September 26, 2005


Willie Drye, author of Storm of the Century: The Labor Day Hurricane of 1935, thoughtfully sends along this link to a story on the Web site of eMarketer (Motto: We named our site back when "e" was cooler than "i."):

A new study finds that blogs are more likely to deal with personal matters than politics or current events, and nearly 50 percent of bloggers see the activity as a form of therapy.

According to an AOL survey conducted by Digital Marketing Services Inc., many bloggers write about "anything and everything." But while blogs often include comments on news topics, they are more likely to be about friends, family and other personal interests.

Although bloggers say they write about personal matters on their blogs, 43.9 percent of respondents said that they read other blogs to get a different perspective on the news. These findings are similar to a Harris Interactive survey from March 2005, which found that about 44% of US Internet users read political blogs, including 16% who read them less than once a month. And although most bloggers read other blogs, the AOL survey found that almost one-quarter of them do not.

About one-half of bloggers (48.7 percent) keep a blog because it serves as a form of therapy, and 40.8 percent say it helps them keep in touch with family and friends. Just 16.2 percent say they are interested in journalism, and 7.5 pecent want to expose political information. Few see blogging as their ticket to fame.

Bill Schreiner, Vice President, AOL Community, puts it in perspective: "In a way, blogs serve as oral history. When it comes to sharing blogs and reading other people's blogs, we like to connect with people, learn about their lives, and find common ground. There's no pressure to write about a particular subject or keep blogs maintained a certain way, and it's not necessarily a popularity contest."

To drive the point home, the story offers this detailed graphic:


You might at this point be noting that there are no replies that read, "It makes me independently wealthy," "It cures my impotence and male pattern balding" or "It helps me score with the ladies."

So Willie writes:

Maybe you should see a shrink instead...

That's very thoughtful, Willie. I appreciate the suggestion. But psychologists tend to take a dim view of electronic knuckle cracking, celebrity mockfests and gratuitous penis carrot burials. Lord only knows what dirty-paned window into my id he'd peer through to deal with my sombrero fixation and idolatry of inflatable lawn ornaments.

Plus, I saw a shrink last in the second grade following a long roster of petty abuses against the Catholic school system, several of its students, its overweight nuns who threatened to "pull down your panties in front of the class" and what I contended at the time - and still maintain to this day - were some very faulty bathroom door hinges that were not built to withstand the weighty stresses that a second grader with thyroid issues could apply.

This child psychologist asked me lots of stupid questions and I did my best to give him thoughtful, honest, deep, meaningful, stupid answers. After which he told my parents to gird themselves for a life of pain and ignominy while in my presence.

Fat lot of good that did them.

So, no. I'll stay on this side of the psychological fence for the time being. It's cheaper, there are more opportunities for exploitation of cute offspring, willing friends and adorable pets. Add to that the amusement attached to the more exhibitionistic aspects and you have one hell of an intoxicating technological cocktail. For me, anyway.

But thanks for asking.

Posted by Jeff at September 26, 2005 08:12 AM

You know who needs the shrink? The 3.2% who think blogging is going to bring them fame and/or notoriety.

Rotsa ruck, ferras! ;o)

Posted by: Margi at September 28, 2005 01:21 AM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?