April 16, 2008

A study found that people who read blogs feel that "checking favorite blogs is part of a routine that they feel compelled to repeat each day."

The dreaded horrors of addiction strike. Oh, no!

But isn't it compensated for by not feeling compelled to buy the newspaper or sit through the nightly network news?

Funniest sentence in the linked article: "It’s important to note that the study was small—with only 15 subjects—and took place in one area (Irvine, Calif.)." Well, hell, we can do a bigger study that that right here, right now. What do you say? Are you suffering from addiction to reading your favorite blogs?

44 comments:

Seven Machos said...

I would say I am suffering from liking to read the same stuff every day.

I'm sure the old beat writer who put together the story wants people to read newspapers every day as something scientific, politically vital, and somewhat religious. Also watches Anderson Cooper four nights a week and never misses 60 Minutes.

Chet said...

It's just the opposite. I feel that readers have zero loyalty in the blogosphere.

Just like with Television---which fails to give the audience what it wants.

So to---Bloggers who refuse to give their readers any sort of payoff, satifaction, or hook them....are going to have trouble retaining a readership in this kind of fickle arena.

B said...

Confession:I am addicted to checking Althouse a minimum of 3 times daily.

It used to be that when I returned from vacation that I loved spending time going through my missed Wall Street Journals and LA Times.

Nowadays when I return from traveling or a vacation, I read every Althouse post to catch up.

If that makes me pathetic, so be it. My wife much prefers it to all the papers lying around.

I must say this though:
The quality of writing and wit on Althouse, from Ann to her commenters, is far and away the highest of any blog around today, hands down (Yes, I realize that I am the exception to that).

Skyler said...

Addicted? Probably too strong of a word, but I do have quite a habit and routine. I find a reliable internet connection everywhere I go, from big city USA to tiny village in Iraq.

Jason said...

I can quit any time I want.

Maggie45 said...

"Are you suffering from addiction to reading your favorite blogs?"

Absolutely, Positively! No denial here whatsoever! lol

PoliShifter said...

I like to check the blogs and interenet news daily multiple times. I also like to listen to talk radio while I am doing it.

Here is the problem I find: Most people I work with and have contact with have no fucking idea what is happening and they seem happier for it.

The problem is that the only news every day people hear are the news items that permeate the entire media.

For example most people heard something about Obama and Bitter but that's all they could say while they yawned.

The disconnect I feel is that it seems most people frankly just don't give a shit about 'the news' and just focus on their own lives.

Don't know if it's good or bad but most likely their quality of life is better.

Now excuse while I go see if Huffington Post has been updated...

dbp said...

So, unexpected...people who read blogs find ones they like and (gasp) continue to visit those ones!

I do a daily check starting with Lileks, then Althouse, Instapundit, The Corner and Megan McCardle. Then every once in a while to Iowa Hawk to see if there is anything new. I go back to Althouse and Instapundit a couple of times per day since they don't just post once a day.

Seven Machos said...

You know, Polishifter, I had a kid and my interest has waned from the news considerably. I'm not sure if it's a time issue, or an issue of new interests, or both, or something else.

But I do find myself a hell of lot more content.

The Drill SGT said...

I went to grad school at UCI (where this was done) and UCLA. Having said that, it's a joke. Any survey with self selected respondents numbering 15 is meaningless when trying to analyze the 300 million plus population. My 30 year old MBA(OR) taught me that.

Totally unconnected except that the place has gone down hill since I left: UCI BTW is a hot bed of Islamic protest and anti-semitism, which I remind the nice folks that regularly call for donations.

Elliott A said...

Since Ann is so assiduous in writing every day, I feel obligated to read what is said

Richard Dolan said...

Checking one's favorite blogs does become a routine. It's also true that, over time, one comes to depend on blogs as a corrective to the institutional spin from other sources. It's not that blogs don't offer their own endless spin, but blog-spin is quirky, individual, upfront and the opposite of institutional.

Where this article goes seriously off track is in describing favorite-blog-checking as something readers "feel compelled to repeat each day." Others can speak for themselves, but I don't feel any such "compulsion." I check favorite blogs most days because it is rewarding, informative and enjoyable. There are no withdrawal symptoms when I miss a day or two. And "checking favorite blogs" is not a passive activity (to wit, present activity).

Middle Class Guy said...

I am so hopelessly addicted. Are there any twelve step programs out there? I need help! I am an Althouse addict! Pleeeeeeeeeeeese! Someone rescue me.

Ger said...

Yes.

Ron said...

Will Scarlett Johannson led the telethon that will use me as the poster child for this affliction?

Then, man, am I one sick puppy!

UWS guy said...

I'm 30 and never was much of a "newspaper type", never subscribed to the NYT or such.

I read a handful of blogs religiously with my morning coffee. I've all but stopped watching the 24 hour news channels (in 8th grade I would run home during lunch to watch crossfire on CNN.)

I check blogs at dawn, in the afternoon, and before bed.

I'm everyone's prime demographic (white, male, 18-35) and they've lost me to the Althouse Vortex.

sandyshoes said...

So if I pay a dozen people each $20 to answer a bunch of questions, then type up what they said, I can call it a "study"? Is that what passes for research these days? Dangit, I knew I should've gone into the social sciences instead of slogging through all that pesky data.

Am I suffering from addiction to reading my favorite blogs? Hm. That's a different question than if I have an addiction to reading my favorite blogs. I know my blog reading tends to the compulsive; I don't know if it's addictive. I'm not suffering, in any case, except when the writing's terrible.

Also, I haven't watched television news in years. When I do happen to see it, I am reminded: that's suffering.

rhhardin said...

I read the same stuff in the same order every morning. A routine. It's hardly an addiction.

I'd also be addicted to letting the dog out.

Deborah said...

I'm not addicted, I just check them compulsively 2-3 times a day. ;-) And it's getting worse. I keep adding to my bloglines every day.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

I am ridiculous.

I have a routine. It's always the same, every day, unless I'm on vacation or have spent the night away from home.

Drudge, Althouse, Sullivan, Hitchens, Ezra, Huff Po, Salon, TPM, Daily Kos, Powerline, The Onion, Politico, along with friends' blogs, Perez Hilton, DListed, hell, even Maxine's blog, are checked at least once per day. Usually 3 or 4 or 5 times. Sometimes 10 or 15 times.

al said...

I'm not addicted. I can quit anytime I want. Usually when I'm on vacation with no Internet access...

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Do you wonder why some of us -cough *me* cough- gave up commenting for Lent?

ricpic said...

Though I be addicted to several blogs they are all, at the same time, faintly alien to me. They are all not. quite. perfect. Whereas I on the other hand....

Christopher Smith said...

I enjoy going through my RSS feeds every day, but if I'm traveling or busy or something and I can't read them, I don't really miss it. And when I "mark as read" everything I missed and start anew.

Enjoyment != addiction.

Trooper York said...

I am not addicted! That's bullshit! If I was addicted I would be commenting on a blog seven or eight or twenty or thirty times a day. Who has time for that? What a bunch of malarkey!

On the other hand, that crack stuff is a lot of fun.

John K. said...

The blogs/news aggregators I read most religiously besides Althouse are probably lewrockwell.com, leftlibertarian.org, and strike-the-root.com, with a few other favorites read regularly. I doubt that there are any regular Althouse readers who even occasionally read any of those sites. How different Althouse is than those other three, and yet it's probably my favorite. I agree with probably 80 or 90% of the things written on those sites, and think the world would be a better and more righteously-multifarious place if most of the world did too, but the broad co-existence and interplay of error and sound thinking here is a refreshing and strangely-encouraging diversion.

AJ Lynch said...

My name is AJ and it has been five hours no make that four hours since I last visited this blog.

VTH said...

As i am sure you are not fishing for compliments, i will bite: yes Ann, you are addictive.

Mary Christine said...

Okay, Okay:
I am powerless over blogging - my life has become unmanageable.

Meade said...

Believe it or not, there are days when I feel compelled not to check my favorite blogs. Those are days I worry I could be losing it, that life could be returning to the dull gray bad old days of newspapers and television.

Iapetus said...

The original study purports to examine the nature of the relationship (e.g., in terms of interactivity) between the blog and the blog reader and is not as shallow as the article in the Chronicle of Higher Whining insinuates. Terms like addiction do not appear in the abstract or conclusion of the original article, and the tendency of blog reading to become routine or habitual is only mentioned in passing in the discussion section under "Summary and Implications." File this Chronicle article under the heading of Bitter Blog Envy.

Dan Collins said...

Gosh, I remember when I routinely read newspapers. I know, I'm dating myself.

PatCA said...

Yes, I'm addicted, and it started with the Iraq invasion. I still remember running to the computer every morning to read the Iraqi bloggers--amazing--and all the commentary, which is how I discovered Althouse.

My level of addiction waxes and wanes and my blogs change, but it has totally replaced the paper as a morning ritual. If I could get a print version every morning of my favorite blogs, I'd read that instead.

Meade said...

I would probably be willing to go without food and shoes for a bot that would custom scan the blogs for me and then shoot it straight into my veins.

Sir Archy said...

To Professor Althouse.

Madam,

As You & your Readers know,  I have been dead these 250 Years and more, and yet I am well pleas'd to be daily admitted to this, your Theatre of Topicks (as I call it); for there is none better.

With a seeming Infinitude of Time before me in which to continue my hauntings, I remain,

Madam,

Your most humble & obt. Servant,

Sir Archy

blake said...

Suffering? No, definitely not suffering.

blake said...

Do you wonder why some of us -cough *me* cough- gave up commenting for Lent?

Oh, that's where you were!

Well, I'm glad it was for a good spiritual cause.

Henry said...

I feel compelled to come to work every day.

After that, everything else is butter on the bread.

Pogo said...

I was recently placed in a new inpatient blog addiction program regarding my abuse of blogs like Althouse and Instapundit. As a result of my addiction, I lost my car, my house, my job, and my sanity.

Oh, wait.
Never mind; here they are.

Anyway, the whole rehab thing fell apart when our group session started riffing on Iraq and the elections. I swear I must have been in with Maxine and Cyrus and other trolls. Chairs were thrown, hair got pulled, and I proved that Maxine is a man. We all got thrown out.

But they gave me a month of free Methadone, so it wasn't all bad.

Bruce Hayden said...

It is an addiction of sorts and I too am addicted - despite the faults of the study.

For me, it is Drudge, Reynolds, Volokh, and, of course, Althouse. I have them in a Firefox bookmark folder that can be loaded all together in separate tabs. Everything else, I check when I have time. RSS feeds don't work as well for Althouse and Volokh because the comments are the best part of both. Last night, I was trying to get work done and was forced to keep reloading the comments here on the debate.

I have been having Althouse problems recently with Firefox under Vista and on a Mac. Firefox hangs every once in awhile. So, I do end up closing the tab with Ann's blog occasionally - which plays havoc with my addiction. And then, it appears that PayPal had its certificates screwed up the last couple of days, and a couple of those blogs troll for money, resulting in warning messages every time I refresh.

Still, I find the only time I read the paper any more is when I am staying with my father. Its one of those bonding things. He doesn't have broadband, and it is apparently considered rude to read and comment on blogs during a family meal.

Roger J. said...

I'm Roger and I'm a blogoholic....

Chorus: "Hi Roger....."

Someone mentioned newspaper reading (quaint topic that)--I can remember when cities usually had a morning and an afternoon daily. Hows THAT for old.

cold pizza said...

Come for the headlines, stay for the comments. Repeat as necessary. -cp

stoqboy said...

I remember reading about a study of instant messaging conversations where the author cited about 30 conversations. I emailed the publisher and asked how they could reliably draw any conclusions based on such a limited sample. The publisher actually emailed me back and told me how difficult it was to get data. I offered to send the publisher some of the logs from the 30 or 40 conversations my two daughters had every night. Never heard from them again.

reader_iam said...

I find that if I JUST read blogposts, I'm OK, especially if I stick to feeds. It's the comments sections that are the problem.

In short, I need to learn not to inhale, on which goal I am working, in fits and starts, with more success on some blogs than others (ahem).