Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Seminar - the final chapter

As I promised, here are the main conclusions me and my co-investigator reached with the Seminar on Blogging. I'll finally shut up about it after this, but I think some of you are interested to read this. I must warn you that we didn't reach any new, bright, original conclusion but, as this is a recent subject, all studies are important at this point...

Main Conclusions
Writing in blogs may be an answer to the psychological needs of self-knowledge and personal development (visible in the fact that most of the participants refer to an important event in their lives, conducting to the creation of the blog); affiliation (noticeable when we acknowledge the relationships formed between bloggers and the way that their contents are gradually directed to their readers); a vehicle of emotional expression; and recognition (there seems to be a public intention behind all blogs, which may be a way of people seeing the contents they publish recognized and valued).

The blog-relationships formed by the participants are acknowledged as personally significant and capable of responding to psychological functions that are usually met by offline relationships (nevertheless, they don’t always respond to the same functions, sometimes they respond to less, sometimes more, sometimes the functions are different).

The particular characteristics of blog communication are the reason the participants choose to justify the fact that the online relationships usually develop faster than the offline ones. Bloggers see themselves as being authentic in the blog context, sometimes even more so than in their daily lives.

Many participants find that online it is easier to express their true selves, meaning features of their identities that they consider important but harder to express on offline relationships. This aspect is responsible for the degree of satisfaction they find in their online relationships – the more authentic they can be, the more satisfactory and intimate these relationships are.

The blogs can also function as a way to update their identities – by talking about features of their character that they would like to develop or maintain. The fact that the “readers” validate these features helps the process of actualization of the identity.

The emotional catharsis was an important part of what we observed in this study – the fact that the Internet allows people to be anonymous and avoid certain consequences of freedom of expression seems like the biggest reason for this catharsis.

The blogs may also be an instrument that facilitates a life transition, as it allows people to reflect upon significant life events. By writing about these events it is possible to achieve a new understanding of their life paths, an alternative understanding that is more positive to them at the present moment. This means that it is also a way to understand themselves better.

But blogging isn’t just about recognition for what bloggers publish – they seem to be really interested in investing in personal relationships that emerge from this type of communication. We observed a great amount of dialogue in the posts that are published, with a constant reference or merely an acknowledgment of the existence of the “readers”. The main conclusion we reached with this study is that blogging is significant enough to be a context of psychological development to those who participate in it.

So blog ahead!


catarina said...

Muito bem! gostei de ler este post, pareceu-me que de facto tirámos bastantes conclusões :)) acho que devíamos copiar este post para o metablogue (sem a parte inicial em q te diriges aos leitores, claro). Assunto encerrado, agora?:)

Chloe said...

i knew it i knew it! blogging is good for you. and now we have a scientific validation. thank you sweetest. xx

sophie said...

I KNEW blogging was good for me-
and now I have proof - i am
printing this out and

pinning it above my computer.

Like a certificate.

(hugs - welllll done!!!!)

Devil Mood said...

Catarina: Logo se vê - pode ser que ainda tenha desenvolvimentos futuros :) Vai já para o metablogue então.

Chloe: lol It was almost as nice as when they said coffee was good for us :)

Sophie: Oh that's so nice! I'm glad people like the results because I'm tired of studies with negative conclusions only.

Anonymous said...

Very nice! :-) The kinds of conclusions that are on the one hand quite intuitive, yet which need to be looked at in a more rigorous way. The big question now is whether we'll be able to see this metablogue also?

Devil Mood said...

Kimananda: Exactly, intuitive conclusions. That is a site that me and my friend made while we did our study, it's all in portuguese though (except for this last conclusion) and is mainly a collection of other studies about blogging. (it's in ometablogue.blogspot.com)

Anonymous said...

Oh, envy, envy! Do I still have time to register for the conference? O.K., it doesn't matter as I can't afford a flight to Porto, but I'm turning green, and salivating (some kind of metaphoric Pavlovian thing, methinks....)

Devil Mood said...

Kimananda: lol I have a feeling that the conference will be more about political blogs and the sociological consequences, more than the psychological view point..

DayByDay4-2Day said...

SO that explains why people appologize when either they haven't posted in a while or they haven't read others in a while. The do feel a connection to the people out there in blog land.


Devil Mood said...

Day: Yes, exactly! :)

Scholiast said...

It's not revolutionary, but it's good to see it in writing still :) I wouldn't have had it any other way!

Devil Mood said...

Scholiast: Thanks :)

Meow said...

Thanks for sharing your conclusions. It is all as I hoped it would be !!! Blogging is a wonderful experience, and one which I am enjoying immensely. "Meeting" people such as yourself has enriched my life in many ways. It is a wonderful outlet. Thanks again.
Hope you have a great weekend.
Take care, Meow

Devil Mood said...

Meow: Oh :) Thank you!