A Bosom Buddy afar brings a Distant Land near: are Bloggers a Global Community?
Springer London, Dordrecht Amsterdam
Information communication technologies on the Internet such as Usenet, Internet relay chats and multi-user dungeons have been used to enable virtual communities. However, a new form of technology, the weblog, or “blog”, has quickly risen as a means for self-expression and sharing knowledge for people across geographic distance. Though studies have focused on blogs in Western countries, our study targets the global blogging community. Inspired by previous studies that show significant differences in technology practices across cultures, we conducted a survey to investigate the influence of regional culture on a blogging community. We asked the research question of whether bloggers are more influenced by their local cultures with respect to their sense of community, or rather whether a “universal” Internet culture is a stronger influence of community feeling. Our results, based on a multilingual worldwide blogging survey of 1232 participants from four continents show that while smaller differences could be found between Eastern and Western cultures, overall the global blogging community is indeed dominated by an Internet culture that shows no profound differences across cultures. However, one significant exception was found in Japanese bloggers and their concealment of identity.