Why Do We Read Blogs?

Over the years I’ve read a lot of blog posts along the theme of “Why I Blog”. And every blogger has a story to tell about that. I’ve even told my own before now. But lately, what I’ve been wondering about far more is why people read blogs.

I read something the other day which suggested that most people read blogs to learn new information, answer questions or solve problems. And on the face of it, I disagree with this statement. I’d argue that’s what a large percentage of people use the internet-in-general most often for. But I wouldn’t specifically seek out a blog to answer most of the questions I pose to the web at large. In fact, I’m more likely to click through to something other than a blog if I regard it as more authoritative – and given that many blogs, especially those which aren’t part of a wider site, are simply personal sites with an individual behind them, they aren’t at the top of my list of “authoritative sources of information on the web”. Nothing wrong at all with opinions – and in fact they are something I do enjoy reading – but when I want to know what time my local post office closes, or the finer points about European history since the eighteenth century, a blog isn’t necessarily going to be my first port of call.

And I also can’t say that I’m all that fussed about using blogs to find lists of “This Season’s Style Must-Have’s” or the “Top Ten Greatest Baby Gadgets” as content such as this on a blog will be inherently opinionated. I’d much rather trawl through online stores myself, picking out what I fancy, what I like, what I need and all at a price that I can afford, rather than reading lists of what other people fancy, like, need and can (or cannot) afford. (Yes, I know I’m actually guilty of doing this one myself.)

What I read blogs for is much more basic. I read them because I’m curious. Nosy, if you prefer. I read personal blogs because I like to hear about other people’s lives. Their children, their homes, their medical conditions. And obviously, I tend to seek out people who have at least some similarities in their situations or outlooks to me. So historically that has included diabetes bloggers, twenty-somethings, wedding bloggers and now, finally mummy bloggers.

I like reading about how other people juggle parenthood with other aspects of their lives. I like seeing where they go for days out or on holiday. I take inspirations from the activities they try with their children, or what they feed them for lunch. I like to hear about the challenging moments – usually involving tantrums or ill-timed bodily emissions.

When I look back at that description though, I realise that perhaps I am reading blogs to learn new information after all. If I’m prepared to be totally honest with myself, I’m probably reading other mummy blogs to see how other people do it, in the hope of picking up some survival tips, and in the hope of receiving some validation that I’m not the only parent who occasionally hides in the kitchen to laugh at my child, or hides in the garden in the pouring rain in order to eat without sharing, just for once. I’m probably looking for some reassurance that I’m not the only mother who sometimes longs for privacy to do a wee, or the only parent who sometimes wonders just why they got themselves in to this!

So yes, that’s why I read blogs. And my goodness, they don’t half deliver!

What about you?


13 Replies to “Why Do We Read Blogs?”

  1. I do use blogs, now, to look for opinions on products, I wouldn’t of before. However I like them for mostly the same reasons. A. I’m nosy and B. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one that gets it wrong sometimes x

    1. I do also look for opinions and reviews some times, but usually for products that I’ve already researched and am thinking of getting, so I just want a real user perspective. I suppose blogs often tend to be my back up source of information, rather than a first port of call. But yes, it really is great to know other people have made the same mistakes as me! Thanks for your comment!

  2. I originally started my blog to document my sons speech delay and to connect with others who had kids with speech delays.

    I love reading others blogs, yes I like being nosey, but I also love finding out play ideas that I can adapt and do with Cameron.

    The blogging community is really awesome and I have met a lot of lovely people through it.

    Thank you for linking up with The Weekend Blog Hop

    Hope to see you again next weekend

    Laura x x x

  3. I like to read about other peoples experiences, whether that is being their lives with their children or a review of a product. Also I like to read about things I’ve experience and their take on them. I love blogs. x

    1. Yes, I think finding common ground and people who’ve had similar experiences, plus their thoughts on them, is one of the best things about blogs!

  4. As a relative newbie to blogging (I had a go about a year ago and stopped but have recently restarted with vigour) it’s great to hear you’re nosey. I’m nosey too and off to read your posts on diabetes (can I pretend that’s professional nosiness as I’m a doctor?) Also reading blogs gives me something to do whilst I’m breast feeding my twins (I can hold an iphone in one hand!)

    1. I forgot to mention how good blog posts are when feeding! They are usually just the right length for a sleep deprived brain to deal with in the newborn phase! And I think you can count reading the diabetes posts as some form of continuing professional development!

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