Boing Boing

Publication analysis

About the publication

Title: Boing Boing



Purpose, objective, or mission: “A Website devoted to technology and culture. We publish feature articles, links to things we find interesting online, podcasts, videos and comics created by the Boing Boing editorial team and other invited contributors. We also provide a discussion forum so you can participate in the conversation; and sell merchandise in the Boing Boing Shop.”1 Boing Boing allows users to submit interesting, cool, newsworthy links to articles, videos, and any minutia you find interesting.

Target audience: If you’re interested in anything outside the mainstream, this would be the place to look. The website is hailed as a bastion of free speech and imagine sharing; it was founded by an editor of Make Magazine, which is dedicated to all things DIY, and the four primary editors have all written for Wired Magazine.2

Publisher: Happy Mutants, LLC.3

Peer reviewed? No.4

Type: Civilian publication / online forum.5

Medium: Online

Content: A blog/forum that shares member-reader links of all sorts -informational, fun, noteworthy.

Frequency of publication: Blog updated with at least several new posts per day.

About the publication’s submission guidelines

Location of submission guidelines: Forum Rules

Types of contributions accepted: Any kinds.

Submission and review process:

“You can browse the Site without logging in. However, to participate in our Discussion Forum, you need to create an account. We use the forum platform and the creators CDCK host it on their servers and run it for us. To participate in the forum, you may create a new account, use an existing user name and password or log-in using one of your social networking user name and passwords.” 6

Editorial tone: As informal, but informative, as possible. Headlines and pictures are purposely titillating or attention grabbing. Example: under the “Science” category is the headline: “Anne of Green Gables Had Herpes (and you probably do, too),”an article about herpes. Or “The Librarian and the Hot Rod Shop,” a post about a mobile initiative that provides library resources to people who are unaware of the library, or can’t make it to the local branch.

Style guide used: None specified.

Conclusion: Evaluation of publication’s potential for LIS authors

If you have any little library related tidbit to share, this is a great website on which to post it. These are non-reviewed blog posts, so it’s not a site that will help towards your tenured work or that you should cite in a scholarly article, but it’s a great source for getting and sending information to a curious, intelligent, and supportive audience. It would be a great first start for book reviews, for example, or just to write about or re-post some interesting library-related news.

Creative Commons License: non-commercial sharing, with attribution. Just make sure you say where your link/review/article originated.7

Of note to LIS writers: a team from the American Library Association ran a Boing Boing member interest group called Library Boing Boing from 2012 to 2014. See Library Boing Boing, and their first Boing Boing post; the full collection is tagged LIBRARYLAB. To learn more, see the LibraryLab community on the ALA Connect website.

Audience analysis

About the publication’s readers

Publication circulation: In an article in Fast Company, according to Quantcast data, it gets about 2.5 million unique visitors a month. The article also states that, in 2004-2005, it “had become one of the most-read and linked-to blogs in the world.”8

Audience location and language or cultural considerations: According to Quantcast data, Boing Boing reaches an international audience, though 63% of its readers are in the United States.9 English is the primary language, but as the site also links to websites, videos, etc., as long as you explain the reason for submitting your article/website/repost, the language of the thing itself isn’t too strict. Culture is progressive and friendly, hacker-ish and non-mainstream.

Reader characteristics: Quantcast data reports that the majority of readers are white, male, and highly educated.10 Hackers, DIY-ers, those who like to stay current on news/gadgets/things, and anyone with an eye on web culture and interesting news of all kinds will gravitate towards the blog. The blog’s bias lies on the side of being, for the most part, uncensored and relishing in re-posting links that test freedom of speech and censorship in the online community. They are very much an “anything goes” site, as long as “anything” is interesting to readers.

Knowledge of LIS subject matter: More civilian than professional; LIS jargon should be kept to a minimum, use layman’s terms and just get your point across in the least scholarly tone possible. The readership comprises a savvy group of people, but they are not all LIS aficionados, so use regular, everyday terms when describing your link and why you find it interesting.

Conclusion: Analysis of reader characteristics and their potential impact on authors

Boing Boing would be a great place to post information relevant to the library community: its readers, while very much an online-loving group, seem to enjoy hearing about LIS-related news, particularly if it has to do with free speech, public access, or challenges to the LIS community. They are well-read, spoken, and intelligent, and, with the inclusion of the LIS-specific posting group, would appreciate links coming from the Library world. Although not scholarly in tone, the links posted can be of scholarly caliber, and the blog has garnered attention and awards, and holds a certain status in the blogosphere; posts here are likely to be reposted elsewhere and shared.

Last updated: September 1, 2020


Show 10 footnotes

  1. “Boing Boing Terms of Service.”,, accessed September 10, 2016,
  2. “Boing Boing.”, Wikipedia, accessed October 24, 2014,
  3. “Boing Boing Terms of Service.”
  4. “Boing Boing Terms of Service.”
  5. “Boing Boing Terms of Service.”
  6. “Boing Boing Terms of Service.”
  7. “Boing Boing Terms of Service.”
  8. “10 Tips from Boing Boing on Making Online Content Sing.”,, accessed September 10, 2016,
  9. “”,, accessed September 10, 2016,
  10. “”
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