Oh, an empty white box. So many directions to go. Pictures to search for and embed. Quotes to highlight. Font size to choose. The possibilities are endless. You write. You imagine. You create. You read and reread. Finally with a feeling of anticipation and excitement, you hit publish and there it is – part of the stratosphere of the Internet. Will they read it? Will they comment? What will they think? Then you read and reread. You feel proud about your creation.
Science is wonderful – because recently I found an explanation for these blogging joys when preparing the discussion section for a paper on social media use. This study examined 751 students in Taiwan with blogging experiences. They used structural equation modeling to examine whether theories about self-disclosure and social capital explain why blogging seems to make us feel good. They found that by self-disclosing through blogging, this increased social integration and social capital, which in turn increased subjective well-being.
The implications for SOVA and wiseSOVA from this study are especially meaningful. Based on our current work and feedback from our recent stakeholder advisory meeting, our next research step is to encourage some of our current users who have been so integral in helping to improve the site to start writing some of the blog posts themselves. One of the goals being to increase the authenticity and community building of the site as well as putting the direction of the site into the hands of its users. Knowing it may increase their well-being and build social capital is highly motivating.
Let us know what you think about this article and about blogging!