Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Enough about bloggers, how about the blog readers?

Via a message by Stephanie to the online facilitation yahoo group I read an article on sciencedaily.com called Simple tools would enhance bloggers, blog readers experience. "UC Irvine researchers have provided new insight into blog readers' online habits and experiences, as well as how they perceive their roles in blog-based communities. ...The UCI study examined in-depth the blog-reading habits of 15 participants of various ages to determine how they consume content and interact with blogs and blog writers.". Two results that resonated with me:

1. Readers include non-technical elements in their definition of blogs. Social aspects, including the presence of conversation or personal content is important to them.
2. Regular blog reading often becomes more habitual and less content oriented. Similar to e-mail checking, blog reading can become ingrained into users' online routine.
I can imagine there are huge differences in blog readers. You may read one blogpost, or you may follow a blog systematically. I try to follow less than 50 blogs systematically, but I'm now at 70. There is a difference in commitment I have to the blogs. For some I really try to read the blogposts, even if there is a backlog to read. For others, I simply skim through and pick out any interesting topics. I recall that in the beginning I didn't dare to read some of the blogs because the content seemed so personal and not meant for my eyes, and when I started blogging my experience changed in that regard. At times, people ask me whether they can read my blog. Though I'm now surprised by that question, because I blog in public, so anyone can read it; I can recall the way I felt about reading blogs in the beginning and recognize the idea behind it. By blogging you get beyond a certain level of embarrasment.


Terry said...

I maintained a weblog for about two years starting about ten years ago when the activity was still called weblogging. And I have been a lurker here for quite a while now without commenting. Perhaps my comment should be interpreted as "the long view." I feel the reading activity associated with blogging has never been as relevant as the writing of blogs. However, my reasoning is not because I think writers can achieve notoriety. And its not because I don't think blogs can't disseminate extraordinary information and cause great learning for/among their readers. They do. Its just that it's in the writing process that one has the primary thinking & learning process: 'the conversation with oneself.' When one is writing one' own take on their world, one's own thinking (meaning) is examined/changed/adapted. For me, this has always been the primary value of blogging.

Joitske Hulsebosch said...

Hi Terry, nice to hear from a reader! For me writing and reading go hand in hand, I notice my choices are influenced by what I read. I used to blog really for myself (to ellicit and sharpen my thinking and to document). Now that my readership grows, I try to write more 'openly' 'invitingly' and comment on other blogs. That has increased the number of comments over the last month or so! The change in writing in subtle, I wonder whether people notice it.