(PhysOrg.com) -- Swinburne researchers have developed a scale that identifies four different types of personal blogging styles.
In an article published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Networking, James Baker and Dr. Susan Moore describe the scale that categorises four blogging styles: Therapeutic, Self-Censoring, Connected and Substitution.
While earlier research by Baker and Moore revealed the psychological benefits of blogging in helping those who blog feel less isolated and more satisfied with friendships, the new study examined the way in which bloggers perceived and experienced their activity.
"While blogging appears to improve an individual's sense of satisfaction with their friendships and their sense of closeness with peers, the individual blogger's thinking style may play a large role in the way they experience blogging," Baker said.
More than 180 MySpace bloggers were recruited to participate in an online survey and asked to rate their blog activity and readership, social interaction, coping and mood. Based on their responses the researchers identified four distinct blogging styles.
"The rationale behind the predicted relationships was that individuals would bring to their blogs a style of interaction that paralleled their offline persona."
Therapeutic bloggers were open and expressive and more directed to their own concerns that those of their readers. They were less satisfied with their friendships; scored higher on depression, anxiety and stress and endorsed numerous coping mechanisms to deal with stress. For them, blogging provided an emotional outlet to connect with others and to seek support.
Connected bloggers tended to be less stressed and depressed, more satisfied with friendships, received more comments from others and have more subscribers to their blogs. They used their blogs to connect and communicate with others rather than solve emotional problems.
Self-censoring bloggers also blog to communicate, but focus on positive self-presentation rather than the more open style of communication usually favoured among friendship groups.
Substitution bloggers used their blogs to substitute for rather than enhance face-to-face friendships and social networks. These types of bloggers used the internet to overcome loneliness or social anxiety. While they may have been dissatisfied with their offline relationships, their focus on feedback from others and readership appeared to be successful, as they reported a higher number of subscribers and comments from their readership.
The more socially oriented connected style of blogging correlated with measures of friendship quality and perceived social support. Substitution bloggers appeared to be successfully using their blogs to compensate for face-to-face deficits. Likewise, the more therapeutic style correlated with active coping strategies to deal with higher levels of emotional distress.
Females were more likely to use a therapeutic style of blogging and males were more likely to be self-censoring or substitution style bloggers.
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The online article can be found here.