Date of Award

Summer 2005

Degree Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Communication

First Advisor

D'Urso, Scott

Second Advisor

Havice, Michael

Third Advisor

Porter, Gregory

Abstract

This study explores the patterns ofblogging, blogging motivations, and the roles of motivations as well as demographics as predictors for blogging behaviors. Six aspects of blogging behaviors are examined: 1) how bloggers cover topics in writing; 2) how bloggers manage feedbacks from readers; 3) how bloggers use hyperlinks; 4) how bloggers present themselves; 5) how bloggers expect readership; 6) how bloggers use design elements. Seven motivations for blogging emerge in this research: self-documentation, improving writing, self-expression, medium appeal, information, passing time, and socialization. Except for passing time, all the other six motivations were highly approved by bloggers. Most of those motivations are moderately correlated. Overall, certain motivations are found to be related with specific usage of blogs. Self-documentation is a predictor of feedback management, self-presentation, and readership expectation. Improving writing motivation works as a predictor for self-presentation and readership expectation. Self-expression predicts self-presentation, readership expectation, and design elements use. Medium appeal motivation predicts self-presentation. Information motivation predicts feedback management, use of hyperlinks, self-presentation, readership expectation, and design elements. Passing time motivation predicts self-presentation, design elements, and readership expectation. Socialization motivation predicts use of hyperlinks, self-presentation, and readership expectation. Gender differences were located in many aspects of blogging. Men claim higher approval of information motivation while women endorse self-documentation, self-expression, and passing time more. Other than gender, age also plays a role in motivating people to blog. Motivations as self-documentation, self-expression, and passing time have a negative relationship with age. Educational level was found no connection with specific blogging motivations.

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