Somehow this paper disturbs me at work, so I better write it down.
My motivation for this study:
- I don’t want to be “blogs will save the world” person trying to convert people who don’t need a weblog into bloggers. I would like to help people finding if there is something for them in blogging. This is exactly what I call “blogging adoption” – making well-informed decision to use weblog or not.
- I have some ideas about blogging adoption process that emerge from my experience of answering many questions of “would be bloggers” and helping them to become bloggers. This study is a way to get a bit more clarity on it.
At this moment I assume that there are two important break points in the blogging adoption process:
First one is the moment of moving between thinking about starting a weblog and starting it. My experience is that many effects of blogging could be hardly explained before you tried it, so trying out is the best way to find “what’s in it for me”. At this moment there are many roadblocks ranging from technical difficulties (e.g. translating ideas you have into technical issues like software to use, hosting and so on) to lack of clarity on what blogging gives you. One of my friends is struggling with technical issues since last September (she was the one who asked me all the possible “how to” questions :) and I’m still not able to give her enough help to start.
The second break point is not a moment, but process of embedding blogging into your daily life – moving from trying out to regular use. I guess this process depends mainly on recognising and finding your own ways and motives to blog. For me the main danger at this stage is having “wrong weblog configuration” that does not allow discovering all benefits of blogging (e.g. without RSS and news aggregator person is less likely to discover social effects of blogging).
So, if I would make a short list of things that can make this process better I would say:
- Make good stories of how weblogs add value.
- Lower technical threshold to start. Ok, I know that it’s quite easy comparing to many other things, but some people are still struggling. Even understanding concepts of weblog, RSS, news aggregator requires some effort.
- Lower the risk that person starts with “wrong weblog configuration”. Don’t ask newbies to RSSify their weblog, but make sure their software has all the pieces of “killer app”.
It seems that I started to write paper conclusions before analysing the data :)