Jim Huggins (jkhuggins) wrote,
Jim Huggins
jkhuggins

  • Mood:

Why we blog

Why we blog (Communications of the ACM, December 2004; may not be readable without an ACM Digital Library subscription (check with your local library...))

This is fascinating.

Some folks at Stanford did a survey of 23 local bloggers, followed-up by a number of interviews, to try and determine what motivates people to blog.  The top five (non-exclusive) reasons found in the survey:
  1. To document one's life ("today, I went to X and met Y ... ")
  2. To provide commentary and opinions ("let me tell you why this sucks ...")
  3. To express deeply-felt emotions ("let me tell you why *I* suck ...")
  4. To articulate ideas via writing ("I'm not sure what I think about this ... so let me talk about it for a bit")
  5. To build online communities ("OMG WHO HAS READ THE NEW BUFFY NOVEL YET?!?!?")
(Ok, the last one was a little silly, but you get the idea.)

I think the article captures a lot of what I read on blogs ... particularly on LJ, being the only site I visit regularly.

I also think about what motivates me to blog.  I think my initial motivation was for technical ("professorial") commentary.  But as I read blogs written by other people that were more self-revelatory in nature, I started to move more into expressing emotions as well.

I don't think I will ever get into documenting my life via blogging.  Too much of the "interesting" stuff in my life deals with confidential or privileged information that can't --- or shouldn't --- be shared with anyone.  But I find it fascinating how much of the "expression of emotions" motivation has migrated into my blog.

Sometimes it scares me ... especially when I find out that someone else is reading my blog.  And so I find myself torn between desperately wanting interpersonal intimacy and being afraid of it.  I try to make myself vulnerable, only to find myself afraid of it.

I suppose blogging isn't that different from RL relationships after all.
Tags: self-reflection
Subscribe

  • An open letter to my colleagues in academia

    Dear colleagues, This week, I had three different students visit my office hours (or "student hours", as the trendy schools are calling them these…

  • Perseverance

    In sixth grade, I was a student in Mrs. Fitzpatrick's class at Harrison Elementary School in Inkster, MI. One day, substantially into the year, we…

  • I miss harmony.

    (Warning, long, self-indulgent, emo post. Read on at your own risk.) Several years ago, as my patient family will attest, I fell into a YouTube…

  • Post a new comment

    Error

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
  • 5 comments