Friday, May 04, 2007

Back to the research on blogs

I'm back to reading the research literature on blogging, which seems to have increased just in the few months while I've been doing phase 1 of the analysis of my sample of cancer blogs. The end of term projects my students are doing are fascinating here, and it is they who alerted me to some recent work that Susan Herring has generously put on her web pages. This morning I was reading

A Longitudinal Content of Weblogs: 2003-04 (In Press) In M. Tremayne (ed.) Blogging, Citizenship and the Future of Media. London: Routledge.

Some of the findings that Herring et al report are particularly interesting, especially that in the period they sampled, the blogs appeared to become increasingly text based, and that the linking remained relatively infrequent. This is interesting to me, first because the textual nature of blogs justifies the kind of linguistic analysis I've been doing on them. Second, the issue of linking and connection is really important to me, both in relation to the claims of web 2.0 philosophy (for want of a better way of putting it) but also because of the gendered potential here. In my sample the links are unevenly distributed (I've got to finish coding the whole lot yet, anyway, so this is an approximation), but I hypothesise that the women might link more to each other, while the men link to sources of information (that old community v. information binary).



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