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August 3, 2008

Blogging is Addictive


With blogs becoming a regular part of digital marketing I thought I'd share my opinon on what goes on in the mind of a blogger. If you're selling drugs its good to know what goes through a junkies mind and the same can be said for bloggers.

There's plenty of blog posts about blogging being addictive (here, here, here and here).
But there's not much about the WHY and what drives a blogger to spend the wee hours posting and reading.

Here's my take on the topic. This also applies to Video Blogging on Youtube. People who read blogs are different. They are just addicted to the web.

1: Getting Your Voice Heard:
Blogging becomes more addictive the bigger your audience becomes. You feel that what you say will be heard by hundreds if not thousands of people. This is a big deal for people that usualy don't get their opinon heard by anyone but their parents.

This is why I'm posting this here and not my personal blog.

2: Stats:
Most people wouldn't call themselves stat junkies or even care about numbers. But look at Facebook and you'll see that quantifying your friends is something akin to collecting all the Pokemon, gotta get them all. Blog stats give you even more data and thus becomes more addictive.

We did a small site back in 2002 for a 2 people design agency and the client constantly checked his stats. He even sent emails to friends announcing it and waited for the graph to rise. I recently spoke to a photographer friend that had to delete his photos off Flickr after constantly checking his stats and comments a few times per hour. When no one commented on a new photo he became anxious. He coudln't handle the stress the addiction caused.

"Ohh 15 people today read my blog! Oh.... and one persn from Turkey maybe I can stay there. How exciting. I better post again!"

3: Doogie Howser:
Remember when Doogie Howser used to blog at the end of every episode? People want to keep a journal of their life and blogging tools made this easy. No more need for a big thick diary to lug around.

4: A Chance to Become Famous:
People love to increase their chances of becoming famous. They might post something that could become the next big thing. Or maybe they'll just get to crash at someones house in Turkey. That'll save on hotel costs. Or like a lot of bloggers in the marketing industry it's a way to get a better job.

"Oh yeah I blog so that must mean I know that I'm doing. Job going for Head of Strategy? Of course I'm ready for that, I've been blogging since 2006! I'm OG."

5: Free shit or money:
No one will complain if their blog gets huge traffic and makes money, or even just get sent free shit. When the money and free shit starts rolling in you'll become addicted to keeping that level of income and growing it.

"My eCPM is dropping and I don't know what to do."

6: Impress the friends:
Most people want a way to impress their friends. Show social worth. Having a blog is an easy box to tick and a way to seem interesting. That might be cynical but that's why iPhones are so popular too and why using a Mac is better than a PC. Can't afford a BMW or a fancy watch? just blog.

"Oh you don't blog? Well you're missing out. I can show you how sometime."

For me it's a combination of 1 & 2 and some of 5. Toss in a little bit of 4 too. It all started at 3 but that's gone as I hardly blog about me now. I only blog what I'm interested in or mostly stuff I think people will be interested in.

Some people become trolls and just like posting negative comments on blogs. It's their release and is still classified as being addicted to blogging.

Credit for the image above and a simple test to see "How addicted to blogging you are" can be found here.

The fact that blogs are much more of an influential media than the mainstream and that your audience probably reads more blogs now than traditional sites (and may not know it) is proof that blogging is the Fifth Estate or at least the new Fourth Estate.


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