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MDIA5003 Blogosphere


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Week 4 MDIA5003 Class Presentation
The Blogosphere

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MDIA5003 Blogosphere

  1. 1. Ekdale, Brian, Kang Namkoong, Timothy KF Fung and David D Perlmutter (2010)„Why blog? (then and now): exploring the motivations for blogging by popular American political bloggers‟, New Media and Society, 12(2):217-234. Presented by Kimberly Lennard
  2. 2. Blogs that I like:  http://how-i-met-your- Hills Stand up: Hill‟s show blog:
  3. 3. Reading overview: The Ekdale et al. (2010) article is on a study they conducted about what motivates American Political Bloggers to blog. In 2006 surveyed 66 top American political bloggers to analyze their motivations for blogging very little research available about the widely read political bloggers. Cases where Bloggers were instrumental:(1) in 2002 resignation of Trent Lott as Senate Minority Leader(2) Exposed a forged memo used in a 2004 CBS News report about President George W. Bush‟s National Guard service Blogs:,,,
  4. 4. What is Ekdale et al. (2010) says “academic literature emphasizes the structural a components of blogs, characterizing a blog as a web page consisting of a series of entries, or posts, listed in reverse- blog? chronological order.” Boyd (2006) adds that early coverage used the metaphor of online diaries or journals to define blogs. She argues it limited the public‟s idea of blogs and dismissed bloggers who understand it journalistic activity.
  5. 5. How blogs were created Ekdale et al. (2010) says blogs have been around since the early days of the world wide web but grew dramatically after the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks because bloggers wanted to:- to express their feelings about uncertain times- search for information unavailable in mainstream media.- eventually turned their attention more generally to American domestic and foreign policy issues- political elites started to adopt bloggers into their political campaigns
  6. 6. Blogs as news source Johnson and Kaye (2004) blog readers perceive blogs as a more credible source of news than any other medium. Ekdale et al.(2010) says there‟s two main reasons:1) Often cover issues in greater depth than traditional media2) Present complex issues in a way that is understandable to readersAdditionally: Blogs are form of narrative Reflects bloggers own perspective which leaves interpretation to the readers
  7. 7. The blogosphere (Ekdale et al2010) Bloggers themselves:- Do not subscribe to journalistic norms- Writing usually grounded in strong ideological assumptions- Increase number of bloggers and opinions “led to a fractured blogosphere.” People naturally divide into ideological camps Readership patterns are diverse as most readers search for blogs that reflect own opinion 94 per cent of respondents who read political blogs only for one side. Political blogs may only reach a small audience already in agreement with its view point.
  8. 8. Motivations and  “Cognitive psychologists assert that an individual‟s Behaviours behavior is influenced by both intrinsic and extrinsic motivations (Calder and Staw, 1975).  Intrinsic motivations: activity is inherently interesting, enjoyable and satisfying.  Extrinsic motivations: the pressures or rewards in achieving outcomes that come from outside the individual. (Ekdale et al. 2010)
  9. 9. Why bloggers blogNardi et al. (2004b, In Ekdale et al. 2010 ) identify five motivational factors for blogging:1) documenting one‟s life2) providing commentary and opinions3) expressing deeply felt emotions4) articulating ideas through writing5) forming and maintaining community forums.Jung et al. (Apr 2012 ) PsycINFOComputers in Human Behavior Impression management Voyeuristic surveillance Social comparison Perceived anonymity and social support online Belonging, loneliness, and subjective well-being
  10. 10. Lenhart and Fox (July 19, 2006) Bloggers survey“The main reasons for keeping a blog are creative expression and sharing personal experiences,” 84% blog as hobby 55% blog under a pseudonym, with 46% with own name. 52% for themselves and 32% for their audience. 72% look online for news or information about politics; by contrast, just 58% of all internet users do so. 45% of bloggers prefer news from sources that do not have a particular political point of view 24% of bloggers prefer political news from sources that challenge their viewpoint; 18% choose to use sources that share their political viewpoint.
  11. 11. Blogs in Chinese Political Life Hassid online article 28 FEB 2012 “Despite censorship, Chinese bloggers routinely uncover corruption, help solve social problems, and even pressure state officials to change policy.” More than 200 million blogs in China surged in popularity in recent years. China has the largest community of bloggers in the world Chinese internet users either challenge or reinforce state power critical in exposing and popularizing official and corporate misdeeds data collection from blogs is significantly easier than from either bulletin boards or microblogs, both of which often have restricted access
  12. 12. Why political bloggers blog (Ekdale et al. 2010) In his study of non-„A-list‟ political bloggers, Wallsten (2005) found bloggers were primarily driven by two motivations:1) self-expression on political issues2) to influence the distribution of social goods and social values Also found political bloggers: • higher sense of community collective efficacy • better informed about local and larger political problems • belong to more formal social networks and are more likely to deliberate • Bloggers‟ awareness of their readers can have an impact on what they chose to blog about and what identity they present to their audience (Nardi et al., 2004a).
  13. 13. Ekdale et al. (2010) survey: Invited 154 American political bloggers in 2006, which 66 completed (42.9% response rate). Sample included 46 men and 16 women (4 unknown). The median age 44.4 years with the oldest 66 and the youngest 18. Most experienced started blogging in January 1998, while the newest started in May 2006. 42.6 percent made more than US$100,000 a year 31.5 percent made less than US$40,000. 52.6 percent described most posts be as „liberal‟ while the remainder described their posts as „conservative‟.
  14. 14. Class Activity Imagine you are a political blogger: Rate your motivations for blogging(1 being most important and 10 being least important)1) „to critique main­stream media‟,2) „to influence mainstream media‟3) „to provide an alternative perspective to the mainstream media‟4) „to help society‟5) „to influence public opinion‟6) „to help your political party or cause‟7) „to critique political opponents,8) „to serve as a political watch­dog‟9) „to inform people about the most relevant information on topics of interest‟10) „to inform people about the most recent information on topics of interest‟
  15. 15. Results: initially driven by intrinsic motivations and later increasingly by extrinsic motivations. these bloggers were most significantly motivated by the desire to let off steam, organize their thoughts and express their ideas when they first began blogging. Strongest motivators were: 1: „to provide an alter­native perspective to the mainstream media‟ 2:„to inform people about the most relevant information on topics of interest‟ 3: „to influence public opinion‟ Weakest motivators were: 1: „to influence mainstream media‟ 2: „to critique your political opponents‟ 3: „to help your political party or cause‟