Thesis Results

I know several of you starting following my blog as a result of helping with my thesis by taking an online survey. I truly appreciate your help. Every survey was invaluable and helped me make sense of my data piece by piece.

I found some interesting things from my data I can share now that it has been fully accepted, signed off on, and turned in.

To summarize my thesis- I was researching mommy blogs- the identity of the mommy bloggers, the blog content, and the blogging community. I surveyed 1157 female bloggers from every state in the US except Montana, New Hampshire and Vermont. Most were educated with 64% reporting a 4 year college degree or higher.

For identity: I used a measurement that measured identity in terms of 6 things: likeability, power, morality, task accomplishment, vulnerability, and giftedness. My interesting results were that I found that the typical mommy blogger scored high in likeability (compared to other groups tested using this instrument), scored low on power, and scored very high on task accomplishment. This means the results demonstrate that the typical mommy blogger sees herself as very likeable, very efficient at completing tasks, but low in power.

For content: I found that there were two groups of mommy bloggers, in terms of what they blogged about. One group (we called them Family-Focused bloggers) blogged mostly about family and closely related topics (like Religion and parenting) while the other group (whom we called Family-Plus Focused bloggers) blogged about family and such, but ALSO predominantly about external topics like news, technology, and entertainment. So Family-Focused bloggers mostly blog about their family, while Family-Plus Focused bloggers also take on other outside topics.

For blogging community: I found that interaction on blogs creates blogging community. Simply reading blogs did not make someone feel a part of the blogging community. However, writing and commenting on blogs DID make someone feel like a part of the community. So in order to feel like a part of the blogging community, a blogger must interact with other bloggers by writing and commenting on other blogs.

I also found cool connections like, the higher the score on the identity scale the stronger the sense of community. So the stronger the blogger’s identity, the more likely she is to experience the blogging community. I also found connections between the blogger’s identity and content. I found that Family-Plus Focused bloggers reported higher scores on power and giftedness than Family-Focused bloggers. The two groups of bloggers were similar in the other 4 identity dimensions. But Family-Plus Focused bloggers reported feeling more powerful and more gifted than Family-Focused bloggers.

So that’s what I found. My thesis (which had 59 pages of actual text…and was 97 pages total!) goes into much more technical detail about the study and the results…but that’s it in a nutshell. It was really cool to study this group and add to academic knowledge of mommy bloggers…and many people think mommy blogging is for pictures of snotty kids and advice on which brand of diapers to buy. And I think we all know (and my study demonstrates) that it is much more than that.


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