For the Australian readership

I got a request to try and drum up some Australian research subjects for a student’s honors thesis work — don’t worry, no knives, exotic drugs, or electrodes are involved, just filling out a short questionnaire. She’s looking for Australians who read blogs but don’t have blogs of their own, which sounds like a rather limited pool, but let’s see how many such beings there are.

Do you have a favourite blogger that you want to talk about?

I am an Honours student from the University of Queensland, Australia and I am conducting an email-based survey that looks at the experiences that blog readers have with their favourite bloggers.

To take part in this research you cannot be a blogger yourself and you cannot know the blogger offline.


Please note that for ethical and legal issues you MUST be 18+ years of age and an Australian Citizen to partake in this research

If this sounds like you and you would like to participate in this original and exciting research project then please email Bo at:

Participation is until August 2008
All inquiries are very much appreciated!


  1. Bride of Shrek says

    Lets see

    Over 18…chronologically yes, mentally no, but…tick
    Have a favourite blogger….oh big tick
    Have a blog myself…too friggin lazy, tick
    Don’t know the blogger offline….tick.

    I’m in for the count here, off to send my email. Coincidentally she at a uni only about 30 minutes from me and where most of my family graduated from.

  2. Sili says

    I’ll forward this to my Adelaidan friend. (Creo, actually, even if I’ve still not figured out how or why.)

  3. DLC says

    So, I’m not Australian, but I don’t do a blog.
    If it would help, I’ll change my reply handle to “Bruce” for a few days. . .

  4. Vagrant says

    Huh? Why do you think the pool of people who read blogs but don’t have their own is a small set?

    The stats on individual user-contributed content sites are pretty clear that only a small minority contributes while the overwhelming majority lurks. The split between content producers and content consumers is unlikely to be much different in the aggregate ‘blogosphere’ than it is in walled garden sites like GooTube.

  5. slang says

    I don’t blog (and am not an aussie). I don’t feel the need to set one up to share my thougths and/or ideas, for the 2 or 3 viewers that it might get. I’m happy with just commenting in some places and sometimes see feedback from other commenters whose thoughts I’ve learned to value (some highly :) ).

  6. says

    Does it count if you haven’t posted anything on your blog for the last couple of weeks? That’s nearly the same as not having a blog, isn’t it?

    And I do have an Australian citizenship…

  7. says

    I’d gladly take part, but I am ex-Pat and wasn’t born in Oz, but I am still currently a citizen.
    The ‘cannot be a blogger’ qualifier is troubling though. Technically it means anyone who has signed up to the vast majority of social networking sites cannot participate. Also can you have been a blogger but no longer maintain one despite it’s presence on the webs and what if you are a wildly unsuccessful blogger with a daily readership numbering around a dozen?

  8. says

    It’s almost entirely irrelevant to this thread, but I’ve recently discovered the existence of a new university in Australia: Charles Darwin University. I don’t know what anyone will do with this information, but there it is anyway. Maybe it needs a blog of its own.

  9. Wiggy says

    We are friends on facebook… but I guess I can’t really say I KNOW you in the non-stalking sense…

    OK I’m in!

  10. Scrofulum says

    Saw a good T-shirt the other day with “More people have read this shirt than your blog.” on it, which I found mildly amusing.

    Suppose PZ could legitimately challenge that assertion . . .

  11. Arnaud says

    She’s looking for Australians who read

    I’d find this emphasis insulting frankly.

    I mean, I know we are talking about Australians but still…

  12. says

    I’m not Australian, but I wish I were. But I do read Australian blogs and news feeds and even blog some items that are applicable to Australia. And I’ve been saving my pennies for the day I decide to emigrate. Australia is tops on my list, even ahead of the much more familiar Canada or cheap-to-live-in Mexico.

  13. says

    Hoo… I don’t know that the readership of PZ Meyers’ blog is real representative of the population. I hope she mentions that in her methods.

  14. John Scanlon, FCD says

    Brownian @ #19,

    Does that count for anything?

    I dunno, it might, but probably not for the purposes of the survey. Try asking h/er/im to show you a map of Tazzie, that might produce results of some sort.
    Hee hee. I suppose I’ll go and email Bo now.

  15. JSW says

    don’t worry, no knives […] are involved

    Now are we going by the conventional definition of “knife” here or the Australian definition? Anyone who’s seen Crocodile Dundee knows that the two are not the same.

  16. says

    Done and done, John. How could I have never heard that phrase before? I’ve got to email her (she is a she) and tell her that phrase knocked me on my fanny.

  17. Bride of Shrek says


    You’ve got no idea the mirth it created every night in the average Australian household when the show the “Nanny” was on and it was in its early popularity. Hearing the song go “what could she do she was out on her fanny” neary sent us into paroxyms of laughter.

  18. Tristan says

    As a UQ graduate myself, I’m happy to help out. Email on its way shortly.

  19. Wowbagger says

    I haven’t gotten around to setting up a blog yet, so I’ll do it. I live in Adelaide but am Queensland-born – go the Maroons!

  20. KiwiInOz says

    I have just flicked an email off to Bo – I’m a Kiwi In Oz, but work on the same campus as her/him (but not for the Uni).

    Bride of Shrek – you should come in to UQ for a coffee with Wilkins and I one day. I imagine that we’ll recognise each other all right – you being big and green, Wilkins being a silverback and all, and me having a long beak and stubby wings!

  21. Bartlettman says

    Hey, that’s MY university! I wasn’t aware that Wilkins works at UQ. Fancy that, a notable blogger lives near me.

  22. KiwiInOz says

    Hey Bartlettman – we’d better book a bigger table at Genies then. But you’ll have to id us :-)

    Hey, did you hear that John? Notable blogger, no less.

  23. Charlie Foxtrot says

    Well, I don’t get to read many blogs, but otherwise I meet the criteria. Always happy to get lost in a maze and eat the wrong cheese for science – I’m in.

  24. Bride of Shrek says

    Looks like we’re getting up a SE Qld chapter of the Pharyngulites here. We could hold the record for the most far flung PZ appreciation club to date if we got together. How about it lads, coffee?

  25. Charlie Foxtrot says

    Hi Russell.

    You are not alone…

    I’ve started reading here regularly, and throwing peanuts from the gallery from time to time. My sister also regularly lurks through here on her way to RDF as well.

  26. KiwiInOz says

    Sounds like a plan, Bride of Shrek. Any PZombies or EvoThunkers at UQ or surrounds who would like to catch up over a coffee at Genies email John Wilkins at and we can start talking in the back channels.

  27. SimonC says

    Seems we have a disproportionate number of Queenslanders on Pharyngula. I’ll have to be the lone representative of Sydney on the survey (go the Blues!).

  28. says

    … you are? Seriously?

    Do I have to know ANYTHING about biology to join? Will you take I.T. students as well?

    I’m an ex-UQ student, now I’m at the riverside place (he said as he hid his face). Does that count?

    … and do we have to drink coffee specifically? I like to track my caffeine intake and nobody can tell me how much caffeine is in the various coffees…

  29. KiwiInOz says

    Troff – I keep pushing for Genies, UQ, as the first venue, because it is right downstairs from me, and John Wilkins and I often catch up there. They make the best thickshakes, so there is no need to track caffeine.

    Of course we need to keep up our image to the rest of the world, so we’ll say we drank beer. Lots of beer.

    By “riverside”, do you mean north bank or south bank?

  30. says


    … I mean, the place “for the Real World”. Snerk.

    We make fun of that label more than anybody else at any other uni, as far as I can see.

  31. Praxiteles says

    Taswegian here, and long-time lurker.

    Doubtless there are other pointyheads around, although I haven’t seen anyone admit to it.

  32. Bride of Shrek says


    I think all types would be welcome, biologist or otherwise. My background is in physics but I haven’t worked in it for many years, I’m now in law so that’s about as far as you could get really from biology. Anyhow, it’d be great to all get together for coffee/water/fresh air/beer/whatever so I’m off to email John and seeif we can come up witha time and place. Join in everyone who can, lets meet, take photos and show PZ that people do wear short sleeves in winter in some places.

  33. Kel says

    Damn, would love to participate but I blog myself. Does it still count if the blog is terrible and poorly maintained?

  34. KenG says

    Ripper, count me in if you’re organising something around UQ.

    I will also confess that, a couple of years ago, I hijacked my daughter’s biology student user group forum at QUT and told them all to check out Pharyngula. Something about a good time……

  35. zayzayem says

    Well, my blogs on a rather lengthy hiatus, do I still count as eligible.

    (Almost got restarted this weekend, but I’ve had about 5 job interviews spring up)

  36. Tristan says

    Like Troff I, too, have defected to the dark side University for the Real World, but I live within walking distance of UQ. Can I join in too?

  37. Kryten42 says

    Count me in too!

    I think I’ll just agree with comment #1 (Bride of Shrek) LOL

    eMail sent. :)

    PS. Never been here before… sorry! :( Looks interesting though, I’ll nosy around. :) I came here via Bryan’s blog (Why Now?)

    I like a little irreverent Science (even heretical Science!) LOL

    It’s a good thing to help out post grad’s! I’ve helped a few over the years. Thanks for the opportunity to feel useful again. :)

    Cheers all!

  38. Kryten42 says

    FYI for anyone interested… I’m in Melbourne. ;)

    Cheers (again)! :D

  39. says

    a) Bride: huzzah! Thanks and huzzah!

    b) John S.: I’ve posted. Thanks also, and huzzah!

    c) Tristan: the more I hear has happened at UQ since I left (like that mess with the art gallery and the Chancellor’s new office), the more I realise that they’re sadly becoming much-of-a-muchness. Hah. Zah.

    d) Kiwi: re: “Smart State”. Hah. Hah-freaking-hah. Don’t get me started. When Jorge Cham of PhD Comics came for a guest lecture, he picked up on that. I had the joy of pointing out that the politician responsible for that had just left a week earlier.

    And I’ll tell you what else; I’m “between research projects” because my last project was with the group/office responsible for the I.T. decisions for the state government. We went our separate ways, very and blindingly acrimoniously.

    In my defence, I’ll say the uni saw so much wrong with my conduct, they agreed to continue my funding and give me time to find a new supervisor and research project. At the moment, it looks like I might be researching workflow visualisation tools in a 3D, Second-Life-type environment.

    But I’ll tell you what; “Smart State”? It is my firm and documented opinion that those twats couldn’t I.T.-manage their way out of a smoke ring. I had a five minute discussion with a team leader trying to tell me that the GPL wasn’t a licence, but some kind of “meta-framework” for creating licences.

    … and I tell you now, that was the least egregious of their misconceptions. I find it stunningly and bitterly amusing to reflect that they were running a parallel project, to investigate why they had such trouble hanging on to I.T. personnel. Seriously; it wasn’t the blind leading the blind, it was the blind driving the school bus. I was close to weeping, literally, for the fate of this state.

    … sigh. More ranting. Finished now. Sorry.

    Oh. And I can’t participate in this study, I started a blog of my own a month-or-so ago.

  40. The Amazing Kim says

    You have the internet in Canberra?

    I’d give a shout-out to my fellow SE Qlders, but I’m too busy ending my sentences in “eh”, and drinking cask wine in a park. You know, they called it XXXX because the makers didn’t know how to spell beer…

  41. Bartlettman says

    I heard it was called XXXX because they weren’t allow to print “Piss” on the bottle. Actually, I’d reward any company daring enough to name their product “Piss” with my patronage.

  42. says

    I’ve just posted it on my blog, to help out.

    NOTICE – if there’s any Australian bloggers who want to network? Please check out We’re working on getting pro-science and skeptic Australian bloggers together on a monthly carnival. Would be great for all of us to meet up some day – the next edition will be hosted by one of the editors of the Australian Skeptic Journal, Dr Karen Stollznow of Skepbitch!

  43. Bride of Shrek says

    Hey its working

    all SE Queenslanders hit John’s blog at #46 link. We’re getting together a date, time and place for Australian PZombies. Oh, we are SOOOOOO gonna show those Bostonians how a proper homage to our Evil Overlord (TM) is done. MAJeff be warned- we’re having tabletop dancing at our soiree!

  44. christine says

    Brisvegan lurker here, but no longer in the region, sadly, so will have to miss out on the table top dancing. (For Cath: lived in Canberra for a while, if that makes you feel less alone. And I even liked it, too.)

  45. marc buhler says

    er……. “go the Eels!”

    (Transplanted from NJ, but the scale has tipped and I have now lived in Oz for 51% of this life.)

    Wilkins has found his way previously to this abode, but we are going to move next week (Baulko here we come!) – that should fool him!

    Also – I have to wonder about the statistical meaning of recruiting subjects for a blog-study from a notice in a blog.

  46. says

    SimonC, I’m another Sydneysider (Carn the Cockroaches!), over 18, an Aussie all my life, read a few blogs & sometimes comment on them, *but* I’ve had a blog for over 5 years too (there’ve been about 4 comments on it in that time). Not adding much presently, since parts of RL have been getting in the way, but think I’m still disqualified.

    It’s good to see other Antipodeans ’round here, tho’. G’day all! (heh)

  47. John Monfries says

    Of course Canberra has the internet. We even have Transact here (bursts with pride and crumples over.)

    All right, I’ll join the survey – the new Prime Minister is a Qlder, so I suppose we have to take them seriously now.

  48. says

    If Aussie bloggers want to network, do try the Aussie Bloggers Forum!

    And I may be a skeptic, but I actually blog about food. So I’m probably not relevant, unless skepticsofcarlos would like a bran muffin recipe, or a restaurant review. I’m certainly very skeptical of Carlo’s in Watson – the service is lousy :)

  49. says

    For the Sydney folk above, I was actually born there – which ought to count for … er, something. Then again, I grew up in Newcastle (well, technically in the Shire of Lake Macquarie, as it was back then; these days, it’s the City of Lake Macquarie).

  50. says

    Long time Pharyngula lurker from Nth Qld (JCU) flies the flag.

    “I’ll have to be the lone representative of Sydney on the survey
    (go the Blues!).”

    Ha…just giving you guys a false sense of security! Cockroach! :p

    @The Amazing Kim
    “You have the internet in Canberra?”


  51. Wowbagger says

    Short-term lurker, recent poster and a JCU alumnus living in Adelaide.

    Pity about the Maroons, though. I didn’t get to see it – which might have been a good thing.

  52. Kate says

    Sydneysider here. I sent Bo an email.

    Was very happy about State of Origin (Carn the Blues). And happy that I was able to listen to Roy & HG calling it on Triple J. “when rugby league is played for the highest principles on the planet. Those principles are peace through violence and harmony through physical brutality and getting everyone on the planet to shut up and be just like us or they’ll cop a **** good kickin”. Satire with my sport is great fun.

  53. AndyD says

    “Missed it by that much!”

    I have a blog but I almost never post anything to it (It’s been a while since the last post). I do read a few blogs though.

  54. says

    Cath, #61 – more than happy to have recipies at the Skeptics of Carlos blog carnival!

    The more the merrier! In fact, I think more investigations on how pseudoscience and the paranormal influences our working conditions would be great – just blogging one today about snake oil in secondary education…

  55. Bruce Wittgenstein says

    Self-selection? On a yank blog? Yeah, that’s pretty Australian; we are fools for volunteering for anything – war not least on the list, unlike voting, which has to be compulsory.
    “Ethical reasons” for only polling Australian Citizens? Well, the national ethic is “we will decide who comes in to our wide bran land”, so a pollster deciding to exclude non Australians is only understandable :-) Especially a Queensland one.

    This request reads like a con, you Australian idiots.
    **walks out of classroom, shaking grey poofter head**