Who Blogs in 2010?: An Updated Look at Individual Differences in Blogging

Who Blogs in 2010?: An Updated Look at Individual Differences in Blogging

Bradley M. Okdie (Ohio State University at Newark, USA), Rosanna E. Guadagno (University of Alabama, USA), Daniel M. Rempala (University of Hawaii at Manoa, USA) and Cassie A. Eno (Waldorf College, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/ijicst.2011070101
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Research suggests gender and personality differences are predictive of general Internet use. Specifically, people high in openness and women high in neuroticism are more likely to keep a blog. Given the rapidity of change owing to technological advances, the authors sought to re-examine the validity of these findings in an era where other forms of online interaction are prevalent. Specifically, the authors sought to replicate and expand on these findings and to examine other individual difference factors that may predict who is likely to maintain a blog. Participants filled out multiple personality measures, demographic characteristics, and reported on their blogging behavior (e.g., writing blog entries and reading blogs). Results replicated the prior research, indicating that openness predicted blogging to a greater degree than any other personality trait. Moreover, results also revealed that individuals high in self-consciousness and those who saw more of their “true self” on the Internet were more likely to blog. These findings suggest that in addition to openness, individual differences, such as self-focus and personality, predict who is likely to blog.
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Blogging And Online Self-Expression

Individuals are increasingly using the Internet as a means of self-expression and interpersonal communication as opposed to a place for solely gathering information (Postmes, Spears, & Lea, 2002). This increase has led to more personalization and a decreased sense of anonymity for those using the Internet for interpersonal means (see Bargh & McKenna, 2004; McKenna & Bargh, 2000 for a review). One form of online self-expression following this changing trend is blogging. Most blogging platforms allow users with little technological savvy to create blogs with ease by providing templates to individuals so that they can begin posting almost immediately. Additionally, most blogging platforms afford individuals the opportunity to upload pictures of themselves and their families to their blog page (i.e., increasing personalization) and provide authors control over the size of their readership.

Much of the research that has examined blogging as a form of online self-expression has taken place in the United States and suggests that a high percentage of the world’s bloggers reside in the United States (Herring et al., 2005). While the growth of blogging is slower outside the United States (Trammell, Tarkowski, Hofmokl, & Sapp, 2006), Japanese is the most commonly used language for writing blogs, with English a close second (Sifry, 2007). Moreover, research examining blogging trends across countries suggests similar patterns of behavior to that reported of the United States (Pedersen & Macafee, 2007).

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