Friday, March 18, 2005

Why We Read Blogs--A Theory

I spent a better part of the past two days pouring over more information about the wonderful world of the Blogosphere, making special note of Dave Sifry's charts, graphs, and convoluted verbiage.

What's fascinated me most is why people read blogs in the first place.

What I've been able to determine, thru all the charts, graphs, and technospeak, is that men who are in the 6 figure plus income bracket, who appear to be the ones who surf blogs the most, are looking for news. Perhaps they are still peeved that, years ago, conservative uber-nerd Matt Drudge beat them to the political commentary punch. So, they spend many, many hours searching for the Savior of the Media--a liberal uber-geek to counter Matt Drudge.

It seems too that their reasons for being so consumed with blogs is that they have a major distrust of the MSM--as if they will not get "the scoop" or "the truth" from anywhere other than a site where the journalistic credibility is questionable. In psychobabble causality, this could be an indication of a problem with their fathers...or another manifestation of a political paranoia that has been steadily evolving since the days of the Kennedy assassination.

(The official stats on men who read blogs, strangely, did not note how many men search blogs for free porn...I found some info on that from my own little poking around on Technorati--pretty funny but not a surprise!)

Yet what I've also determined from a rather informal consensus of women I know who read blogs, is that women may read blogs not only for liberal newsworthiness, but also for insight into the human condition. Women want to find out how others think about love, sex, raising children, coping with careers, taking care of elderly parents, etc., etc. I don't believe we are as occupied with finding validation for our political perspectives in the blogs of others as men might be. Some of us may be looking for "the scoop," but we have time for other things, too.

We seem to enjoy sharing the experience of our lives with others in the Blogosphere--maybe in an effort to feel less alone on our life journeys. Perhaps we are hoping to find others who can relate to us when we are struggling with the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune; or we want to make others laugh; or we want to be appreciated for our hard-earned perspectives on life. (Given the boom in memoir publishing since the 1990's, it's no surprise that there would be many diary/memoir blogs. These blogs are just as, if not more, well-written than those mighty whiny tomes bulking out various isles at the local Barnes and Noble.)

So, in all the charts and figures presented about the State of the Blogosphere, one important thing has been completely left out--the human condition endemic to blogging. But Sifry's a smart guy. Maybe, if given the challenge, he'll figure out a way to chart that too.

Tish G.
(whose Lucky Bastard narratives are far more intriguing than her political commentary--but you know what They say about opinions...)

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