Researchers take a peep into bloggers’ world

April 10th, 2008 - 1:05 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, April 10 (IANS) Researchers have turned the spotlight on a fascinating community of bloggers who exchanges ideas, information and knowledge on the web. A University of California team examined the reading habits of 15 bloggers of various ages to determine how they consume content and interact with blogs and other blog writers.

Previous studies typically centred on blog writers, largely overlooking those who go online to read, comment and participate. Blog readers feel a responsibility to make insightful contributions.

While bloggers are expected to deliver frequent, high-quality posts, readers also place pressure on themselves to produce coherent, worthwhile comments in response to good blog posts.

“With the increased popularity of blogs, various tools like Blogger and Movable Type have made writing a blog easy for a wide audience,” said Eric Baumer of the University. He studies informatics, a discipline that focuses on the use of information technology in real-world settings.

“But, until the technology embraces the role of the audience, the full social potential of blogging remains untapped. One of the goals of this research is to stimulate the development of tools to foster that social potential in terms of both readers and bloggers,” he said.

The timing of a blog post is not nearly as relevant to readers as its position among the other entries. Readers are more likely to peruse the most recent posts at the top of the screen, and are generally less concerned with the exact age of a post.

A vast majority of participants said they were not bothered when they were not able to read each and every blog post, challenging a common theory that users tend to feel overwhelmed by the need to remain constantly up to date.

A better understanding of the reader-blogger connection could lead to new, advanced features that would enable richer interactions between the two groups.

For readers, an installed add-on could enrich their experience by tracking blog habits of which they might not be aware. For bloggers, a logging tool could help them easily distinguish between different types of readers and allow them to better connect with audiences.

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