Summary of the Study
The study was set up in two parts. The first examined the relationship between blogging about health and the social support from the blog readers. The researchers found the following:
- “The frequency that bloggers posted was consequential. The more posts bloggers made per week in the six weeks prior to completing the questionnaire, the more they believed they received support from readers.
- The consistency of reader comments was important. Bloggers with a greater proportion of posts with at least one comment believed that they received more support from readers.
- The support received from blog readers was influential. The more bloggers believed they received support from readers, the more bloggers felt they could positively impact their own health.
- For those bloggers who believed they did not receive much support from family and friends, support from readers was especially beneficial.”
- “Use of “insight” words (meaning words like “understand” and “realize”) were associated with a reduction in the uncertainty bloggers felt about their health. Use of insight words indicates that one is making sense of or gaining insight into an experience.
- For those bloggers who made more frequent posts per week, compared to those who posted less frequently, the use of “insight” words was associated with increased perceptions that life has meaning.
- Bloggers’ use of words that reflect negative emotions were associated with words that reflect both positive and negative emotions in reader comments.”
- Was I being selfish and looking for support?
- Did I feel I could impact others by writing about my experiences and understandings of living with Kennedy’s Disease?
- Was I trying to reach another audience?
If this was true, then why did I continue to blog?
The ugly truth was that I am a little selfish.
- I love feedback ... both positive and negative. It tells me someone read my blog and felt compelled to comment about the topic or my perspective.
- The more feedback I receive the more inspired I am.
- I like to know that I in some way helped others.
- The more I wanted to write (it was my inspiration).
- The more subjects I wanted to tackle.
- The more I felt I could help others to cope with this ugly disease.