Casual bloggers find therapy in online journaling; many are not so interested in posting news, political discussion or gossip.
Blogging is unquestionably a medium for personal journaling. According to America Online, nearly half of bloggers post personal accounts and journals rather than news, politics and gossip. The Blog Trends Survey was conducted by Digital Marketing Services, Inc. for AOL.
As many as half of respondents say they write a blog because it serves as a form of self-therapy. Further, one third of bloggers write about self-help and self-esteem topics. Thirty-one percent either blog or read blogs in times of need or high anxiety, while only five percent prefer to seek help from a counselor or mental health professional. The only thing more popular than blogs in times of need is seeking advice from family and friends.
The blogging population who do so for personal journaling is no surprise to AOL Community senor programming manager Joe Loong. "Knowing how I blog personally when I'm not on the clock, and how my friends blog," Loong told ClickZ Stats. "The vast majority of us are blogging about what's going on in our lives."
While there are numerous high-profile blogs that report on news and current events, only 16 percent of bloggers do so to pursue journalistic aims, 12 percent blog to break news or advance news and gossip, and eight percent blog to "expose political information".
A majority, 66 percent, don't feel pressure to update their blogs frequently, yet 65 percent pay attention to how often other bloggers post new entries to their blogs. In the casual blogging network, only 13 percent of bloggers become disappointed to learn other people's blogs attract more readers or responses.
"We know that bloggers are writing primarily for themselves," said Loong. "People don't really feel pressured to do a lot of updates."
The survey was conducted by Opinion Palace, an online research site operated by Digital Marketing Services, Inc.. A sampling of 600 respondents took part in the survey between July 17 to 22, 2005. To qualify, respondents had to be over 18 and write one or more blogs. AOL says respondents were not limited to bloggers using AOL and AIM blogs.
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