Expressive Versus Consumptive Blog Use: Implications for Interpersonal Discussion and Political Participation

Homero Gil de Zuniga, Ingrid Bachmann, Shih-Hsien Hsu, Jennifer Brundidge


Research has established the positive relationship between news consumption, interpersonal discussion, and political participation. New insights within this framework have tested the positive effect of blog use in the political domain. Based on national survey data, this study proposes novel advances by distinguishing between a less involved blog use (consumptive), such as reading entries and comments, and a more active blog use (expressive), such as posting comments on other people’s blogs and on one’s own blog. Results indicate expressive blog use is directly related to political participation, online and offline, and interpersonal reasoning processes, including reasoning and disagreement, whereas consumptive blog use is not. Furthermore, the relationship between expressive blog use and participation is mediated by exposure to weak ties.

mediated by exposure to weak ties.


Blogs, political participation, discussion networks, active versus inactive media use, expressive versus consumptive blog use

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