Jumping the Border in the Blogosphere?: A Cross-Cultural Comparative Study on the Motives of American, Russian, and German Bloggers for Writing and Commenting

Jumping the Border in the Blogosphere?: A Cross-Cultural Comparative Study on the Motives of American, Russian, and German Bloggers for Writing and Commenting

Nina Haferkamp (Dresden University of Technology, Germany), Anh D. Lam-chi (University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany) and Nicole C. Krämer (University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany)
DOI: 10.4018/ijicst.2011070102
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Abstract

Since the late 1990s, blogs have become a popular platform to communicate various facets of Internet users’ personal lives such as thoughts, opinions, interests, and ideas. However, what remains open is the question of how much intercultural differences determine the specific motives of bloggers to write a virtual diary, as well as their attitudes and reactions towards comments. A cross-cultural online survey with 79 German, 68 American, and 68 Russian bloggers investigates whether the bloggers’ cultural backgrounds impacted these individual usage patterns. Analysis indicates that Russian bloggers tend to be more reserved towards documentation and are more insecure towards received comments than American and German bloggers who, on the contrary, blog more frequently. Results are discussed in the light of Hofstede’s cultural dimensions.
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Motives For Writing Blogs

Parallel to the rapid spread of blogs, a considerable body of research has been conducted on the authoring of blogs (Schmidt, 2007). Most of these studies focused on content analyses that examine user-initiated features and topics discussed in order to reveal bloggers’ motives and gratifications. For instance, Papacharissi (2004) conducted a content analysis of 260 registered public blogs hosted at blogger.com. From the results, she inferred possible gratifications that bloggers gained by publishing their blogs. She found that self-expression as well as social interaction seemed to be most important to English-language bloggers. The results further suggested that the posts were intended to be read by friends or family, thus fulfilling a need for social interaction. In a content analysis, Olcoń (2003) summarized five social functions of writing a blog: fulfillment of emotional needs, fulfillment of the need for social ties, sociability, pleasure, and self-expression.

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