What is the purpose of blogging?

This is a follow up discussion on my previous Connectivism – What makes you a blogger?

 I have longed to explore why people create blogs in the first place.  I am also interested in knowing how people could sustain in connecting with others via blogs. 

This could be an important area of research, as blogging is now so popular in the “day-to-day business” in the digital world.  In the past few years, there has been substantial research on blogging.  However, the findings are always interesting, in that they partly reflect what the bloggers are interested in, and they are also a reflection of the current areas of interests in the blogosphere (especially in the education and learning area). 

In the past few years, blogging is not only viewed as a “professional business”, but have also been used in promoting one’s business in the global business.   In this connection, benchmarking and process improvement in blogging seems to have become a core business in the blogging business.  In What are the best metrics to use to measure ROI and improve your blog’s contentby Beth Kanter, she mentioned

At the end of 2008, I did a “Best of Beth’s Blog” analysis using PostRank.It takes your RSS feed and applies engagement metrics,  analyzing the types and frequency of an audience’s interaction with your content.  Each blog post is given a score from 1 to 10, representing how interesting and relevant people have found your content.  The more interesting or relevant an item is, the more work they will do to share or respond to that item so interactions that require more effort are weighted higher. PostRank scoring is based on analysis of the “5 Cs” of engagement: creating, critiquing, chatting, collecting, and clicking.

Relating to Beth’s post, Stephen Downe indicated in his Daily that

For me, the metric for success for this website (and the rest) is how much I learn from doing it. Because for me blogging isn’t about raising money or generating churn or being sticky. It’s about personal development. ….. How to measure the learning? Well: can I understand what I read and, in public, summarize it accurately? Can I hold my own end of a conversation? Can I make my site work better (and, related: can I build good educational technology)? Can I respond to suggestions and ideals with innovation and creativity?

This Post-Secondary Students’ Purposes for Blogging by Paul Leslie and Elizabeth Murpy provides an account of the purposes of  blogging:

First relates to social interaction and social presence, and suggests that one general purpose for blogging may be to support, facilitate, model, and increase opportunities for social, peer and group interaction, communication, presence, feedback, networking learning experiences, and getting to know each other.

From this framework, we derived two purposes for blogging one being social and the other for knowledge construction. These are purposes that have been largely identified from a theoretical perspective rather than an empirical one. In this study, we frame our investigation in terms of these two purposes. We investigate the case of a group of post-secondary learners in relation to how they engaged in blogging for social and instructional purposes.
The second theme relates to the social and collaborative construction of knowledge and suggests that an additional purpose for blogging may be to support, contribute to, and provide opportunities or means for collaborative, cooperative and community-centered sharing, building, contributing, outlining and asserting knowledge, ideas, opinions, different viewpoints, interpretations, perspectives and common goals.

In designing e-learning – blogs, there is a comprehensive account of

  • Why include blogs
  • Characteristics of blogs
  • Teaching and learning opportunities
  • Purpose of blogs

 So, I could see that people develop blogs for different purposes, and may be using different strategies and tactics in both attracting readers to read and comment, and connecting to others via responses to comments on their blogs or comments on other blogs.  

If the blogger is an educator, the topical interests may be focused on education and learning: such as connectivism, e-learning, research, open education,  information and communication technology (ICT) and Web 2.0 etc.  There are also other related  areas of interests that relate to the educator’s area of specialty.  I would reckon that a global research in this area may be needed to validate those “common practice and related interests” of blogging.

If the blogger is a learner in an educational course, the purposes may be those mentioned in blogging and designing e-learning – blogs.  

If the blogger is blogging for personal reasons such as personal development and learning, then those mentioned  by Stephen Daily may be relevant.

So for me as an educator, the 7 purposes of blogging include:

  • As a way to connect and learn with others
  • As a way to collaborate and cooperate with others and the community
  • To contribute to a wider body of knowledge and community of practice (amongst educators and learners) 
  • As a journal, portfolio and personal reflections 
  • As a record of personal works and achievements (eg. an e-portfolio)
  • As a portal where other bloggers, interested readers or communities can access materials, links, videos etc.
  • As an ongoing content where materials and resources can be archived online for easy locating in the future.

What are your purposes of blogging? 




2 thoughts on “What is the purpose of blogging?

  1. Your post today on blogging led me to read some of these other posts you have done on blogging. (I didn’t see where to post a comment on today’s post.)

    I enjoyed your discusison of learning styles and blogging. I’m a thinker/theorist as well, leaning to analyst. It makes me wonder not only about how styles might predict who blogs, but also how the styles affect the style and purpose of blogging. I’ll be paying more attention to that as I look at blogs, and think about beginning my own.

    As you’re discussing why people blog, I’m thinking that for me, and ideal blog environment might simulate Ben Franklin’s or Einstein’s Olympia Academy – intentional learning groups that were important in their development and contributions.

  2. Thanks Deanna for your interest in this area.
    You could comment on the post by clicking “No comment” and the “leave a comment” should appear.
    You have come up with the idea of ideal blog environment that would be of interest. That’s great.
    Intentional learning groups could be important in such development and contributions too.


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