Purpose: The aim of this study is to investigate the creation of a virtual presence in personal blogs through self-presentation and self-disclosure. Five elements of self-presentation and self-disclosure were examined: the way bloggers present themselves in their blogs; the degree and frequency of disclosure of personal information in the blogs; the feelings or reactions bloggers have when posting or receiving a comment; the significance blogs have in the bloggers' lives; and the subjects bloggers write about in their blogs. Design/methodology/approach: An online survey was designed for the study and 90 bloggers from six Latin American countries who maintain a personal blog participated in the study. In the first phase a statistical analysis yielded quantifiable demographic data about the participants, the personal information they disclose in their blogs, and statistical data on feelings involved in blogging. In the second phase a content analysis examined the bloggers' textual answers using open coding. Findings: Findings show that bloggers created a virtual presence in their blogs perceived as a "protected space". Bloggers reported feeling satisfied and drained when posting a new comment in their blog. Bloggers in this study described their blogs as being a part of their selves, a communication tool, a writing tool and their favourite hobby. Originality/value: This study is relevant to the field of information behaviour because it provides an example of the fulfillment of different information needs through the creation of a virtual presence on a blog and examines the dichotomy present in blogging between the private and the public spheres.
- Latin American blogosphere