PERSONAL BLOGGING HAPPINESS
THE GREAT JOY OF THE BLOGGING HOBBY: IT COMBINES CREATIVITY WITH SOCIAL NETWORKING AND SELF-EDUCATION. The operative word in that statement is “joy.” I should know. I enjoy blogging so much that I have five personal blogs and one collaborative blog (this one), and they are all for fun, not money. (Ads are WordPress ads, not mine or ours.)
As I write this, WordPress.com alone hosts 72,467,611 sites with over 351 million people viewing more than 2.5 billion pages each month. WordPress.com users produce about 500,000 new posts and 400,000 new comments on an average day. While not all of these are personal (hobbyist) blogs, it’s probably safe to guess that most are. [Those stats found HERE.]
UNDER THE MICROSCOPE
the study that inspired this post
Hobbyist Bloggers Are Us: Personal blogging is a mostly American phenomenon, but it’s a recreational pastime that is gaining participation across the globe.
Cumulatively we are such a big chunk of humanity producing so much work and using computers for so many hours that we are the subject of disdain and admiration, debates and studies. One study by Computers in Human Behavior published in Science Direct is: Who Blogs? Personality Predictors of Bloggers*.
Using five measures of the NEO Personality Inventory, two sociological studies of American bloggers determined that individual differences based on the Big Five factors [neuroticism, extraversion, agreeableness, openness to experience, and conscientiousness] can predict who among us is likely to blog. It may not surprise you to learn that “openness to new experience” is a trait those of us who gravitate to blogging are likely to have. It might dismay you to learn that “high in neuroticism” is also one of our traits.
this would be me: I beg to differ
My best nonprofessional (I’m not a social scientist) and totally biased opinion about who blogs and why: My perception is that it is an outlet for the creative impulse, sharing information, and networking with people who have the same interests. This is an admittedly narrow view: My focus is writers and poets, amateur and professional. I don’t generally read mommy blogs or web journals or other such.
As an inveterate reader of blogs, bloggers seem to be as rich with family and friends and spiritual support as any other group with which I’m involved, but they are often solitary when it comes to an interest in poetry, reading, photography or art and so on. Even when they live in a densely populated area, there may be no access to poetry groups, writers’ groups, or book clubs. Blogs then become a meeting place for these shared interests. While we could share our poems, essays, or fiction with family and friends, this sharing may not be well-received and anyway – why? The idea of constantly pulling out our poems or other creative efforts to show at every gathering doesn’t necessarily appeal. It feels rather like the creative version of multilevel marketing wherein you display whatever you’re selling, corner your best friends, and impose on them to buy.
It is also clear that some bloggers are using their blogs to practice their English skills, hone their writing skills, and get feedback on their work. For writers (amateur or professional) there is no better discipline than forcing oneself to produce consistently and on schedule. Blogging provides a good structure for this. It is also an excellent place to test our more creative experiments.
whole world living
Bloggers often engage in whole-world living. With a growing international base, what an education to visit the sites of people around the world who are just regular folks – like neighbors – and not personalities, politicians, or commercial interests. The perspective from the ground is refreshing, informative, and sometimes inspiring. There are heroes everywhere.
HONOR AMONG BLOGGERS
to paraphrase John Locke, access is not license
Just my opinion ~ Personal pride and honor as well as respect for the original creative works of others – often born of long hard hours – dictates courtesy when reblogging or otherwise introducing a work: acknowledgement, link backs, by lines, and copyrights protections are always in order regardless of circumstance.
I am proud of our blogging community where, except in very rare cases, you will find refined moral compass, personal dignity, and the rights and concerns of others are respected. Professionalism (used here in the sense of competence and conduct, not occupation) is always in order for personal bloggers like us as well as the pro-bloggers.
Close you computer and go for a stroll:
advice for writers from Garrison Keillor
BLOG ON – HAPPY BLOGGERS!
* Guadagno, R. E. et al., Who blogs? Personality predictors of blogging, Computers in Human Behavior (2007), doi:10.1016/j.chb.2007.09.001
Illustration courtesy of morgueFile.
Video uploaded to YouTube by BombeckWorkshop.