blogging

I’m Curious: Why do you read blogs?

84 Comments 07 February 2011

cheerios

This image has nothing to do with this post. I just like Cheerios. The American kind without a sugar glaze.

I love blogging.

Usually.

I love the discipline of writing ideas in a limited space, I love the feedback on those ideas, I love seeing other people’s work (images and writing), I love seeing the creative effort that goes into other blogs, I love learning new things from people online–like a giant coffee morning (with or without the hot drink), and I love the global networking.

But sometimes I am struck with the dark little mood: what’s the point to all this? Why on earth do people actually bother reading these things? Probably the same reasons as me.

Can I ask you? No, I am not asking why you read my blog. And I am not asking why you choose to blog.

I am curious why you read blogs, generally. What makes you click on a title? What makes you stay online five more minutes for a blog post? What makes you choose to follow a blog?

  • Is it for information and tips on a subject?
  • Do you read for sheer entertainment? Is this your coffee break fun?
  • Do you enjoy making online friends through blogs?
  • Is it to develop your writing (or other craft) by reading other people’s styles?
  • Anything else?

I would love to know–long answers, short answers, really honest anonymous answers, whatever–I’d love to know!

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84 Comments so far

  1. @Simply_Hayley says:

    Hmmmmm interesting question. I guess I read blogs because I love the way it gives you access to a diverse range of parents/families and their own different styles. Blogs can be an insight into others lives at times those are really opposite insights to your own or sometimes tey are extremely similar which can be comforting if you thought you were the only one that “operated” that way etc.

    • Michelloui says:

      Yes, I love this reason, it is a great way to learn about other ways of doing things, or dealing with things.

  2. LJB @ crankymonkeys in london says:

    I read blogs because:
    a) they’re written by my friends and/or relatives
    b) they’re written by someone I don’t know in real life but they’re funny / thought provoking / have beautiful photos / offer insight into life as an expat / give me ideas of where to travel to.

    I have connected with a lot of Estonians in England because of blogging and I’ve met some of them in person and became good friends.

    I don’t generally pay attention to people’s writing style as such. I’m not trying to become a “proper writer”, I just enjoy having a digital scrapbook of my life.

    I do check out other’s widgets and technical solutions to stuff I’d like to implement on my blog.

    And most of all – I’m addicted to reading blogs – it’s like reading 50 captivating books at the same time :)

    • Michelloui says:

      I like these reasons–I love the widgets and geeky stuff too (just wish I were a bit more technically talented).

  3. Alethea says:

    Quite frankly being a SAHM is lonely, and the fact that we moved to a new country in 2009 means I have no real opportunities to make ‘real life’ friends.
    My Hubby doesn’t really understand it, but he leaves me to it as it makes me happy.

    • Alethea says:

      Just realised the second bit of my comment disappeared …

      The first time I read a new blog it’s generally cause it catches me good title, but I have some blogs that I read regularly cause no matter what they write about I enjoy it.

      I read them to get out of housework, and because it’s a nice way to catch up on what’s happening in the bloggy world.
      It’s a way to fill my days, but without the pressure of an office job,

    • Rebecca says:

      I completely agree with you, Alethea. I’m not a stay at home mum, but I am a housewife and moved to the UK in 2010.

    • Michelloui says:

      Breaking the loneliness problem is a very excellent reason.

  4. different reasons. I read my friends’ blogs because it’s how I stay in touch with them and their lives. I read blogs with interesting titles because they interest me, and I read blogs that other ppl talk about to try to work out why they are talking about them :)

    that help at all?

  5. I read blogs for many of the same reasons you do. My main reason is this:

    Having lived in a number of foreign countries, I love reading blogs by other expats about their (mis)adventures living in alien cultures. Especially the more humorous ones, rather than the ones dealing with complicated social and political issues.

    There is a lot of fun and happiness to be found around the world, but so many people only ever hear about all the negative stuff on TV and from other media. Too sad!

    • Michelloui says:

      I completely agree that there is just so much negative stuff on TV and other media–it is fantastic to read a humorous or light-hearted blog!

  6. Abby says:

    I first started reading blogs (and blogging) while on maternity leave because none of my friends in England were pregnant or had children and I found it quite isolating. I now read the blogs of :

    * my friends back home because it’s an easy and more personal way to stay in touch than email

    * people whose parenting styles I agree with

    * people who take beautiful pictures or blog about things I’m interested in, like books, being an expat and travel

  7. Abby says:

    Also, I’m a bit voyeuristic and like looking into peoples homes! x

    • Michelloui says:

      I love riding double decker buses at twilight through London, so I can look in people’s houses as they come home from work and settle in for the evening–a total voyeur. So, yes, I completely understand this side of blog-reading!

  8. Expat Mum says:

    Hmmmm….good question. There’s no doubt that some I read regularly are just so well written (and usually not at all like my own style) that they take my breath away. I love good writing, and by that I don’t mean perfectly formed sentences, great adverbs etc. but just the way some bloggers capture a feeling or paint the perfect picture.

    I also think I must be a bit voyeuristic, and I always imagine other bloggers to have so much more interesting lives than me.

    I tend to click away if the page is too busy; I don’t like too many reviews (what’s the point?); I don’t like just photos (OK, maybe once in a while) or poetry and I don’t like bloggers who are full of themselves. Which possibly makes me sound a bit full of myself!

    • Michelloui says:

      I agree about good writing–perfect grammar does not make a fabulous writer! And I also agree about reviews. I only read a review post (sponsored or not) if it’s a product I’m interested in.

    • Deer Baby says:

      I do that too

  9. Rebecca says:

    I honestly didn’t read many blogs until 2009 when I went to Canada for 2 months to housesit for my friends. I was going to be alone with my friend’s 3 cats and would only know one person in the town (a friend of theirs) and I was going to need some entertainment other than talking to Tim (the now husband) non-stop on Skype. I had only really been on LiveJournal at that point (and still use it) and used LJ as a way to know what was going on in my friend’s lives and to keep them updated on mine. I started my blog mostly because I didn’t want my mom looking at my LJ since I tend to use LJ as a personal journal, and blogging as more of a public thing.

    Before 2009, I used Google Reader for a few blogs that friends of mine wrote, and over the past few years, I’ve gradually added other interesting blogs – mostly cooking, travel, and crafting.

    But now, I love both writing and reading. I love reading new blogs and reading people’s opinions, and I especially like reading other ex-pats blogs about their own experiences here. It makes me feel good to know I’m not the only one going through something!

    • Michelloui says:

      So it sort of evolved for you as your needs changed, that sounds like me too.

      • Rebecca says:

        Yeah. Every once in a while I go through the blogs I subscribe to in Google reader and pull things off that I no longer find interesting or that I don’t have time for…and I would say 9 times out of 10, I re-add the feed a few weeks later. I can’t tell you how many times I Can Haz Cheezeburger and Serious Eats have gone off and back on my reader!

  10. AHLondon says:

    It depends on the type of blog. I started reading blogs near the beginning and for news commentary as in the early days, many blogs were news/political and were the only way to get into and around your typical AP dispatch. They also quickly became good for geeky pop culture stuff, like ‘Is Professor Snape Dumbledore’s or Voldemort’s?’ stuff. I still mostly read them for news and geek things, but have now branched out for some entertainment in the same way I used to buy Cosmo or Glamour or watch reruns of Fraiser. Sometimes you just want to read fluffy things. I’ve only recently started reading expat blogs. Should’ve done that one earlier. It would have helped my transition to London, I’m sure.
    As for how I get to blogs, I started with a set that I trust or like and then usually get new links when they link. I have a long circuit of bookmarks that I go through and scroll for posts that interest me.

    • Michelloui says:

      I agree that expat blogs would have been useful in the early expat days!

      • Rebecca says:

        Ex-pat blogs are EXCELLENT. I started reading them in 2008 before I moved in addition to posting on message boards to get a feel for life in the UK, and I absolutely love that even though I’m not close to some of the people who write ex-pat blogs I read, I feel like I can go to any of those writers for advice.

      • Rebecca says:

        Ex-pat blogs are EXCELLENT. I started reading them in 2008 well before I moved (before I even knew for sure Tim and I would get married!) in addition to posting on message boards to get a feel for life in the UK, and I absolutely love that even though I’m not close to some of the people who write ex-pat blogs I read, I feel like I can go to any of those writers for advice.

  11. Janice says:

    I read a handful of blogs; some for humour and entertainment and some (as others have said) for a commentary on expat life. If I follow a personal blog, it’s because the writer intrigues me – either because there are similarities in our lifestyles, or because they are so very different. In the end I find the personal blogs to be the most interesting.

    • That’s really interesting that you find the personal blogs most interesting. Perhaps because of their very personal nature, and usually because there are no hidden sales agendas or the lack of a clear cut niche, personal blogs can be the most original (and thus, interesting!).

  12. Tara Booth says:

    I like to blog that give a glimpse into an ordinary life, somewhere else in the world. While I enjoy the BIG blogs (think Pinoeer Woman) because they are interesting, I tend to comment more on ‘small’ blogs.
    Why I stay? I don’t like blogs that are preachy or overly negative. I do like real life and telling it like it is. I like blogs that share the ups and downs-that let you know that you’re not alone. Life is remarkably alike, regardless of where you are in the world.

    And recipes. I love me some fooooood blogs!

  13. JGregg says:

    I would have to say it has to do with the “wisdom of crowds” sort of thing. As William F. Buckley used to opine, “I’d rather be governed by the first 500 names in the Boston phone book than the faculty of Harvard.” It’s true, IMHO, that the home-spun wisdom of the many is generally spot-on. generally, I said, there are some serious exceptions to be found here!

    I also think, if you look at the LATimes.com (my local paper of record) and other majors, you’ll see dozens of blogs appearing on their on masthead.

    thx.

  14. Hmmm, thought-provoking. I think my reasons are:
    1) Because I find them entertaining, insightful and…thought-provoking
    2) Because they expand my horizons and expose me to different lives and experiences
    3) Because I can’t really expect anyone to read my blog if I don’t bother reading anyone else’s – it’s a reciprocal/community thing – isn’t it?
    4) Because I’m nosey!!

  15. Mid 30s Life says:

    I like to read funny posts for a good laugh – and if it makes me laugh out loud, as they often do, that is a wonderful bonus.

    A great side-effect I hadn’t counted on was getting an insight into people’s everyday lives. For example, I read a couple of blogs written by mothers with ill children and I had no idea of the choices and routines that are part of their everyday lives.

    It’s rare that I read reviews though.

  16. Linda says:

    I started reading blogs after I got laid off in 2009. I searched for expat blogs because I felt I would be returning to England, and I have lived in the US since 1969. Then I got hooked. If I liked the bloggers style (words, happenings, whatever) I kept on reading, and now I keep up with several which I enjoy. Sometimes happy, occasionally sad but I keep going. And I will be returning in a couple of weeks. So in many senses I will be an expat in my own country of birth. I rarely add comments as everyone else seems to do it so well.

    • Yes, you will be an expat in your own country! I imagine you have visited England since you left and know that the England you left is not the England you’ll return too. It will be an adjustment, but you’ll be happy if you have an open mind and determined to adapt again. Good luck!

    • It’s interesting that you used the word ‘hooked’ because I do hear a lot of people describe it as an addiction–but that’s mostly bloggers, not readers! I love that you love reading them so much. Thank you for your comment. And very best of luck with the move!

  17. I read blogs for all kinds of reasons. Some because they are great writers. Some because they are brutally honest about their lives and I find that very refreshing, and interesting. Some because they live give you a new perspective on perfectly ordinary events. Some because they just seem like really lovely people. I don’t only follow people who seem similar to myself though – I like to find out about different lives, and different lifestyles. I sometimes think that reading a handful of blogs is like reading a really great magazine, but without the PR guff and try-hard journalism.

  18. Rebecca says:

    I also should add that I like to read comments and check out the blogs linked by comment posters! I find loads of great blogs that way (and might have even found yours that way, now that I think about it).

  19. Lucy says:

    Spending time reading blogs is SO important to me. I read them because:

    Whilst I have real-life friends, it’s so nice to find people who you can relate to on the web, see how they deal with things and get tips!

    I don’t travel far (live just 10 miles from where I was born!) so it really expands my horizons to read about other peoples lives and experiences.

    I am nosey!

  20. Iota says:

    I liken blogging to reading a Sunday newspaper in the old days. You can browse around, and read posts on such a huge variety of subjects. You can travel the world, pick up self-help tips, learn random facts about things that you’ve never thought about. It’s just such a rich experience.

    That’s part of it. But the other part, which I never got from a Sunday newspaper, is that you get to know the writers. That makes it richer still.

    Like Expat Mum, I love the quality of the writing. I absolutely adore those moments when I read something and think ‘aaaah… yes… I know EXACTLY what she means… but I couldn’t have expressed it that well myself’. My own writing has improved a lot, from the practice of blog-writing, but also from reading so many top notch writers.

    Great post.

  21. A friend set me up a blog in Feb 2007 to record our Singapore expat years and from their I found I could read about ordinary people’s lives. It’s addictive but then slowly, you build relationships and then you actively choose to be a part of that person’s life via their blog. Then there are some blogs I read because they are full of images I love, or viewpoints you don’t find in mass media or, or, or.

    I’m disillusioned with mass media and blogs are the source of “more” whatever area I am exploring.

    Good post Michelle, I am so interested to go back now and read the other comments.

    MD x

    • Michelloui says:

      Thanks for your comment, Im glad you enjoyed this discussion–it’s been fascinating to me. The building relationships based on these little windows that we know of each other is an interesting phenomena–some sociologist somewhere must be studying it!

  22. Before starting my own blog, I hadn’t read any expat blogs. The blogs that I was reading were a fairly esoteric bunch. I was either following someone who I previously liked for their writing or for the subject matter that they were writing about. So the main blogs that I was reading (and still am) were the likes of Patrick Kurp’s Anecdotal Evidence (about literature), Morbid Anatomy (history of medicine), as well as bigger, less personal blogs such as Boing Boing. To be honest, blogs were just sites that I put into my google reader and read as and when I could. I didn’t comment on blogs, just as I never felt the need to comment on an article I might read in the Guardian. I didn’t really, and perhaps still don’t, think of them as “blogs” (which conjured up thoughts of tedious online diaries to me) they were just websites that I’d found and liked that contained regular writing that either interested me, fascinated me, or made me laugh. I never really noticed that they might be on blogger or wordpress.

    When starting a blog myself, something I’d been toying with for awhile, I expanded my reading to other expat blogs. In addition, I started commenting on blogs which is something I previously hadn’t done before. I’m the sort of person who can happily be a member of a discussion forum for years and yet will rarely feel the need to write on it myself. I’m the perennial lurker. So once I had my own blog, I started commenting a lot more, partly to try and build my own readership and partly because I now knew how satisfying it can be to get a comment (and how demoralizing it can be to get no comments). So yes, I guess I do enjoy the community aspect. I enjoy having regulars who comment on my posts, and those that I do likewise.

    Of course, I primarily read expat blogs solely for enjoyment. What keeps me reading certain blogs over others is the writing and the personality of the blogger behind it. There’s no particularly style of writing that I favor over another, some blogs are descriptive, some go for a more essay-like format, and others are conversational. I’m game for all. I would say I don’t like it when it becomes about someone’s daily routine, but then that’s not strictly true as some bloggers here can do just that, and do it brilliantly. They take something banal that happened to them and open it up into a larger point beautifully. The main turn-off for me is if I don’t like the writing or I don’t warm to the personality behind the blog, well, that’s the real killer for me. But it’s not as if they’re forcing me to read their blogs so I don’t make a regular point of reading those blogs I’m not so keen, and I certainly don’t comment on them.
    One thing that surprised me early on is the overlap that exists between expat blogs and mummy blogs. I find myself reading a fair number of mummy blogs which is…unexpected. I’ve noticed two things that seem to crop up more with mummy (or daddy) bloggers that’s not as common with the expat blogger. Firstly, the parenting blogs often seem to have what could be described as assignment posts. You’ll come across dozen or so bloggers all posting on the same topic one week. I don’t mean in the organic way like this week’s tea discussion where Iota wrote a post and then you responded with your view-point. That’s someone’s ideas and views inspiring others, and when that happens it’s great and exciting. What I refer to is more where 20 bloggers are all listing their favourite films or favourite books. Yes, it must be great for fostering a sense of community among those bloggers, and I’ve no problems with it from that perspective, but purely as a casual reader, who isn’t part of that clique, I find myself skipping those sort of posts. I guess I like my blogs to have some sort of focus on what niche or niches they’re concerned with, and I feel that type of posts, for me, detracts from that focus. It often feels like it would be more appropriate as a conversation on a discussion forum rather than as a series of posts on a disparate number of blogs. Second point is I don’t like it when blogs are cluttered with graphics displaying “awards” particularly as those awards often just awarded by another blogger, it’s hardly like someone has won an Emmy. It’s partly because of my own anti-award views, but also it does make blogs look like an over earnest boy scout with all his badges sewed on his sleeve. I think if you really like a blog there’s no need to manufacture an award, putting a link to that blog is more than award enough.

    • Michelloui says:

      Wow, thanks for all of that. I agree with you on the blogger awards. They’re sweet and whenever someone has given me one I am pleased they have thought of me–usually. But some awards some with strings like ‘to accept this award you must write fifty things you want to do before tomorrow then list 25 bloggers to tag.’ What?! How is that an award? It’s a punishment and you know you only got the award because the person before you was scrambling around for people to tag. Ugh. And you;re right about the boy scout badge look.

      You made an excellent point about the memes that move like viruses through the communities. As a new blogger I kind of liked them because it brought more people to my blog–albeit only people in a clique, as you say. And it also gave me a blog post when I was still getting into the groove. It is interesting that you have noticed this about the parent bloggers, and really interesting that as a reader you see it as a clique, and uninteresting. That’s a really fantastic point people should keep in mind.

      I also think it’s interesting that before you had a blog you didn’t leave comments–as you wouldn’t when reading a Guardian article, but once you did start blogging and realised the benefits to you as a blogger (building readership) and the benefits to the writer (feedback) you did start to leave comments. It would explain to me why several people who I know read this blog (but who are not bloggers) don’t leave comments, and that makes sense!

      Thanks very much for the comment, it has added a lot to the discussion!

  23. Deer Baby says:

    Fascinating discussion. I read a whole variety of blogs for all different reasons. Some of them are aspirational – pretty pictures and lovely crafts that I can dream about if I’m in the mood for that. Some are raw and honest and the writing is so amazing I keep going back for more – once you’re are hooked into someone’s story it’s addictive. I tend to go less for advice and practical tips and reviews. Just not my bag at the moment. I read a lot of American and Canadian blogs.

    • Michelloui says:

      Interesting that you mention the American and Canadian blogs–I was wondering how many people on both sides of the atlantic read each others’ blogs.

  24. I read funny and interesting posts, or human ones. I don’t read reviews or promos. I don’t really look at pictures either. And I like to make online friends.

  25. Rachel says:

    I think Iota said it best. It is my newspaper over morning coffee — reading blogs. I have to admit that many I used to read have petered off into twice yearly postings, which saddens me. I like to read for a laugh, for a smile, and even for more serious topics. I like the topics on your blog and what I like most of all is that you respond to your comments. There is nothing like checking up on someone’s blogs to see if they noticed your comment and seeing a real honest-to-goodness response!

    • Michelloui says:

      Haha! Im so glad you said you like that I reply to comments because I do try very hard to reply even if it is a few days later. If I don’t reply it means I am spinning far too many plates that week! I started doing it because I really like it when bloggers reply to mine. Nice to ‘see’ you again, by the way :)

  26. Janew says:

    I mostly read expat blogs and mummy/daddy blogs, depending on their location, writing, humour and mostly for the experiences they write about. I love reading a blog and thinking “wow, that’s exactly what happens to me” or “I can’t believe that’s how they do it there”. I am also a lurker, but I follow many blogs because I feel I have “gotten to know” the blogger.
    You really are very good at replying to comments, where do you find the time :)

    • Michelloui says:

      This is a really interesting comment because I always like to know about ‘lurkers’ and their thoughts! :) I lurk on a lot of blogs. Sometimes I comment and sometimes I don’t depending on time (almost like my own blog!) but I enjoy reading them anyway for the same reasons you highlight.

  27. Michelle-

    What an amazing response! Personally, I don’t read a ton of blogs REGULARLY. I read a handful of blogs but I don’t use a Reader any longer as I prefer to go TO the blog as I like to see what the blog looks like.

    I am a truly BEAKY person so that’s why I like to read blogs. I love to know what’s going on in other’s lives and see what their lives look like. In that regard, I also read some blog posts because I KNOW they’re going to be a train wreck of mis-spellings and bad grammar. Why do I do that? I don’t know!

    I tend to read more blogs now thanks to Twitter and to Blog Hops, Carnivals and Linkys than just trawling through the blogosphere. For me, I rarely look at a “blog roll” and select a blog from there…in fact, I may delete the one I have on my own blog!

    What I do like, recently, are the two linky challenges- The Gallery and Silent Sunday. They’re making a lot of people pick up their cameras and have something to say through photos which can be much more powerful than words sometimes. Thanks to those challenges, I am visiting a lot more blogs and making quick comments which is no trouble at all. I visited over 100 blogs yesterday and commented on almost every one which makes me feel good to share the love!

    Thanks so much for this post…you are a thought-provoking bloggess! ;)

    Karin

  28. Return to Norway says:

    I read blogs because I find people interesting. My own blog is so that I can formulate my feelings, ideas and thoughts. Once in a while I’ll go on a ‘search’ for new blogs to read but – I always tend to fall back on the expat blogs. Maybe because I feel there’s a ‘common ground’ – not sure what it is.

  29. Molly says:

    I read blogs for a variety of different reasons, because the subject matter engages me or challenges or is something I can identify with. To help stimualte my imagination and writing often I will read/see something that will cause an idea to florish in my miind. To see what other people or up too…..plain old noseiness I guess.

    I certainly don’t write a traditional ‘mummy blog’ and my subject matter means that I tend to follow blogs in a similar theme but every now and then I discover one that covers a subject that is close to my heart. Your blog is one of them as my partner is in the process of moving to the UK from the US to live with me. Another expat American to add to the list.

    Mollyxxx

    • Michelloui says:

      Thanks for your comment Molly, and thank you for following! I find it too difficult to focus completely on a traditional mummy blogging niche–so much easier to just be a mummy who blogs rather than be a mummy blogger.

      Another American expat, hurrah! I hope the transition goes well for you both. x

  30. FayC says:

    I’m a nosey person, so blogs are perfect for me to get to know a bit more about the writer.

    What attracts me to a blog or post? An interestestingly abstract title helps! If when I read it, it makes me laugh, its a bonus. If it makes me think, even better.

    And as a new blogger myself I now comment more than I ever did before I started. I get a lovely glow when someone posts a comment and hope to do the same when I do! Now all I have to do is work out how I reply to the people who took the time to comment on my blog, and I will be onto a winner!

    • Michelloui says:

      I prefer ‘curious’ as a description, rather than ‘nosey’–I’m the same as you though!

      I wish I could be humorous in my writing because funny trumps every time, but as I am not a natural comedienne I go for thought provoking some of the time and helpful or at least vaguely interesting the rest of the time.

      Yes, it’s only when you have your own blog that you realise just how very lovely those comments are! When I started and didn’t have the widget for replying to commentors like I do here, I just added my own reply on my post and replied to the readers in that. Will that work? It relies on people returning to look for a reply but many do anyway.

  31. Vivien Sabel says:

    Well hello Michelle

    Why do I read and when do I read blogs..well…I am drawn to continue reading when a blog is brief, interesting and with a drop of humour. I read blogs that interest me. This could be associated with new or old learning; connected to my main areas of interest. A plain old funny blog is good too. Enjoyment means a little different to the norm and one’s which give me a sense of who is communicating with me.

    Thanks for linking up with my blog. I’ve responded to your comments. Best Viv

  32. Stigmum says:

    What a terrific question!! Great comments!! I’ve linked this to a post I’ve written about not knowing what to write!! Why do I read blogs? All kinds of reasons! Mostly the writing grabs me or someone’s honesty does or someone’s humour about something really quite awful or sad.. but that’s writing again isn’t it?! Maybe they said something once, maybe they say things now and then, maybe they’re always saying things that resonate with me on some level. I don’t always read blogs, like I don’t always read books, a matter of concentration perhaps, but I do always go back to both!! It’s a great world isn’t it, cyberspace?!

  33. Vegemitevix says:

    Wow! A huge number of responses and such interesting honest answers. Why do I read blogs? – For entertainment, for information, for identification. For all those reasons I read magazines or books. Well written blogs make me laugh and cry and question and sometimes they provoke me to say something. That’s the best part of reading blogs.

    Why do I write a blog? Because I need to write without censure. I need sometimes to cut open a vein and bleed onto the screen. Sometimes it all comes out well, and I feel I’ve communicated what is going on in my life in a way that I think can help raise a smile, or provide support to other people. Other times I get frustrated at my ineptitude, so I keep blogging to hone my skills. The memories of those magic moments, when I feel I’ve reached out from my screen and touched someone, are such a strong elixir, that they keep me writing.

    • Michelloui says:

      I am really pleased people are still commenting on this because it is a really interesting discussion and it means people are still reading it and gaining from it! Yes, blogs like magazines and even better–they’re interactive, as you say.

      ‘Cut open a vein’, I love it! That really is how it can be. And yes, when you know you’ve touched someone from that process it is a very amazing moment.

  34. Hi there,

    I usually look for a blog the personal point of view about something. If I’m searching for expats in a country, I would like to know the small particular things about the country. Or if I’m interested in a movie, book, etc, sometimes I’m following blogs that make reviews. It’s a different point of view.

    I’m writing a blog but it’s more like a diary, an excuse to recomend things that I like, places where I’ve been or just share my concerns and joys.

    Take care,
    M.

  35. For me, they have replaced magazine and newspaper reading, for the most part. I also read blogs of friends (sometimes). I also like to read them because I’m not looking for news; I’m looking for opinion and current ideas that people are discussing. I’m also looking for others with similar interests, experiences, and problems to my own.

  36. Lynn K. Lees says:

    I can relate to a lot of the reasons covered in the other comments. I decided to start my own blog to cover my temporary move to Singapore. It was a way to keep family and friends up to date with what was happening in a simple way. Having never done this kind of thing it was quite nerve wracking, especially figuring out how to edit and be creative in my blog (still learning about all the buttons and widgets lol!!) so reading other peoples helps me figure out what I can (try) to do.

    It is also a great way to keep me busy and make my 50 year old brain do some work ha ha!!

    I love yours, so thanks.

    Lynn

  37. Louise says:

    I wonder the same thing all the time. I am a blogger and LOVE to read other people’s blogs.
    Most of the blogs I read are by women who blog for a living, it makes me want to blog as a job too but I don’t get that much traffic. I always wonder why people stick around on other sites and what it is that these bloggers have that I don’t. I wish I was more technically minded and aware of tags and SEO’s but I’m just not….I just love to write and empty the thoughts in my head.
    So, for now, I will continue to be a stay at home mum and blog for fun, all the while enjoying the lives of the women I read about everyday.

    Great Question, got the old grey matter working there….and thats what its all about eh??

    Louise

    • Michelloui says:

      Glad you enjoyed thinking about this one. Its been really interesting reading everyone’s thoughts!

  38. Umm Ibraheem says:

    I am a 27 yr old mother of 2 children under 3 yrs old. I live in London. As you can imagine my whole day-to-day life revolves around my babies. I’m Muslim, I’m a Paediatric Nurse (on Mat leave). I love talking to other mothers of all walks of life.

    But I’m also quite isolated sometimes due to having such small children.

    I like having a glimpse into the lives of people I would not normally get a chance to speak to/meet!

    • Michelloui says:

      I think this is one of the very best things about blogs and I wish I had a blog when my daughter was tiny–it opens up the world to people who have previously been very isolated. It’s a meeting place, a friendship circle, and a great place to share and learn!

      Thanks for your comment, interesting thoughts! I’m glad you find blogs helpful for this.

  39. I read blogs because I love the blogging community, especially Mums who blog. I’ve made so many great friendships and it’s wonderful to have so much support. Not to mention sharing our trials and tribulations with one another!

  40. I’m selective in the blogs I follow. I have many more followers than I follow. Life’s too short to get bogged down, and that can happen.
    Why do I follow a blog? Usually it’s about something I can’t do very well, such as photography. Or it may be a blog that tempts me to do something I’ve never done, such as write haiku or poetry.
    One of the big draws for me when I’m looking for new blogs is the gravatar. I’ve ‘met’ quite a few people who like Edward Hopper as much as I do.
    I will not follow a blog if the opening line of every post concerns the fact that the blogger had scrambled eggs for breakfast. That sort of thing should stay on Facebook. Nor will I follow blogs that consist entirely of EE card memes. That’s for Facebook too.
    Last reason to follow blogs? If you’re awake at some godawful hour, someone somewhere in your bolg world will be up and compos mentis, and unlike on FB will not be concerned solely with posting photos of how wrecked they are

  41. Julie says:

    Wow, a huge number of responses, and most of them probably also apply to me. Nosiness is a big one…but mainly because I just love reading. And, to be honest I don’t have time to read as many books as I once did or would like. Blogs for me, therefore, are a little bit like magazines – things I can flick through in a lunch break quickly. Posts tend to be just the right length for that!
    I also read a huge number of interiors/design blogs just to look at the pretty picures and for inspiration.

  42. Finally, I am back to comment! Well, like many others here, the reasons I read blogs are varied and change all the time. I started reading blogs that people sent to me back in 2007 when my Mum passed away. I was aware of them before, but only regularly read the ones my ‘real world’ friends wrote. Before 2007, I had been pretty active in the spoken word poetry scene (I know many people don’t like poetry, but hey, that’s me…) and after a couple of years of reading about grief – which did help, to a point – I decided to stop being passive and started my own blog – Honest Speaks (http://honestspeaks.wordpress.com/) to get me writing again. Around the same time I got into twitter – curiosity took me there and friends kept me going back. I then read blogs to improve my writing, to learn more about things I didn’t know about and to meet new people online. What initially attracts me to a blog though, is curiosity. If I’m not curious about the content I won’t read it. I am a very curious person though! I like to learn new things.

    In 2011 I had my son, and a second blog – Mothering Mushroom – was born. I started this because my audience over at Honest Speaks – then – wasn’t interested in the baby stuff and I wanted to meet like minded parents – as well as parents who do things differently, so that I could learn about other ways to do things, too. Posts that interest me most tend to be a about an issue I am also struggling with, and/or humour! I admire those who churn out hilarious posts all the time.

    As for reviews, I hadn’t thought about it but as a few of the comments mention them… I do read reviews if either the product/event/activity interests me and/or the post is written in an original way. Even if I’m not interested in a product I might still read a review if I think it will make me laugh!

    Umm…. I’m sure there are more reasons but I won’t go on. I told you it would be a rambling comment! Thanks for the thought-provoking question. That’s what brought me here, by the way. Oh, and if I like people I go back to read more! I will be back :-)

    • Thanks for this comment. :) ‘Honest Speaks’ is such a cool name for a blog! And these are all wonderful reasons for reading blogs–to connect, learn from others, see how others do whatever it is you’re currently doing…

      Looking forward to checking out Mothering Mushroom–another great blog name!

  43. Judith says:

    I’m quite nosy and I love finding out about other people’s lives – but what keeps me reading is if someone writes well and is entertaining. Especially if they make me think.


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