Wednesday, December 07, 2005

RESULTS FROM LAST WEEK'S SURVEY (and a new question!)

Originally uploaded by lapinfille.

Just got home from working a Christmas party for a very educated group of people. Unfortunately, in all their years of schooling, no one ever taught them the words "please" or "thank you." All they learned was "Get me..." No eye contact. At break time, Katie, a second grade teacher by day, who waitresses at night to pay her daughter's college tuition, brought it up: "What do you think? These people think they're better than us or something?"

We all shared in a laugh. Then I asked Katie if she would PLEASE pass the cranberry juice, after which I THANKED her profusely. And we laughed again. One thing I will definitely miss when I hang up the clunky shoes for good is my coworkers. Another is the stories I hear at breaktime. Talk about material for a dozen novels!

Anyway, no well-dressed people with curious gaps in their education could bring me down tonight. See, tonight I was going home to post the results of my survey! I know, I know. Most people wouldn't find that cause for major excitement, but as you've probably surmised, I don't get out much.

The question, for those of you who weren't around last week, was this: What makes you return to a blog? One thing I really loved about the responses was that few of you limited your answers to one factor. In a sense, developing a blog relationship was like falling in love. It's complicated, and so were your answers.

So since most of you listed more than one reason you returned to a blog, I gave your first choice 3 points, your second choice 2, and your third 1.

Tallied this way, the results were overwhelming, with the writing style of the blogger being the clear winner with 57 points.

Second was the content of the blog with 32 points.

Third the relationship developed between bloggers through mutual visits and comments with 29 points.

And apparently relatively unimportant, at least to readers of this blog, was pertinent links. It garnered only six points. That surprised me somewhat since I love blogs with lots of links--especially if they connect me to things I'm unlikely to find on my own.

One thing I learned from this survey was that I needed to expand the categories to include "all of the above," which Mike chose.

I also need to include "other." Moose introduced a very good "other" when he said that "common interests" was a huge factor for him. It's certainly true. A well written blog with fresh content about say aeronautic engineering would not be of interest to me no matter how much I liked the blogger.

And Sara named that elusive factor "love" as the thing that brought her back to a blog. I'd have to agree that a site full of heart and passion for the subject matter is likely to be one I will remember--and return to.

Today's question turns things around. This time let's look at your own motivation for blogging. Many of us spend two or three hours a week or more working on our blogs, reading comments, visiting other sites. From what I hear, psychiatrists are now even treating blog addiction. So what's the pay off? Why do you do it?

a) Personal creative expression

b) Communication and friendship with others in the blogosphere

c) As a platform for something I feel strongly about, whether it be poetry, religion, politics, environmentalism

d) In order to promote my career in the arts or some other field

e) Other


Anonymous said...

Thanks for your recent comment at Good&Happy on the subject of gifts. As a backwater blogger, I consider each comment a gift -- and it costs very little, too...:-)

Why I blog:

Efficient personal expression. I was putting most of the material in e-mails to one or another correspondents anyway. They may have been somewhat overwhelmed.

Professionally (lifecoach and communications consultant) the blog doesn't really generate business, but is an effective part of the run-up to business or friendship. That is, it's a "this is how I think" online brochure to which I can direct people.

The contact with other bloggers is an unexpected plus. Although there are the Big Boys, and then there's moi, I regard the gulf between them and me as narrower than the gulf between bloggers and non-bloggers. "I'm a blogger too" is a significant commonality, even if they're blogging about aerospace.

The opportunity, and very small pressure, to write something fairly regularly, has helped me to discuss things I thought I wasn't interested in, or didn't have a new idea about. I've waxed lyrical about Jane Austen and other enthusiasms and pleased myself with the result.

I've tried to steer away from partisan positions, since there is plenty of that out there so whatever the position it's not distinctive to me. Although a regular reader can pretty easily figure out what inspires or enrages or amuses me.

I'm a computer-graphics sketcher&doodler, and the opportunity to publish some of that, not brilliant enough to sell but still, sometimes, worth a look, is another unexpected benefit.

Blogging seems all upside, very little cost. It's the most fun I've had in a while, expecially for a Myers Briggs ENTP. An extravert. NT Big Theorist. P doesn't want to keep track of actual, molecular things like paper, pens, files!

So now I hope to learn why other people blog.

Stephanie said...

I've been working on a book on the workplace and spirituality for a couple of years, doing interviews with workers, writing articles, etc. But one thing I heard pretty consistently from agents was that although I had credentials and could write, I didn't have a platform per se. So I guess the blog is part of that. I also think it's a great way to find the voice for the book and the tone, which I don't think I put enough time into before. However, I also think the creative expression and communication with others are the primary reasons I continue, because I'm not as keen on the book idea as I used to be.

Anonymous said...

Well, I missed the survey but I would have to agree with the order of the results. Although, I would have said, like Mike, all of the above.

I do love to do surveys myself and I'm also a closet interviewer.

Thanks for staying in touch and for your kind words.

Anonymous said...

PS but I can take a stab at this series of questions. I think it's all of the above again, and that's what I like about feels a variety of purposes. I mostly blog to break my life and my writing down into bite size digestable pieces. I'm writing for my family descendents, and to expand as a writer.

rdl said...

ABC, easy as 123 - what Jackson 5 song was that?

Matthew said...

i think i'd go straight down the list as well, but the first two are neck-and-neck. the ability to express myself creatively is one i can never take for granted, but the blogosphere community, and the friendships i've developed/i'm developing, is a huge part of what makes blogging great.

MB said...

First: she/her.


a) my blog is a writing practice. That's my top reason, but b is right there snuggling up next to it.

b) communication and friendship because I look for learning and creative stimulation... and friendship, too!

d) ?

...Um, I don't have a career in writing. But I'm trying to promote my writing with myself. How does that fit your categories?

And about the links, it would be wrong to say I haven't enjoyed your links. By all means I have and do. Is it too fine a point to say that they are not the primary reason I return to your blog? They're bonus, extra. The cherry on top of the already luscious whipped cream fudge sundae of your blog.... I'm hungry, time for lunch.

Anonymous said...

I didn't have time to do the first survey, but would have chosen all of the above! And I'd like to do so on this one, PLUS add that the blog is a way of archiving my work, thoughts, and all those things of interest that make me the artist that I am!

Thanks for asking and for your great blog!

Dale said...

Yeah, pretty much 1 2 3.

I've always felt that the journal was my natural medium -- I write best and most interestingly on the spur of the moment; I always aced essay exams. My "pieces" are usually, I think, labored and overwrought. The fact that blog-writing "isn't real" (I know, I know, let's not get into it) makes it the perfect medium for me.

Anonymous said...

Hey Patry;

I thought I had made a lengthy comment here but maybe I didn't hit the right button to send it, or maybe you moderated it away. Did you get it? I can understand your not posting it if you did. I blog for creative expression. It was the friendship part that tripped me up.

Tom.... said...

I can see how this blogging thing can be addictive if you let it: especially if you sit there and click "next blog" continuously....I am finding that I prefer to find folks that have brains, good styles and something of substance to my typing has really improved since I started this stuff...

Patry Francis said...

I'm trying to keep my voice out of the survey, but there are a couple of things I couldn't resist saying:

Moose is a she! Sorry for the assumption, and really don't know why I made it. Maybe moose seems like a masculine animal--though obviously not all of them.

And to Mamalujo: I definitely didn't delete or moderate your comment. The only ones I've ever removed are spam. In any case, glad you returned and made it again.

Anonymous said...

I love surveys and I'm sorry I missed the last one.

As I write this, I think there are two questions here: why did you take up blogging? And why do you do it now? For me, the reasons I started were:

Other. I started a blog because I was impressed by the technology and wanted to find out more.

As a platform. There's so much conflicting or hard to find information for writers, I thought I'd share some things I'd picked up.

In order to promote my career. Sort of - I've had a website for a while (it was a christmas present from a friend), but I wanted it to be more dynamic.

My reasons now are:

Other. It's fun! I enjoy blogging.

Communication and friendship.

Personal creative expression. It's a exercise in another style of writing.

Shaggy's girl said...

I bumped into your blog quite by accident. Good luck with your writing projects.

As to the survey, I have to go with:

c) As a platform for something I feel strongly about, whether it be poetry, religion, politics, environmentalism

I come from a society in which there is no real freedom of speech, even though it's supposed to be a democracy. People will persecute you if you go against the status quo. The crime rate is high in my country, so this is of particular concern.

I figure that if I keep my identity hidden, people won't know who they're attacking and I'll be relatively safe.

So far, I might have struck a nerve on the issues of classism and shadism, because there are people who say I'm making up my stories (won't dignify that accusation with a response), and another who has created a blog to denounce mine.

Go figure.

Mary said...

Hi Patry
I too missed the original survey but am glad to find this further instalment. And I am an ABC person too.

As a blogger of only a few months standing I am so pleasantly surprised at how much I am enjoying the craft of writing, and honing my skills. I have no idea where this may take me, but I am definitely enjoying the journey.

Re comments: when I was a lurker I often held back from commenting,thinking that I had nothing useful to say and the blogger probably did not want to hear from me anyway. Now that I have crossed the line and I am a blogger myself I am staggered at how important comments and feedback are to me. And I don't care if all they say is "nice post".

I am actually trying to wean myself off being so dependent on them and have contemplated going cold turkey and turning off the comment feature for a spell.

Really interesting to read everyone else's feedback on this. And thanks for dropping by the other day Patry!

robin andrea said...

As my blogging has evolved, so have my reasons for blogging. I started out a strictly "C" blogger. I thought that was why I was blogging. But as time went on I realized that I really was more type A and B. I didn't know I had any more personal creative expression left in me, and when I found that I did, it was like a floodgate opened. So, for me it's A, B, and C.
"B" means a lot to me because my life has been utterly enriched by the soulful companions I have found through blogging.

Anonymous said...

A & B only!

Sharon Hurlbut said...

For me, it's a combination of A and B, with maybe a little bit of D thrown in (which is to say, if I HAD a writing career, I would consider blogging a form of networking).

I think more than anything, it's a way to keep myself writing all the time. Knowing that there may be a few friends/relatives/other bloggers who are checking in occasionally keeps me from getting lazy.

And let's be honest, there's also a healthy sense of ego involved in knowing that anyone from any part of the world may be reading your words at any time. Maybe blog posts are the 21st century version of 15 minutes of fame.

Myfanwy Collins said...

Sorry I missed your first survey. The results are fascinating.

Anywhooo, here're my reasons for blogging (not in order of importance):

a) Personal creative expression

c) As a platform for something I feel strongly about, whether it be poetry, religion, politics, environmentalism

e) other -- to promote the work of other writers/artists. I've I read something great or see something beautiful, I want to share it with the world and offer that artist recognition, which is so hard to come by.

to share with others: four years ago my husband and I had a blog for when we traveled around the country. it has since gone away, but we kept all of the material in a book form. Our friends and family loved following along with us.

Vickie said...

E. Other. Because I have to.

Overmatter said...

Because here I am my own editor, because it's free, because I don't have the discipline to keep a printed journal, and because I'm better at making people smile in writing than in person. Bonus: strangers send me hugs in brackets and then they become friends.

Perfect Virgo said...

A and B only Patry. I feel it's all about creativity and friendships... That also holds true for your previous question about why we return to a blog. Instinctively we know when a blogger is on our wavelength by their vocabulary, their subject matter and the snippets of personal information they choose to reveal. How would you ever meet so many like-minded souls in the real world?

Anna Piutti said...

a) Personal creative expression

c) As a platform for something I feel strongly about, whether it be poetry, religion, politics, environmentalism

b) Communication and friendship with others in the blogosphere

d) In order to promote my "career" in the arts or some other field.

Anonymous said...

I blog, therefore I am.

No, I blog for community.

Also, I blog to hear myself (my ego-driven community) work out ideas and to take advantage of this here new-fangled technology and meet new people, read what makes them go, what makes them stop, and find out what art and words are turning them on.

Plus, I need to add to my reading lists without necessarily relying on reviews, though reviews have their place.

I go to blogs for the honesty.

I am Flickring now so that I can show my friends who live away from me what they're missing and make them rife with jealousy.

Then they will move to New York City, and we'll buy a building and live together and make art and save money and enjoy these streets as though we're the richest people on earth. Richest friend and art-wise. Money is such a poor measure.

But blogging and Flickring are great tools. I'll let you know if any of my plans come to fruition.

Kerstin said...

Hi Patry,

Well, blogging is cheaper than therapy!

But rather than leaving a lengthy comment in reply to your very interesting survey can I refer you to one of my recent posts on the same subject, it will answer your questions: Why Do You Blog?

By the way, thanks for your nice comment on my blog, it was much appreciated because now I have discovered your blog! I'll be back :)

Take care, Kerstin

steve on the slow train said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
bigshoulders said...

i've always enjoyed words, and writing. cultivating a blog allows me to hone my skill, and gives me a creative outlet for other media, such as photography and poetry. it's more or less a record of my thoughts.

i've found that i love receiving feedback. at first i was indifferent about it, but knowing that people actually do return causes me to want to write or post something that will prompt another visit.

i've only been at it for a scant few mos... but i can't imagine not recording my thoughts and feelings any other way.


Anonymous said...

My main reason is personal creative expression. Blogging has revived my energy to write. I having ownership over my publication == creating the style, choosing content. I'm an info geek, so it gives me a space to share stuff I didn't write but that's of interest to me and perhaps to others. The secondary reason is community, connection to kindred souls whom I might not otherwise meet.