Hailin's Weblog

August 5, 2008

Psychology in Blogging

Filed under: social — Hailin @ 11:40 am

Blogging seems to be an easy task that even a kid can do well.  Yet being easy doesn’t mean it’s well understood.  Email is easy, yet there are still many startups trying to improve it; Social network is easy, yet it’s driving the new Web.

I came across a few research papers written by Stanford researchers on the social and psychological aspects of blogging.

Here is a short summary with my comments:

The motivations for blogging:

  1. Update others on activities and whereabouts
  2. Express opinions to influence others
  3. Seek others’ opinions and feedback
  4. “Think by writing”
  5. Release emotional tension

Bloggers prefers to keep readers at arms length and don’t want intuitive, rapid feedbacks and interactions.

  • I don’t agree with this finding. I think the sample space the authors interviewed is too small. More importantly, this may be a result of the limitation imposed by current blogging technology – comment is the only feedback mechanism, and in most settings, it requires approval before they can appear. Easy and fast interaction among bloggers and readers can be a big plus, if we figure how to do it correctly

Blogs are not personal diaries anymore, they are more like raido shows.  Most bloggers are very aware of their audiences and are very sensitive about what should or should not reveal when they write. Some would separate materials into private and public categories.  On the other hand, it appears most bloggers actually care very little about online privac

  • The finding makes sense among bloggers; However, privacy can be a bigger concern among non-bloggers.


  1. Instant feedback mechanism is realy a good point! Being afraid of Spam (Email or Blog Comment Spam) seems like a blocking point for communication. But we have to overcome this and enable quick feedback.

    Just wondering, if this comment will be online instantly or not. 😉

    Greetings from Vienna, Robert

    Comment by Robert Redl — August 13, 2008 @ 6:40 am

  2. I think that motivations to blog are far more complex than this taxonomy of five categories.. But it covers the most..
    best regards from Vienna, Geri

    Comment by Gerhard Frank — May 22, 2009 @ 9:09 pm

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