So, why do people blog about work?

At the beginning of the month I set out to contact people who blogged about work and asked them to fill in a brief questionnaire about their blogging habits. So far I have had 50 responses out of 140 requests (roughly 36 per cent). The responses, to me, are quite staggering and go right against emerging myths that people who blog about work are just letting off steam or mischief makers. I have produced ten main reasons for why people blog about work-related matters. However, this is my opinion alone and based on a brief analysis of the data. Please offer me your opinions on my categorisation, the actual comments of bloggers themselves, and anything else on this blog that catches your eye. Either email me direct or leave a message with the 'comments' function.

My categorisation of why people blog about work (in no particular order)

1) Let other people see what really happens in their workplace, i.e. informal whistleblowing
2) Let out frustrations and decrease stress levels - a coping mechanism
3) An educational source or outlet for tacit expertise, i.e. on a professional or extra-professional basis (informal and personal continous personal development?)
4) A source of shared entertainment or knowledge - create/sustain a sub-group identity either inside or outside workplace
5) Connect with similar minds and seek affirmation of viewpoints and experiences
6) Make sense of work-related experience
7) Make up for lack of fulfillment at work, i.e. boring and/or degrading job leads to creative writing - pursual of a worthwhile and rewarding hobby
8) Challenge public or media stereotypes of certain jobs, occupations or professions
9) A sense of having something interesting to offer other bloggers or public in general, i.e. amusing tales from the workplace
10) Seek indirect retribution against employer or particular employee (typically a manager)

What 50 work-related bloggers had to say for themselves

1. As my way to sort out my feelings educate the public about conditions in call centres. Letting off steam
2. Letting off steam
3. To help keep things in perspective and to inform the public
4. I blog as an outlet. I like writing, and it makes the day go by faster
5. Just for fun, keep the company staff moral up
6. To improve public understanding, and to have fun
7. To interact with like-minded or like-employed people from around the world
8. As a sounding board
9. My work generates great stories
10. It's where I spend most of my waking hours and one of the things I end up thinking about most
11. To get women
12. I've always enjoyed writing, and always wanted a job which involved writing. The job I was in when I started the blog didn't really give me the opportunity to write, so I started the blog as an outlet
13. Fulfill creative need
14. To inform others of the real world
15. I feel my job is interesting and may be to others
16. It is a way of relieving stress with others who may share my frustrations and it is a good forum in which to exchange ideas
17. Because it helps me relieve some pressure. I enjoy it and I know the topic well enough to discuss it intelligently
18. To unload
19. As another creative outlet
20. I blog to reveal the ups & downs of policing. It also helps to let off steam
21. To give my audience an insight of what it's like to work in pre-hospital medicine, furthermore, giving the audience an idea of the specific encounters pre-hospital professionals experience working
22. To chronicle the year, to connect with others
23. Blogging about work gives me a neutral space for complaining/reflecting about work
24. To reflect upon my work, to create a history of my work, and to connect with others in my field
25. Releasing aggro
26. Work's a big part of my life and identity, and I'm trying to figure it out
27. Creativity
28. Stress relief...Good to do something creative for a change
29. My work doesn't offer help processing nor training necessary for the intensive nature of the work we do. I learn from writing & from reader's comments and gain support from readers after tough days
30. Because my work is what I do
31. To see if there is any interest in it for the readers of my magazine
32. For fun, we don't put anything critical of the company or people, and keep things anonymous
33. Why not?
34. I blog; therefore I set my blog to a work background as it is continually produces enough items of interest to me
35. Hobbies, creative impulse to write
36. To practice my writing skills. It's the subject I know best
37. I wrote about events leading to my leaving my job
38. So that everyone else can feel a bit better about their lives!!
39. Hate my job
40. Ease frustration and keep a record of how I was actually feeling at a certain time. A diary if you wish
41. I blog as a stress outlet. my workplace is unavoidably ridiculous and my writing relieves the built-up tension
42. I like writing and I have a short attention span so Blogging is an ideal format for me
43. Just had stories I wanted to get out there
44. Because I need somewhere to vent
45. My blog is a conspirified version of my work intertwined with news stories
46. I think that what I do is of interest to some people and helps raise the level of understanding of what I specifically do
47. Provide insight into all aspects of death investigation
48. In my line of work, sometimes I need a way to vent
49. As a self therapy
50. Its a way of getting my own back at the bosses and its better than putting it on a message board because of censorship rules

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