So what motivates people to participate in blogs? As it so happens, I just finished writing an essay on a related issue. But then, the question comes up, why would you want to blog? And to get a scientific reason, we can turn to a recent research paper which investigates the motivations of people who participate in blog activities. The researchers found that ease of use and
enjoyment, and knowledge sharing (altruism and reputation) social factors (community identification) and attitude toward blogging significantly influenced the decision to blog or to read blogs.
I particularly found the factor of knowledge sharing quite interesting. The concept of citizen journalism is well and truly here. I quote some of the results:
Our study generated some insights for blog-hosting service providers and bloggers:
1. The findings underscored the importance of enjoyment. Bloggers should strive to increase participants’ intrinsic motivations such as enjoyment, fun, curiosity, and exploration. For example, the home page of a blog should contain interesting, fresh, fun, and enjoyable
information. At the same time, blog-hosting services should continue to develop tools that make creation of innovative contents possible.
2. Most people recognize blogs as easy publishing tools. Our results also verified that ease of use is an important and influential factor in determining users’ attitude toward using blog. Therefore, blog-hosting service providers should continue to improve user friendliness, making the tools easy to use and accessible.
3. Many companies launch blogs as a marketing channel. Marketers should understand what drives people to share in the blog context. The findings highlighted the importance of altruism and individual reputation. Therefore publicly praising individual participant’s effort can enhance attitude toward blogging.
4. Community identification is important in blogging. Therefore, blog-hosting service providers should promote and encourage people to share their social lives and opinions or at least add comments. Reward systems, such as keeping a billboard of top 100 blogs, rewarding virtual points for participations, etc. can also be a positive motivator. The more information and comments posted
and discussed, the longer people will stay in the blog. This will, in turn, establish a stronger sense of community identification among participants.
C.-L. Hsu, J.-C. Lin, Acceptance of blog usage: The roles of technology acceptance, social influence and knowledge sharing motivation, Inf Manage (2008),