Friday, December 9, 2011

Finally, some "Haws"

When I started this blog I named it "Hems & Haws" for a reason. I meant to do some Hemming (sewing, crafting, DIYing) and also some Hawing (opinions, talk about my research, reviews). Since the blog started in May of 2011 there has been exactly 1 Haw post and nearly 100 Hem posts. Today that number changes. Here comes Haw number 2.

I have been doing a lot of research and writing about the home, privacy, and family communication lately. Meanwhile, one of my colleagues was writing a piece about computer mediated communication (communicating online) and why in some situations people feel comfortable posting/commenting/contributing and in others they do not. Some of the previous research says it has to do with to whether or not you can post anonymously or have to reveal your identity, but other factors come into play like whether the website seems credible and you trust it, whether you will ever go back to the website again, and whether someone out there in internet land is monitoring the comments.

I found all of this information to be very relevant to my blog, especially because it is a lot of fun to get comments from my readers. I love to read them and now that I know how that feels as a blogger, I take extra time to comment on other blogs. I wonder just how intertwined we are as bloggers. Do most blog readers have blogs themselves? I know my blog reading habits have gone up exponentially the longer I have been a blogger. 6 months ago I maybe read one or two occasionally. Now I have at least 5 that I check daily (sometimes twice a day) and 20 or 30 others I check every few days. Not to mention the blogs I find via Pinterest that I check when I pin a new idea or need the instructions on how to do something.

Another part of her paper talked about research that found that only 4% of adult Americans have a blog. Sometimes it feels like everyone and their mother has a blog, and mine is one out of a gazillion out there, but I guess that is not true. If I actually think about my personal life I only really know one other person that has a blog. (P.S. She is fabulous - you should check out her blog here). That same study found that 10% of adults read others' blogs and only 8% post comments (and that of course is not on every blog they read). When I think about the amount of people I know who don't really understand the internet all that well, or actively avoid technology, I guess these low numbers are understandable. But then I read that the study also found that 77% of adult Americans use the internet everyday. That is A LOT of people. Shouldn't there be more people reading my blog then? :-)

I kind of like the way this "Haw" feels. Maybe I will be back with more about my family communication and home environment research findings. It is really all related to home decorating/design. Privacy is too for that matter. Great big airy rooms are such a trend right now... have you ever thought about what they do to family member perceptions of privacy? 

So I want to hear from you then... let's call this a social experiment. Will any of you comment if I explicitly ask you to? If you do end up commenting does that mean you are also a blogger? Will you even be able to figure out how to comment on this blog? My mom tells me it is confusing all the time. Have you ever thought about starting a blog but decided not to for some reason? Have you all stopped reading by now? I guess we will see. Boy this will be humiliating if absolutely no one comments. :-) Maybe I will write a research paper about it.

And because I am an academic, I could not possibly leave you without citing my source for those earlier data, APA style and all:
Pew Research Center.  (2011).  Trend data.  Pew internet and American life project.  Retrieved from
McNallie, J. (2011). Participant or lurker: Toward an integrative model of online interaction behavior.


Anna said...

I think I have commented before, but I will do so again. I do blog, when I remember/have time. Hope you have a great day! is my blog btw :)

Megan said...

I love this Haw! It definitely makes you think about how we use the internet. I know I've thought about starting a blog many times. In high school, a lot of my friends (and me!) used Livejournal, which turned out to be a place for emo teens to wax philosophical, and there were some really interesting trends on there. I also had a poetry blog. But I've wanted to start a real blog and never have. Somehow it feels a little scary to put yourself out there! But I hope this gets bunches of comments. Your Haws will be fun for all of us to read. :-)

Scott said...

I think a lot of people in our generation have started a blog but stopped after a few posts! I am one of those people. I started a blog when I was living in France and made a total of five posts. Bravo for maintaining your blog past that honeymoon phase!

By the way, blogs can have an impact even if people don't find them right away. There's a blog on cooking and living on a tight budget that I found by a post about cooking beans. I liked it so much that I read another post, and another, until pretty soon I had spent the whole evening reading that blog. It was really fun!

Now that I finally found your blog, I can read your old posts like a twelve-year-old rediscovering the Chronicles of Narnia!

Anonymous said...

Okay, you have forced me to comment...I am from the generation before you....I do not blog...but do have an app on my ipad that I keep shortcuts to the blogs I do visit occasionally...yours included....I find some of them a bit like watching reality t.v. a little voyeristic.....but I do enjoy yours.

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