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And How Does Blogging Make You Feel?

A new "Blog Trends Survey," conducted for online giant America Online July 17 to 22, 2005 through Opinion Place by Digital Marketing Services found that most bloggers aren’t hanging shingles as wanna-be cyber-journalists, political activists, or covering news. Instead, nearly half surveyed bloggers say they use the online journals as a form of therapy, writing about personal issues and events.

The survey questioned 600 people over 18 years of age who write one or more blogs on the Web. The resuls showed nearly 50 percent of bloggers write online journals as a form of self-therapy, with fully one third writing about self-help and self-esteem topics. In times of high anxiety or need, 32 percent of surveyed bloggers said they turn to family and friends, but nearly as many (31 percent) said they turn to writing in their blog or reading blogs of people experiencing similar issues. (In contrast, only five percent said they seek counseling or professional help during these times.)

In contrast, only 16 percent of bloggers say they’re interested in journalism, and only 12 percent use their blogs to break or keep up with news and gossip, and a mere 8 percent write a blog with political content.

Bloggers also reported they don’t feel much pressure to write a blog: only 16 percent reported they keep a blog because it’s trendy, although 21 percent said they write because their families or friends do. Two thirds of surveyed bloggers said they feel they can write about anything they like, and roughly two thirds also reported that, while they care how often blogs they read are updated, they don’t feel obligation to update their own blogs regularly or frequently.

Similarly, only 12 percent worry about their blogs being witty or funny, only 23 percent worry about offending anybody with their postings, and 60 percent say their blogging personality is "laid back", while 3.8 percent describe themselves as perfectionists or compulsive bloggers. However, for all bloggers’ relaxed attitudes, the audience still matters a bit: 65 percent report feelings of disappointment if they receive abusive or negative comments.

Gosh. If I’d known blogging was merely a passive-aggressive enabling technology which prevented me from truly comprehending and coming to terms with my expectations and feelings, allowing me to disassociate from my everyday life and bottle up my frustrations, I could have a much more content and fulfilling life!

Or perhaps, sometimes, a blog is just a blog.

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