Why blogs endure: A study of recent college graduates and motivations for blog readership
This paper reports the results from a mixed methods study of recent college graduates who were asked if and why they used blogs as sources for continued learning purposes. Findings are based on 1,651 online survey responses and 63 follow-up telephone interviews with young graduates from 10 U.S. colleges and universities. Despite the media’s declarations about the impending demise of the blogosphere, almost two-thirds of the respondents (62 percent) had read blogs to fulfill their learning needs during the past 12 months. Blogs were an affordable source of information to these readers, especially for acquiring additional knowledge and closing skill gaps in their personal lives after college. Results from a logistic regression analysis indicated respondents were more likely to have read blogs during the past 12 months if they needed step-by-step instructions for hobbies, do-it-yourself household repairs, or money management and creating a personal budget. Respondents who used blogs were also more likely to also use complementary sources, such as educational videos on YouTube, to meet their learning needs. The concept of shared utility is introduced as a basis for explaining reasons for use of the blog format, and conclusions are drawn about why blogs, an early Web form, are still useful to millennials as sources of continued learning.
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