Saturday, August 23, 2008

Studying Blogs - Post JB Conference

When I blogged about needing more scientific analysis of Jewish blogging, I meant something like this:

Bridging the gap: a genre analysis of Weblogs
Herring, S.C., Scheidt, L.A., Bonus, S., Wright, E.,

This paper appears in: System Sciences, 2004. Proceedings of the 37th Annual Hawaii International Conference on


Weblogs (blogs) - frequently modified Web pages in which dated entries are listed in reverse chronological sequence - are the latest genre of Internet communication to attain widespread popularity, yet their characteristics have not been systematically described. This paper presents the results of a content analysis of 203 randomly-selected Weblogs, comparing the empirically observable features of the corpus with popular claims about the nature of Weblogs, and finding them to differ in a number of respects. Notably, blog authors, journalists and scholars alike exaggerate the extent to which blogs are interlinked, interactive, and oriented towards external events, and underestimate the importance of blogs as individualistic, intimate forms of self-expression. Based on the profile generated by the empirical analysis, we consider the likely antecedents of the blog genre, situate it with respect to the dominant forms of digital communication on the Internet today, and advance predictions about its long-term impacts.

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