Gay and Lesbian Adults More Likely to Read Blogs and Use Social Networking Tools

ROCHESTER, N.Y. and WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–June 8, 2009.  According to a recent national survey conducted by Harris Interactive®, a small majority of gay and lesbian adults online today are reading blogs (a familiar, and abbreviated term for online commentary known as a weblog). More than half (55%) of gay and lesbian respondents reported reading some type of blog, compared with only 38% of heterosexuals. This represents a small increase from March 2008 when 51% of gay and lesbian respondents reported reading some type of blog. A similar question was asked in November 2006 and only 32% of gay and lesbian adults then reported reading blogs.

When it comes to the types of blogs popular with Americans, the survey also found 34% of gay and lesbian adults online reported reading news and current issue blogs, compared with 22% of heterosexual adults. A quarter (25%) of gay and lesbian adults also read entertainment and pop culture blogs, compared with 15% of heterosexuals. Considering the global and media attention focused on our new President, 28% of gay and lesbian adults also read political blogs, compared with 23% of GLBT adults doing so in March 2008. In comparison, only 14% of heterosexual adults reported reading political blogs in May 2009. Confirming their strong appeal for travel news and opportunities, 14% of gay and lesbian respondents reported reading travel blogs compared with 8% of heterosexual respondents.

The new nationwide survey of 3,000 U.S. adults, (ages 18 and over), of whom 404, self identified as gay or lesbian (which includes an oversample of lesbian and gay adults), was conducted online between May 11 and 18, 2009, by Harris Interactive, a global market research and consulting firm, in conjunction with Witeck-Combs Communications, Inc., a strategic public relations and marketing communications firm with special expertise in the GLBT market.

Apart from getting information online from reading blogs, gay and lesbian adults also are choosing to connect online through social networking sites more often than their heterosexual counterparts. Slightly more than half (55%) of gay and lesbian adults state they are members of Facebook, compared with 46% of heterosexual adults. Also, 43% of gay and lesbian respondents report being members of MySpace, compared to just less than a third (30%) of heterosexual respondents. When it comes to the business-oriented social networking site, LinkedIn, 23% of gay and lesbian respondents reported being members, while 13% of heterosexual adults stated they are members.

“In several years capturing trends, we see again that gays and lesbians are not only looking to stay well informed but also to expand their key social, professional and personal connections online”, said Bob Witeck, CEO of Witeck-Combs Communications. “As companies work to make the most of their advertising budgets in the current economic climate, blogs and social networking sites are an even more powerful cross-section of opportunities today when reaching out to this market.”

Oprah Winfrey made the news when she recently made her first “tweet” using Twitter, a service for friends, family, and co-workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question – what are you doing now? One out of five (20%) gay and lesbian adults reported being a member of Twitter, compared with 12% of heterosexual adults.


Harris Interactive conducted the study online within the United States between May 11 and 18, 2009, among 3,000 adults (ages 18 and over), of whom 2,451 indicated they are heterosexual and 404 self-identified as gay or lesbian (this includes an over-sample of lesbian or gay adults). Figures for age, sex, race, education, region and income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. In addition, the results for the gay and lesbian sample were weighted separately based on profiles of the gay and lesbian population that Harris Interactive has compiled through many different online surveys. Propensity score weighting also was used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online. Full data tables and methodology are available at www.harrisinteractive.com.

About Harris Interactive

Harris Interactive is a global leader in custom market research. With a long and rich history in multimodal research, powered by our science and technology, we assist clients in achieving business results. Harris Interactive serves clients globally through our North American, European and Asian offices and a network of independent market research firms. For more information please visit www.harrisinteractive.com.

About Witeck-Combs Communications, Inc.

Witeck-Combs Communications, Inc. is the nation’s premier marketing communications and consulting firm, specializing in developing and implementing effective strategies reaching the gay and lesbian consumer market. With over 15 years experience in this unique market, Witeck-Combs Communications not only serves as a bridge between corporate America and gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender consumers (GLBT), but also provides counsel to countless non-profit organizations that aim to educate the public on gay and lesbian issues or to better reach their GLBT membership.

In April 2003, American Demographics magazine identified Bob Witeck and Wes Combs as two of 25 experts over the last 25 years who have made significant contributions to the fields of demographics, market research, media and trendspotting for their path breaking work on the gay and lesbian market, and in 2006 Bob Witeck and Wes Combs co-authored Business Inside Out: Capturing Millions of Brand Loyal Gay Consumers (Kaplan Publishing), considered the first-ever book on marketing insights, practical tips and strategies targeting the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender market. They have appeared in worldwide media outlets including Fortune, CNBC, CNN, Reuters, Associated Press, Ad Age, New York Times and Washington Post. For more information visit www.witeckcombs.com.

Harris Interactive Inc. 6/09