Basic idea The choices which people make are motivated by the desire to satisfy (or 'gratify') a range of needs. Hence the uses and gratifications approach is concerned to identify how people use the media to gratify their needs. Blumler J.G. & Katz, E. (1974). The uses of mass communications: Current perspectives on gratifications research. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.
Changed Paradigm The uses-and-gratifications approach shifts the emphasis of communication research from answering the question “what do the media do to people?” (Katz, as cited in Swanson, 1979, p. 4) to “what active audience members do with the media” (Swanson, 1979, p.4).
Motivated by the desire to satisfy Generally, the needs which audiences seek to gratify are taken to be as summarized by Denis McQuail, namely: * surveillance/information * personal identity * personal relationships/integration &Social Interaction * diversion/entertainment
Information Information # finding out about relevant events and conditions in immediate surroundings, society and the world # seeking advice on practical matters or opinion and decision choices # satisfying curiosity and general interest # learning; self-education # gaining a sense of security through knowledge
Personal Identity # finding reinforcement for personal values # finding models of behaviour # identifying with valued other (in the media) # gaining insight into one's self
Integration & Social Interaction # gaining insight into circumstances of others; social empathy # identifying with others and gaining a sense of belonging # finding a basis for conversation and social interaction # having a substitute for real-life companionship # helping to carry out social roles # enabling one to connect with family, friends and society
Entertainment # escaping, or being diverted, from problems # relaxing # getting intrinsic cultural or aesthetic enjoyment # filling time # emotional release # sexual arousal See also Chandler http://www.aber.ac.uk/media/Documents/short/usegrat.html#A
What do People Blog Dan Li ( http://www.whyyoublog.net/doc/Li_Dan_Aug_2005.pdf ) Men blog about external topics (politics, entertainment, sports, education or academics, business, technology and science, arts and culture) more often than women. Women blog about internal topics (interests or hobbies, family and friends, own creative work, and personal experience) more of than men. Wider Reading: K. D. Trammell ( http://blogresearch.com/ref.htm )
Identifying Motives, Antecedents, and Outcomes of Weblog Trent Seltzer and Michael Mitrook, University of Florida http://blog.basturea.com/archives/2006/07/17/aejmc-2006-papers/ Initial studies on weblogs have considered their influence on social, business, and political institutions; however, the motives and antecedents that lead individuals to blog, as well as the outcomes associated with weblog use, should also be investigated. This study surveyed 228 college students to identify the uses and gratifications associated with weblog use. Comparisons were also made between bloggers and non-bloggers to identify differences in their patterns of Internet use.
Seminar This seminar will allow you to review http://edelman.com/ in some detail. You will need to review different aspects of the site and assess the degree to which they meet different needs. Objectives are: 1. To understand the how to apply the uses and gratification framework to websites 2. To evaluate the effectiveness of websites at meeting user needs