Free Essay

Health Living Blogging

In: Business and Management

Submitted By ckche
Words 1454
Pages 6
Research problem/gaps
With the increase usage of Internet around the world, Internet has become the major information-gathering platform for individual that allow easy access to information. As the Internet is getting common for individual, health information has become one of the rising search content. According to Chung and Kim (2008), more than 94 million American adults have search for health information on Internet including topics such as eating well, getting fit and health insurance. As Web 2.0 has arrived, online communications have change from one-way to two-way communication, which allow interaction between health information provider and receiver.

Recently, Blog have become a significant platform to act as an online community for social interaction. With its simplify structure, blog followers can access post easily, join conversation and receive information that they needed (Chung and Kim, 2008). However, these advance in technology have become major reason to shift empowerment from organization, producer and marketer to individuals. In simple words, consumers are having more power over producer. In marketing concept, this consumer power cause the adoption of product-push approach to shift to consumption-pull strategy (Shankar et. al, 2006).

In respected to this issue, practitioners have started investigate on empowerment from different perspective. However, most of the literature reviews are focusing on theoretical structure analysis. Few studies are done on travel blog and cancer patient blog in relation to empowerment. However, research methods are mainly questioning third person by questionnaire and focus group. Researcher sets the choice of answers, therefore result are limited and may not be accurate. Since, there is lack of health living blog analysis in related to empowerment level over time. Therefore, we are proposing a research on analysis healthy living blog activity to understand how empowerment evolves over time. To do so, content analysis will be use in this research to acquire result objectively.

Research objectives/questions
This research is aim to provide a significant understanding on the process of consumer empowerment among individual who aspiring to live a healthier life style. In order to do so, this study will examine the evolution and process of consumer empowerment within the selected simple living blogs. There are three research objectives in this research. First, to understand the primary reasons motivating simple living blogging. Second, to understand the types of issue commonly discussed in simple living blogs. Third, to understand how empowerment evolves and change over time. Research question are listed below:

RQ1) What are the reasons that motivating simple living blogging?

RQ2) What is the commonly discussed topic in simple living blogs over time?
Is there a common trend over the three blog or over time?

RQ3a) How frequently do simple living blogs followers participate in blogging activities?

RQ3b) What are the significant motives of the post that engage followers on simple living blog activities over time?

Brief literature review
According to Boehm and Staples (2004), the concept of empowerment in social work was bought in by Solomon (1976) which included the process of how people gain power on personal, interpersonal, political and economic levels in order to act in conditions and gain more control in their life. After, Solomon’s new introduce concept of empowerment, academics have gain interest in this area and many of these studies have published since then.

In the most recent literature review, Boehm and Staples (2004) had summarised the common elements of empowerment that have identify in the past. First, empowerment involve to both process and outcome. In the process, empowerment occurs when individual and groups are beginning with a powerlessness situation and gaining power over time. And the outcome is whether the power has achieved in certain measure through the process (Miley and Du bois, 1999; Staples, 1990; Zimmerman and Waeschausky, 1998). To understand in detail, according to Zimmerman (1993,1995), his studies had introduced empowerment theory and it consists of three dimensions including values, process and outcome. Empowerment values provide a belief to clients that they are receiving good quality of service from professional. These values can apply to health, adaptation, competence and natural helping systems. For empowerment process, except the power of change mentioned above it also include develop a critical awareness of environment and participate in decisions making in order to gain power in the process. For empowerment outcome, Zimmerman and Waeschausky (1998) stated that empowerment outcomes are the primary interest for researcher because it can show the consequences of the empowerment process. The study also shown that empowerment outcomes are differs across level of analysis- individual, organizational and community.

Second, Boehm and Staples (2004) summed up that empowerment can be operating in two levels: personal and collective. Personal empowerment is how individuals think about themselves in terms of knowledge, capacities, skills and mastery that involve in their empowering process. According to Leung (2008) stated, “empowerment in individual level can be called as psychological empowerment, which include three dimensions.”. Beside, Zimmerman (1995) defined that “psychological empowerment is expected to include a sense of and motivation to control; decision making and problem solving skills and a critical awareness of one’s sociopolitical environment; and participatory behaviours.”. As a result, the three dimensions of psychological empowerment were developed by Zimmerman (1995), which called Nomological network for psychological empowerment (refer to figure 1). There are three components in the Nomological network for psychological empowerment, which are intrapersonal, interactional and behavioural. The intrapersonal component refers to personal control including self-belief, ability to shape influence in family, work and social environment. Interactional component refers to the knowledge of the individual, awareness of the environment and ability to learn and share. Behavioural component refers to actions that can be taken to influence outcome directly such as community involvement, organizational participation and coping behaviours.
Collective empowerment is that individuals are gathering together to form a community. With the amount of people, individuals can help and support each other, share their skills and develop better decision. Also, people are joining together in common interests and taking joint actions to empower the outcome. This can be reason why blogging are getting more common for individuals to empower themselves and will be discuss later on.

Third, empowerment assumes that even though individuals are in situations that are relatively powerlessness; their capacity, skills, assets and qualification can be use as resources to make changes. Forth, empowerment cannot be creating for another person, but people can help in the process of empowerment for each other (Boehm and Staples, 2004). In the study of Boehm and Staples (2004) also revealed that the three central elements of empowerment are mastery, self-determination and collective empowerment. These elements are in line with the components in Nomological network for psychological empowerment which given the support to this model.

As mentioned before, collective empowerment brings people together to form a community to share their skills, though and access each other. As well as, people with common interests can join together to achieve goals and objectives while giving help to each other though the process (Boehm and Staples, 2004). The natural of blog seems to satisfy the element of collective empowerment. Blogs are basically an online community that allows social interaction (Herring, et. al., 2004). The structures of blogs not only allow bloggers to present their views but also allow followers and readers to participate in meaningful conversations. Therefore, bloggers and followers can join together base on their common interest in order to share skills, learn from ach other and create collective change. Blog authors tends to lists their post in reverse chronological order which shown the most up-to-date post to readers. Also, blog authors tend to categorise their post in related groups. These thoughtful structures of blogs allow an easy access and search for needs information to followers and readers (Chung and Kim, 2008).

According to Blood (2002) stated that there are three basic types of blogs that are filters, personal journals and notebooks. The content of filters involve a ‘pre-surfs’ information sharing and are external to bloggers. While, personal journals are internal to the bloggers that are a content of blogger’s expression of thoughts. Meanwhile, notebooks can consist both internal and external content, which are relatively long, and essay- like. Blood (2002) also added that the personal journals type of blogs is getting more common. Based on the increase of blog usage, a quantitative research had been done by Papacharissi (2003) and explored six major motivations for blogging:
1. Self-expression
2. Social interactions
3. Entertainment
4. Passing the time
5. Information and
6. Professional advancement (Trammell et. al., 2004)
These motivations for blogging can be understand as how psychological empowerment evolves to blogger. In the other hand, these motives of blogger ‘s post can attract follower’s engagement in different levels.

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