Pacific. "With the introduction
 of easy to use services such as Windows Live Spaces, blogging has moved
 into the mainstream and become a popular way for people to stay in touch
 with family and friends. Today, instead of sending out mass emails or
 holiday letters, people are using their blogs to express themselves".
     Whose Blogs do we want to read?
     Most blogs will have a small audience; in fact over 40% of blogs have
 fewer than ten visitors each week. However in Korea, where blogging is more
 established 11% have more than 50 and 12% more than 250 visitors per week.
     Netizens in Asia are most interested in those blogs written by friends
 and family (74%) while blogs by work colleagues were the second most
 popular blog but were a distant second with only a quarter of respondents
 showing interest. In Korea and India however respondents are most
 interested in blogs covering a specific topic of interest.
     Politicians fared poorly across the region with only 14% interested in
 reading their blogs except in Malaysia where they were quite popular with
 20% listing this type of blog as being of interest. Sporting personalities
 also failed to impress in general with only 8% expressing interest --
 suggesting we are more interested in their talents on the field or the
 pitch than their views or perspectives on life.
     India stood out with half of all respondents showing a strong interest
 in business blogs, ranking them as the most interesting, versus the rest of
 the region where just over a quarter were interested in blogs written by
 business leaders. Korea also showed high interest in this area.
     What makes a good blog?
     Bloggers must make sure they update their blog regularly to ensure that
 people keep coming back. Respondents indicated that a good blog should,
 firstly, be updated regularly and secondly be well written with eye
 catching pictures. Among the most annoying aspects of blogging, netizens
 pointed to not knowing when a blog is updated, 44%, boring content, 41%,
 and badly written entries, 32%, as things that turned them away.
     "One of the benefits of Windows Live Spaces is that it is integrated
 with Windows Live Messenger and when you update your Space your online
 contacts are informed via what's called a 'glean'. This is a great feature
 and really addresses one of the biggest pet peeves for blog readers in Asia
 -- not knowing when they are updated," said Stewart.
     "In addition, Windows Live Spaces puts people in control by being easy
 to use and easy to customize so people can design their Space in a way that
 reflects their personality -- this is a really important aspect to people
 as highlighted by the research results".
     According to internal data, as of October 2006, more than 70 million
 Windows Live Spaces have been created. Blogs hosted by the Windows Live
 service receive 120 million unique visitors every month.
     The New Fourth Estate?
     The survey also shows that blogs are a relatively trusted source of
 information with half of respondents believing that blog content is as
 trustworthy as traditional media. A quarter of respondents also believed
 blogs to be the quickest way to learn about news and current affairs.
     Implications for Advertisers
     Blogging is a dynamic and exciting online service that is beginning to
 drive audiences in the millions across Asia. Each blog may not attract a
 huge number of visitors but there are millions of people blogging and they
 are beginning to spend more and more time online. The survey showed that
 41% spend 3 hours or more each week blogging. Blogging offers brands new
 and interactive ways to engage with their audience.
     "Innovative advertisers in the region such as Lenovo in Singapore and
 ANZ in Australia are already tapping into the blogging phenomenon and
 targeting campaigns to users of Windows Live Spaces. We expect as blogging
 becomes an even bigger part of the social fabric of communities across Asia
 that more and more big brand advertisers will begin to use this dynamic
 advertising medium," said Stewart.
     The Future
     According to Stewart, blogging is still evolving but it is set to
 become a vital and important part of the way we communicate and express
 ourselves across society -- be it for business or social purposes.
     "At the moment Asia's blogosphere is primarily driven by social
 connections, people wanting to have their own corner of cyberspace where
 they can express themselves with their network of family and friends.
 However, in more developed markets like Korea we see blogging taken to a
 whole new level with it permeating across the business and social world. In
 time blogging will evolve in this way across the region," said Stewart.
     * comScore World Metrix's proprietary audience report for April 2006
 showed the total number of unique visitors to Windows Live Spaces was 101
 million ranking the service as the most widely used worldwide. The
 statistics do not include unique visitors in some countries, including
 China where MSN Spaces has over 20 million unique visitors.
     About the Study
     Blogging Asia: A Windows Live Report was conducted online on the MSN
 portal and across seven markets in Asia -- Hong Kong, India, Korea,
 Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand. Over 25,000 people took part in
 the survey which took place in August and September. The results were
 analyzed by Harris Interactive, the 12th largest and fastest-growing market
 research firm in the world. More information about Harris Interactive may
 be obtained at www.harrisinteractive.com .
     About Windows Live Spaces
     Launched in August 2006, Windows Live Spaces is the next generation of
 MSN Spaces. It is the most widely used blogging service in the world with
 more than 120 million unique visitors per month. Windows Live Spaces is
 easy to use, offers great integration with Windows Live Messenger making it
 easy to connect with friends and family and offers customization features
 that allow people to make their Space a true reflection of themselves and
 their personalities.
     About MSN and Windows Live
     MSN attracts more than 465 million unique users worldwide per month.
 With localized versions available globally in 42 markets and 21 languages,
 MSN is a world leader in delivering compelling programmed content
 experiences to consumers and online advertising opportunities to businesses
 worldwide. Windows Live, a new set of personal Internet services and
 software, is designed to bring together in one place all the relationships,
 information and interests people care about most, with enhanced safety and
 security features across their PC, devices and the Web. MSN and Windows
 Live will be offered alongside each other as complementary services. Some
 Windows Live services entered an early beta phase on Nov. 1, 2005; these
 and future beta updates can be found at http://ideas.live.com . Windows
 Live is available at http://www.live.com . MSN is located on the Web at
 http://www.msn.com . MSN worldwide sites are located at
 http://www.msn.com/worldwide.ashx .
     About Microsoft
     Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq:   MSFT) is the worldwide leader in
 software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize
 their full potential.
     Microsoft, Windows Live and MSN are either registered trademarks or
 trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.
     The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the
 trademarks of their respective owners.
     For more information, press only:
 
     Ngaire Moyes
      PR, APAC
      Windows Live and MSN
      Microsoft Online Services Group
      Tel:   +61-2-9383-6124
      Email: ngairem@microsoft.com
 
     Matt Collette
      Edelman
      Tel:   +852-2837-4743
      Email: matt.collette@edelman.com
 
 

SOURCE Microsoft
    HONG KONG, Nov. 28 /Xinhua-PRNewswire/ --
 
     Key Research Findings
 
     -- Nearly half of those online in Asia have a blog
     -- 74% find blogs by friends and family to be most interesting
     -- Young people and women dominate (except India where it is
        overwhelmingly a male domain and Korea where blogging is a part of
        everyday life for all)
     -- 50% believe blog content to be as trustworthy as traditional media
     -- 41% spend more than three hours a week blogging
     -- More than 40% have less than 10 visitors per week
     Asia's blogosphere is surging forward with nearly half, 46%, of those
 online actively blogging, according to research released today by
 Microsoft's MSN and Windows Live Online Services Business. The research
 showed that blogging is a social phenomenon with Asians primarily blogging
 as a means to maintain and build their social connections and to express
 themselves.
     Blogging as a corporate or business tool still appears to be nascent in
 most markets, with little interest from consumers in blogs from business or
 political leaders. The exceptions are online powerhouse Korea where
 blogging has permeated all aspects of life and India where a culture of
 self improvement is seeing business related blogs become very popular.
     Blogging Asia: A Windows Live Report, released today, details the
 research findings which are based on an online survey of more than 25,000
 MSN portal visitors across seven markets.
     Social Connections and Self Expression Drive Asia's Bloggers
     According to the report, the region's bloggers are primarily driven by
 the need to express themselves and share their lives with family and
 friends. The highest number of respondents (53%) indicated that they chose
 to start a blog to share a diary or photo album with loved ones.
     The report also showed that Asia's blogosphere is fueled by youth with
 almost half of all bloggers (56%) under 25, while 35% are 25 to 34 years
 old, and 9% are 35 years old and over. When broken down by gender, 55% of
 bloggers in Asia were found to be female and 45% male.
     "User created content and community based online services are really
 propelling the Internet in Asia right now," said Alex Stewart, Director of
 Microsoft's Online Services Business, Asia Pacific. "With the introduction
 of easy to use services such as Windows Live Spaces, blogging has moved
 into the mainstream and become a popular way for people to stay in touch
 with family and friends. Today, instead of sending out mass emails or
 holiday letters, people are using their blogs to express themselves".
     Whose Blogs do we want to read?
     Most blogs will have a small audience; in fact over 40% of blogs have
 fewer than ten visitors each week. However in Korea, where blogging is more
 established 11% have more than 50 and 12% more than 250 visitors per week.
     Netizens in Asia are most interested in those blogs written by friends
 and family (74%) while blogs by work colleagues were the second most
 popular blog but were a distant second with only a quarter of respondents
 showing interest. In Korea and India however respondents are most
 interested in blogs covering a specific topic of interest.
     Politicians fared poorly across the region with only 14% interested in
 reading their blogs except in Malaysia where they were quite popular with
 20% listing this type of blog as being of interest. Sporting personalities
 also failed to impress in general with only 8% expressing interest --
 suggesting we are more interested in their talents on the field or the
 pitch than their views or perspectives on life.
     India stood out with half of all respondents showing a strong interest
 in business blogs, ranking them as the most interesting, versus the rest of
 the region where just over a quarter were interested in blogs written by
 business leaders. Korea also showed high interest in this area.
     What makes a good blog?
     Bloggers must make sure they update their blog regularly to ensure that
 people keep coming back. Respondents indicated that a good blog should,
 firstly, be updated regularly and secondly be well written with eye
 catching pictures. Among the most annoying aspects of blogging, netizens
 pointed to not knowing when a blog is updated, 44%, boring content, 41%,
 and badly written entries, 32%, as things that turned them away.
     "One of the benefits of Windows Live Spaces is that it is integrated
 with Windows Live Messenger and when you update your Space your online
 contacts are informed via what's called a 'glean'. This is a great feature
 and really addresses one of the biggest pet peeves for blog readers in Asia
 -- not knowing when they are updated," said Stewart.
     "In addition, Windows Live Spaces puts people in control by being easy
 to use and easy to customize so people can design their Space in a way that
 reflects their personality -- this is a really important aspect to people
 as highlighted by the research results".
     According to internal data, as of October 2006, more than 70 million
 Windows Live Spaces have been created. Blogs hosted by the Windows Live
 service receive 120 million unique visitors every month.
     The New Fourth Estate?
     The survey also shows that blogs are a relatively trusted source of
 information with half of respondents believing that blog content is as
 trustworthy as traditional media. A quarter of respondents also believed
 blogs to be the quickest way to learn about news and current affairs.
     Implications for Advertisers
     Blogging is a dynamic and exciting online service that is beginning to
 drive audiences in the millions across Asia. Each blog may not attract a
 huge number of visitors but there are millions of people blogging and they
 are beginning to spend more and more time online. The survey showed that
 41% spend 3 hours or more each week blogging. Blogging offers brands new
 and interactive ways to engage with their audience.
     "Innovative advertisers in the region such as Lenovo in Singapore and
 ANZ in Australia are already tapping into the blogging phenomenon and
 targeting campaigns to users of Windows Live Spaces. We expect as blogging
 becomes an even bigger part of the social fabric of communities across Asia
 that more and more big brand advertisers will begin to use this dynamic
 advertising medium," said Stewart.
     The Future
     According to Stewart, blogging is still evolving but it is set to
 become a vital and important part of the way we communicate and express
 ourselves across society -- be it for business or social purposes.
     "At the moment Asia's blogosphere is primarily driven by social
 connections, people wanting to have their own corner of cyberspace where
 they can express themselves with their network of family and friends.
 However, in more developed markets like Korea we see blogging taken to a
 whole new level with it permeating across the business and social world. In
 time blogging will evolve in this way across the region," said Stewart.
     * comScore World Metrix's proprietary audience report for April 2006
 showed the total number of unique visitors to Windows Live Spaces was 101
 million ranking the service as the most widely used worldwide. The
 statistics do not include unique visitors in some countries, including
 China where MSN Spaces has over 20 million unique visitors.
     About the Study
     Blogging Asia: A Windows Live Report was conducted online on the MSN
 portal and across seven markets in Asia -- Hong Kong, India, Korea,
 Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand. Over 25,000 people took part in
 the survey which took place in August and September. The results were
 analyzed by Harris Interactive, the 12th largest and fastest-growing market
 research firm in the world. More information about Harris Interactive may
 be obtained at www.harrisinteractive.com .
     About Windows Live Spaces
     Launched in August 2006, Windows Live Spaces is the next generation of
 MSN Spaces. It is the most widely used blogging service in the world with
 more than 120 million unique visitors per month. Windows Live Spaces is
 easy to use, offers great integration with Windows Live Messenger making it
 easy to connect with friends and family and offers customization features
 that allow people to make their Space a true reflection of themselves and
 their personalities.
     About MSN and Windows Live
     MSN attracts more than 465 million unique users worldwide per month.
 With localized versions available globally in 42 markets and 21 languages,
 MSN is a world leader in delivering compelling programmed content
 experiences to consumers and online advertising opportunities to businesses
 worldwide. Windows Live, a new set of personal Internet services and
 software, is designed to bring together in one place all the relationships,
 information and interests people care about most, with enhanced safety and
 security features across their PC, devices and the Web. MSN and Windows
 Live will be offered alongside each other as complementary services. Some
 Windows Live services entered an early beta phase on Nov. 1, 2005; these
 and future beta updates can be found at http://ideas.live.com . Windows
 Live is available at http://www.live.com . MSN is located on the Web at
 http://www.msn.com . MSN worldwide sites are located at
 http://www.msn.com/worldwide.ashx .
     About Microsoft
     Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq:   MSFT) is the worldwide leader in
 software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize
 their full potential.
     Microsoft, Windows Live and MSN are either registered trademarks or
 trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.
     The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the
 trademarks of their respective owners.
     For more information, press only:
 
     Ngaire Moyes
      PR, APAC
      Windows Live and MSN
      Microsoft Online Services Group
      Tel:   +61-2-9383-6124
      Email: ngairem@microsoft.com
 
     Matt Collette
      Edelman
      Tel:   +852-2837-4743
      Email: matt.collette@edelman.com
 
 SOURCE Microsoft