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Why we blog - Jim Huggins — LiveJournal
November 10th, 2007
08:35 pm
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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.

Current Mood: weirdweird

(5 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:November 11th, 2007 02:26 am (UTC)
Phooey. I was all excited to pull out my member card and set up my web account to read the privileged information, and my account isn't cool enough for access to the digital library, apparently.

I suppose I shouldn't complain. I did, after all, get my membership for free.
[User Picture]
Date:November 11th, 2007 03:01 am (UTC)
Sorry 'bout that. Of course, you could always ask your local library to get you a copy ...
[User Picture]
Date:November 11th, 2007 04:24 am (UTC)
Somehow, that's just so much less satisfying than using my membership.
Date:November 11th, 2007 11:47 pm (UTC)
I couldn't get to it either (I have no membership).

Anyway, I think you're right. We all blog for different reasons; mine seem to follow along many of those in your list. Actually, I think I've written posts that hit all of those points you mentioned.


PS: dwh- I love your Palpatine icon. It's very true. *grin*
Date:November 12th, 2007 01:08 pm (UTC)


the new Buffy novel doesn't come out until December.
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