April 26, 2006

Bloggers…

…why do you blog?

Answers on a postcard please…or just leave a comment.


- 47 comments by 6 or more people Not publicly viewable

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  1. I started blogging to get stuff off my chest. Now it's a combination of that and wanting to share things with others or asking for advice. In retrospect, my blog also acts like a diary and I can reflect now on stuff I wrote in the past.

    26 Apr 2006, 12:45

  2. Things to say and noone would listen when I actually said them :)
    Plus once you start it's hard to stop. And now as Helen says you get to look back on what was happening in the past. A year ago or more for some now :s

    26 Apr 2006, 12:48

  3. Because sometimes I just want to write stuff down and leave it lying around somewhere where I can read it again.

    26 Apr 2006, 13:29

  4. Why do you ask?

    26 Apr 2006, 13:34

  5. Eleanor Lovell

    I went to a PR Week Conference yesterday; Enhancing Corporate Profitability and Reputation Through High-Impact Corporate Communications – catchy name!

    Some of the presentations discussed the role of blogs in online communications in terms of reputation management and conveying corporate messages etc. But the same question always comes into my mind – why do people blog?

    I know there are different types of bloggers: personal, corporate, employee, journalists etc and I can see the commercial/business benefits of corporate blogs or journalists blogging but we are pretty unique at Warwick to have our own community of bloggers who are all associated with the University whether you are an Undergrad, Postgrad, Staff or Alumni. I just wonder, if you didn't know people within the community who were prepared to read your blog – would you still do it? Similarly, if people didn't post comments on your blog would you lose interest in blogging? Do you write for you or for other people?

    26 Apr 2006, 14:02

  6. I didn't know any other bloggers before I started. One of the great things about Warwick Blogs is the aspect of getting to know other people in the community. It's how I met my boyfriend and some of the best friends I have these days!

    26 Apr 2006, 14:09

  7. Some crude stereotypes of the categories of people I have observed blogging at Warwick:

    • Angsty. Perhaps suffering from clinical depression. Sharing helps.
    • Notepad. Often technical people who want to note some exciting snippet of code they've come across.
    • Postcard. Quite a few foreign students fill this mould, they write to keep the folks up to date with their lives.
    • Artist/Poet. – it's an easy way to get their work read by a wider range of people.
    • Comic. Perhaps it's a subclass of Artist; they write to make people laugh.
    • Troll. They don't care what they write about, as long as it starts a heated discussion.
    • Syndicator. Don't really publish much of their own, just link to other things on the web that are of interest to them.
    • Politics. Whether a socialist hack or a tory boy, they hate the government and everything it stands for.

    Warwick seems to have fewer angsty people than are found in the wild, but more trolls (because they know that they're going to reach an audience).

    26 Apr 2006, 14:28

  8. Interesting there Max, I think I agree with a lot of what you're saying there although I can't see where my blog fits in (although that could just be because I wrote it and can't be objective (I'm not angling to be told either, it wouldn't affect what I write about)).

    I'm going to hazard a guess that there are fewer angsty here because there are fewer teenagers (i.e. 13–18 year olds) than the general internet. Every other category is proportionately overrepresented in comparison to the rest of the net as a result of this lack of angsters, with the only exception possibly being the politics debaters who I think are a prominent here as they are on the net anyway.

    26 Apr 2006, 14:51

  9. I started so that I could find out what it was all about because I was going to be helping publicise it… but now I'm just a blogger.

    And I think I might even be converted for life.

    I like it for a mixture of reasons:

    • logging ideas,
    • rambling on about stuff that I don't feel inclined to actual talk about,
    • obsessing or ranting about stuff than nobody wants to listen to me talk about,
    • getting ideas from other people,
    • leaving a record of what I was thinking/doing/how I was feeling at certain times etc.

    The things that I tend to blog about tend to be the things that I want to tell people about – but can't think of anyone specific to tell.

    Sometimes Himself says that I get a look in my eye and he can tell that I've got an idea for a blog entry. Except he puts on a geeky voice like Moss from The IT Crowd and says:

    Oooh – I must blog about that!

    26 Apr 2006, 14:52

  10. Mathew Mannion

    I'd add the diary-blogger to Max's list, people who want to be able to look back and see how things were after a certain period of time. I see myself as a multi-category blogger, which means I'm not really interesting to read for anyone, but individual entries may fit into any of those categories :)

    As for what impulses me to blog, anything really, as long as I'm near a computer, if something just strikes me then it tends to end up on my blog.

    26 Apr 2006, 15:03

  11. so people will think i'm cool and popular

    26 Apr 2006, 15:08

  12. Eleanor Lovell

    I don't understand the diary blogger though – if I wanted to keep a diary I wouldn't want to publish it to people who might know me. Doesn't that defeat the point of a diary?

    The problem with a blog is that you never know who your audience is so you have to be a bit guarded about what you write otherwise it would just be irresponsible. For example, I just blog about personal things – events/day-to-day activities/random thoughts – but I would be reluctant to write some things because you never know who might read it!

    26 Apr 2006, 15:11

  13. But you don't have to publish to everyone – or indeed anyone!

    This is one of the things which elab are working really hard to try and explain to academics – you can keep it entirely private if you want.

    Therefore if you want to log progress on your latest research you can use it for that in private or amongst a v small group of collaborators – or if you want to set yourself up as some sort of public expert you can use it for that too.

    26 Apr 2006, 15:19

  14. Eleanor Lovell

    I suppose that kind of answers my earlier comment:

    If you didn't know people within the community who were prepared to read your blog – would you still do it? Similarly, if people didn't post comments on your blog would you lose interest in blogging? Do you write for you or for other people?

    However, Max's categories are all people who publish their blogs (maybe excluding the notepab blogger). But how many people write private entries? Why would you use a publishing tool to write something that you wanted to keep private? Why not just use a pen and paper?

    26 Apr 2006, 15:25

  15. Why have private blogs? Why not just use a plan ordinary word processor file on your own computer?

    The only reason I can think of is that perhaps you might want to add things when you are away from your own PC.

    26 Apr 2006, 15:27

  16. The same reason that some people do Weightwatchers online instead of going to the meetings (for example).* Lots of people spend the majority of their day using a PC - it's to hand.

    You might also be interested in John Dale's entry on What Drives Bloggers

    *Obviously a random example plucked from thin air and nothing to do with the fact that I have a weigh-in this evening ;-)

    26 Apr 2006, 15:31

  17. James

    It was once asked why so many clergymen write to the Times. The answer proffered was 'vanity and an excess of spare time'. I would add a third in the case of habitual bloggers – ease of publication. Possibly a fourth, too – anonymity – which most of what used to be called broadsheets refuse their correspondents these days.

    I think most people with a tertiary degree fancy their own opinions and like to express them publicly. Some are fortunate enough to get paid for it – the 'Phil Space' or 'Phillipa Column' columnists one finds in abundance in today's newspapers. They are paid to knock out a piece every week, whether or not they've something to say. Usually they don't, since they've nothing other than an arts degree and a previous career in subediting, but they bash it out all the same and take the cheque. Of course I'm resentful that such an easy career option doesn't seem to have come my way, but posting to internet sites does provide the intangible reward of sharing one's ideas.

    26 Apr 2006, 15:32

  18. Mathew Mannion

    Single place, permanant record, ease of use.

    26 Apr 2006, 15:32

  19. Christopher Rossdale

    I blog politics because I enjoy debate, because it makes me think about issues, and because it's a way of sorting out in my head what I actually think about things. Occasionally it's to persuade, although that tends not to happen!

    26 Apr 2006, 15:38

  20. I'd add the diary-blogger to Max's list, people who want to be able to look back and see how things were after a certain period of time.

    I thought about that, but then realized that there are actually very few people who keep any kind of regular diary on here. But I suppose the motivation – to have the record – may well be there.

    Therefore if you want to log progress on your latest research you can use it for that in private or amongst a v small group of collaborators

    I've tried that, and found that it's really very difficult to keep people using the tool; there was simply too little return for the effort spent in using it. It might work in some cases, but I haven't come across any.

    However, Max's categories are all people who publish their blogs (maybe excluding the notepab blogger). But how many people write private entries? Why would you use a publishing tool to write something that you wanted to keep private? Why not just use a pen and paper?

    That is exactly the question that I have repeatedly asked, and never been able to come up with a good answer to. I'm well recognized as a sceptic of the relevence of blogs to a university environment ( link link link link link
    link), but I really did approach this as positively as I could. I persevered for a year in trying to enthuse my research group with blogging, but in the end there was just no motivation for it. And I blog myself, I enjoy it. But I don't blog at Warwick any more because I want a broader outlook than the claustrophobic confines of WB.

    26 Apr 2006, 16:27

  21. Stuart Coles

    Literally, because I can. I like writing (for personal purposes) and just generally like expressing myself through the power of word.

    I don't do it for comments, or because I know people (family, non-warwick friends) read it, it's my own personal bit on t'net.

    (Max – I can see myself in a couple of those categories too…)

    26 Apr 2006, 16:29

  22. Adam

    I blog as a marketing exercise. Blogs really help with Google listings etc etc.

    Also as a tool for blowing my own trumpet.

    26 Apr 2006, 17:19

  23. Sometimes its good to externalise some of your thoughts, and I find blogging beats covering the walls of my room with words written with my own blood (you'll never get your deposit back).

    26 Apr 2006, 17:29

  24. In answer to one of the previous questions: I would no longer blog if I had no comments. I like knowing people read what I write (even if it is mostly mindless.)

    It's a bit like a writer selling books. You wouldn't write anymore if no one read them. In the same way I like to know I'm being read. Possitive reinforcement and all that.

    26 Apr 2006, 17:33

  25. I blog just so I can let people know generally how I am, and let them know what is going on in my life, and share my viewpoint on life in generally. Assuming the actualy care of course!

    26 Apr 2006, 17:47

  26. I blog because! I don't know why I blog, it's kinda fun and its nice to just put a record of your random thoughts etc on the internet. Its always nice to find that people read them too, that always good!

    26 Apr 2006, 18:13

  27. I got tired of googling my name and not getting any hits! :0)

    A couple of old friends I'd lost touch with found me through my blog, so I guess I do it to put myself out there. Also, it's a useful tool to find out how other people think. I was spending a lot of time reading other blogs and felt I should make a contribution, however small.

    26 Apr 2006, 18:42

  28. Christopher Rossdale

    Victoria – think i agree with you on that one – comments make it feel a lot more involved

    Apparently one of the top bloggers (last year at least) had every single post hidden – it was all personal. Obviously it's impossible to find out what they were blogging about, but it's at least worth knowing that someone uses it like that

    26 Apr 2006, 19:12

  29. Andy

    You've all missed off the main one – that is, people who come on here to winge about how miserable it is being single, such as:

    link

    link

    link

    link

    and

    link

    26 Apr 2006, 19:39

  30. I blog in order to communicate ideas, have debates and discussions about topics of interest, and generally as a way of communicating with other people. I also use it as a diary to let other people know what I'm up to from time to time, and as a "friends only" or "just me" diary when I need to talk about things from my personal life.

    26 Apr 2006, 19:41

  31. I blog, to remember what I've been up to, connect with other people, bounce ideas off people (and I find even writing things down can help to clarify stuff in your mind) blogging is a great way to meet people who are either similar or vastly different to yourself, but who you can learn about, that you might never have met/talked to otherwise!

    Its also good that you can make posts public, or just university, or to custom friends groups. Sometimes its good to get perspective on something that your close friends can't give you, but bloggers, being slightly removed from the situation can be either very insightful or amazingly supportive.

    26 Apr 2006, 20:03

  32. Also: the most interesting thing for me is the 'silent readers', people who read your blog, but never comment, until you see them in person, its fascinating! Where would bloggers be without blog-readers? (And like Vicky, I like getting comments, it makes me feel connected to the world!)

    26 Apr 2006, 20:04

  33. John Dale

    The answer, very roughly, to an earlier question about how much private blogging goes on is that about a third of all blog entries are private to either an individual or a small group. So if you're signed in and thus reading all the entries which are visible to everyone or to all logged-in users, then as a very rough rule of thumb, for every two entries you read there is another one which you don't see.

    26 Apr 2006, 21:01

  34. Two reasons for me. Firstly, to record something I think of (usually humourous) so it's not lost. Secondly, to share my experiences or thoughts with others. Often posts are a mixture of the two.

    26 Apr 2006, 21:24

  35. An alternative to work? For those who don't want to be seen chatting and have no meetings to go to.

    26 Apr 2006, 23:20

  36. I blog for the sake of it. It allows me to act in a "natural" way which I wouldn't neccesarily be able to do in everyone's company.

    I suppose the category that would fit me closest would be "social" – I want comments, but almost expect the few that do come in to be in the same vein as the blog i.e. I'm bored and want to discuss something that is completely unimportant. But tagwise I also have comic (see The Creation) and troll (see Things That Really Piss Me Off and CUSG) tendencies.

    … maybe I could look into making sets from these?

    27 Apr 2006, 00:39

  37. I enjoy antagonising people and saying stupid things.

    27 Apr 2006, 01:17

  38. I started blogging because I saw loads of posters about it when I first got to Warwick and thought it sounded cool. Now I just write down random stuff that I feel the need to write. Most of it isn't particularly exciting, but I feel I achieve some sort of closure on it when I write it. I also enjoy commenting on other people's blogs.

    27 Apr 2006, 21:32

  39. I also started because of the excessive posterage. And because before applying to Warwick I read loads of blogs. Interestingly, my first impression had been that there were some annoying blogs around, but a scattering of gems shone out and made me want to meet their authors. And since I've come to Warwick, I've met some of the faces behind blogs and they've turned into my favorite people. And I really want to meet more of you considering how well it's been going, so somebody should organise a post–exams blog social…

    28 Apr 2006, 15:31

  40. "so somebody should organise a post–exams blog social…"

    Yes, yes and yes. Blog socials have been seriously lacking this year, someone should get around to doing one post exams!

    28 Apr 2006, 16:11

  41. there's such a ridiculous amount of incredibly boring blogs.

    29 Apr 2006, 13:47

  42. blogging so clearly has a just because, but i'll go with what someone (effort to scroll) said earlier, one place, ease of use, permanent record.
    also it's keeping in touch with home people…friends you don't get a chance to talk to but want to know what they're up to!
    i hear other uni people all the time wishing their uni provided this kind of thing!

    01 May 2006, 22:38

  43. so somebody should organise a post–exams blog social

    If the powers that be would be so kind as to undertake such a celebration at a time at which one is capable of traversing the nation then one may be able to grace thee with my presence.

    Or you could just do it whenever you want and sod me, whichever's better.

    01 May 2006, 23:50

  44. Michael Jones

    To let off steam.

    05 May 2006, 23:41

  45. Luke, your name is disappeared again :S

    06 May 2006, 01:03

  46. Blog social? :D

    06 May 2006, 13:36

  47. WILL YOU ALL STOP STEALING MY NAME? 5!

    Oh yes, and blog social sounds good. :)

    06 May 2006, 23:41


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My name is Ellie Lovell and I am the Web Editor in the Communications Office at the University of Warwick.

I started this blog in August 2005 when I started working at the University and have learnt a lot from it. I don’t update it so much anymore (I have been unfaithful to WarwickBlogs) but I hope you enjoy what is here…

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