Why We Blog

Blogging is sometimes viewed as a new, grassroots form of
journalism and a way to shape democracy outside the
mass media and conventional party politics. blog sites
devoted to politics and punditry, as well as to sharing
technical developments (such as www.slashdot.org), receive
thousands of hits a day. The vast majority of blogs are written
by ordinary people for much smaller
audiences. That’s where we come in.
Here, we report the
results of an ethnographic investigation of blogging in a sample of
ordinary bloggers. We investigated blogging as a form of
personal communication
and expression, with a.
specific interest.
in uncovering.
the range of.
motivations driving.
individuals to create.
and maintain blogs.

Blogs combine the immediacy of up-to-the-minute.
posts, latest first, with a strong sense of the author’s personality, passions, and point of view. We investigated.
blogging practice to help determine why people blog,.
finding that bloggers have many varied reasons for letting the world in on what they think.
We conducted in-depth interviews with bloggers.
primarily in and around Stanford University, audio-.
taping in-person and phone interviews. The interviews were conversational in.
style but covered a fixed set of questions about the.
informants’ blogs, blogging.
habits, thoughts on blogging,.
and use of other communication media as compared to.
blogs. We interviewed most of.
them at least twice, with follow-up sessions in person.
or by phone, email, or instant messaging. We read.
their blogs throughout the time we were writing this.
article. To identify motivations for blogging, we analyzed the content of the blogs and the interview data.
Interview follow-ups helped us clarify puzzling questions and gain additional understanding of the reasons for blogging.

blogging Practices.
Some bloggers post multiple times a day,.
others as infrequently as once a month.
Bloggers sometimes poured out their feelings.
or ideas and sometimes struggled to find.
something to say. One blogger stopped.
When he inadvertently hurt the, blogging.
feelings of a friend he had mentioned. Other bloggers.
experienced blog burnout and stopped blogging from time to time.
We found tremendous diversity in blog.
content, even in our limited sample. On the.
serious side, Evan, a graduate student in.
genetics, posted commentaries on science.
and health, covering such topics as AIDS,.
heart disease, science education, and health.
care policy. On the other end of the scale–.
One undergraduate, wrote: “I’ve come to realize.
rather recently that I can’t regret that I didn’t form any.
romantic attachments because, at the end of the day, a boyfriend would.
have taken away from all the awesome things that.
happened with people in the dorm, and all the great.
friendships that I formed and that will hopefully continue after this year. Thinking back to.
the last couple of years, it’s pretty obvious that I was.
really stifled by my insular, extremely time-consuming group of friends, and part of my discontent.
stemmed from a relative dearth of fun, casual relationships with interesting people.”.

Most bloggers are acutely aware of their readers,.
even in confessional blogs, calibrating what they.
should and should not reveal. A persons post.
appears highly personal, they may also keep a separate paper.
diary. Many bloggers have personal codes of ethics dictating what goes into their blogs (such as never criticize friends or express political opinions that are openly.
inflammatory). Not that bloggers eschew controversy– quite the opposite– but they express themselves in light of their audience.
One blogger kept his writing suitable for a family.
audience: “Yeah … My mom mentioned something.
that was in my blog … my grandma reads it, too; she.
just got the Internet … It means that I kind of have to.
censor– less cursing and stuff.”.
Blogging thus provides scope for an enormous variety of expression within a simple, restricted format.
We examined some reasons people blog and discovered five.
major motivations for blogging: documenting one’s.
life; providing commentary and opinions; expressing.
deeply felt emotions; articulating ideas through writing; and forming and maintaining community forums. This list is not exhaustive. These motivations are by no means mutually exclusive and might.
come into play simultaneously.
Blogs to ‘document life’.
Many blogged to record events and activities. A Stanford graduate student, blogged to “document my life” for her family and friends in Iceland, as well as for her.
fellow students. Blogs were used by many as a record.
to inform and update others of their activities and.
whereabouts, often including photos. Depending on.
the audience and content, a blog could be a public.
journal, a photo album, or a travelogue.
A technology consultant, called blogs “belogs” because he felt blogging is used to “log your being.” This took a serious turn for him when his wife.
became gravely ill. He took over her blog to document.
the progress of her illness and treatment through text.
and photos. Blogging was an important way for him.
to communicate during this time stating: “Blogging is helpful when people’s lives are compromised in some way”.
Keeping family and friends abreast of life events is a.
key use of blogging.
Part of the allure of blogs is the easy way they move.
between the personal and the profound. A historian of science, started a post by describing an incident in which his daughter wanted to.
watch a Sesame Street video clip. He added commentary on how “DVDs make it very easy to treat movies not as whole works, but as collections of scenes.” He.
ended the post with a discussion of John Locke’s worries about the way numbering biblical verses would change people’s perceptions of the Bible.

Blogs as catharsis.
Several of our writers view blogging as an outlet for thoughts and feelings.
Their content was sometimes patently emotional. A blog often serves as a relief valve, a place to.
” get closure out of writing,” as one said of a post on.
the death of her grandfather. Another claimed, “I just.
needed to, like, get it out there.”.

Blogs as community forum.
Some of our bloggers expressed their views to one another in community settings.
The most authentic, grassroots blogging community we investigated was that of a group of poetry bloggers. Comments on blog posts flew back and forth on.
the blogs, in email, and in person.
This community changed over time. During the.
study, several poetry bloggers began to post original.
poems, although at first many considered it “egotistical.”.

The blog was also an.
intended for a wider audience, since people were.
invited to subscribe.

Blogs combine information and modulated interactivity. Bloggers value that they can post and share their.
thoughts without the intensive feedback associated.
with other forms of communication.
The reason people blog is basically to share ideas, either their own or something they found interesting. The reason we started this blog is in there somewhere. Hopefully, you will find something here of value or interest that you can share with others.

This list is not exhaustive. These motivations are by no means mutually exclusive and might.
The reason people blog is basically to share ideas, either their own or something they found interesting. The reason we started this blog is in there somewhere. Hopefully, you will find something here of value or interest that you can share with others.

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