Classification of blogs

The existing blogs are just as diverse as books in a library. They can simply be classified in the same way, that is, according to the subjects they are dealing with, such as:

  • Art
  • Economics
  • Fashion
  • History
  • Literature
  • Music
  • Philosophy

Immediacy, interactivity and depth inherent in blogs (Allan 2006, p. 23-26) allow classification in terms of purpose like what Simons (2008) suggested. For example:

  • Pamphleteering Blogs allow people to “argue a case or push a cause” by providing readers a means to leave their comment.
  • News Blogs are used to cover news stories.

Furthermore, blogs’ multimodal environment has also led to another kind of classification that is determined by the dominant mode of communication within a blog. For instance:

  • Photoblog
  • Sketchblog
  • Vlog
  • Artlog

(Wikipedia 2008).

Most blogs, however, have intermingled intrinsic elements from different classifications, making them harder to be distinguished by types. Ultimately, what work best is determined by the users, and the diversity of classifications is certainly a positive sign.

Blogging communities

A blogging or online community is simply “a community who interacted online within some bounded set of technologies” (White 2006). It is maintained and expanded when bloggers hyperlink to other bloggers, refer to them in their entries, and post comments on each other’s blogs (Herring et al 2005; Gumbrecht 2004).

White (2006) notices three types of online communities prevalent in the blogosphere:

  • One Blog Centric Community focuses on a single prominent blog.
  • Topic Centric Community is united by a shared topic.
  • Boundaried Communities are “collections of blogs and blog readers hosted on a single site or platform”.

Multiply

(Multiply 2008)

(Multiply 2008)

Multiply is an example of boundaried communities. In order to post a comment in a blog hosted by Multiply, one has to first be a member of the site. A Multiply member’s network is made up of their direct contact, and they are constantly being kept up-to-date to any ongoing activities of those in their direct contact. Also, Multiply enables one to view the contact list of their friends. When one meets with their friend’s friend, Multiply will notify them of their indirect relationship.

References:

Allan, S 2006, Online News, Open University Press, London.

Gumbrecht, M 2004, ‘Blog as “protected space”’, ACM Press, New York.

Simons, M 2008, ‘Towards a taxonomy of blogs’, Creative Economy. Viewed 10 November, 2008, at

http://www.creative.org.au/webboard/results.chtml?filename_num=229836

White, N 2006, ‘Blogs and community: launching a new paradigm for online community’, The Knowledge Tree. Viewed 10 November, 2008, at

http://kt.flexiblelearning.net.au/tkt2006/edition-11-editorial/blogs-and-community-%E2%80%93-launching-a-new-paradigm-for-online-community

Wikipedia 2008, ‘Blog’. Viewed, 10 November, 2008, at

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blog

Blogosphere as current phenomenon

“One need not pass his threshold to comprehend all that is under Heaven.”

Laozi, Tao Te Ching

The Taoist adage that has puzzled many folks in the past has finally come to a more pragmatic disclosure—one such that would only be possible, through the passage of over two thousand years from when the adage was penned in the Chinese classical text to when it now receives the boon of blogosphere, the Internet’s fastest-growing phenomenon (Masson 2004).

State of blogosphere

State of blogosphere (Technorati 2008)

That blogosphere has made such thing happens is not an exaggeration: since 2002, Technorati (2008) alone has tracked over 133 million blog records in 81 languages, and the study it conducted has seen responses from 66 countries across 6 continents. Just in the last 24 hours, Technorati’s estimated number of blogs that have posted is as high as 900,000. What all these suggest can be translated into this way: Everyday you have 900,000 watchers from almost everywhere in the world informing you of what is happening in this world, and the accumulation of their information is so huge that the possibility of conquering all the information, despite their high accessibility, will simply elude you the moment it arises. This information can range from something as well-known as the 2008 U.S. election to something as private as Mu Zimei’s sex life. In other words, it can be just about anything that is under Heaven.

Trends of blogosphere in different parts of the world

Blogger Highlight (Technorati 2008)

Blogger Highlight (Technorati 2008)

In Europe, most bloggers are of the ages above 35. This is in stark contrast with the trend in Asia, particularly in Malaysia, in which 74% of the bloggers are below 25 years old, most of whom are female (Microsoft Press Pass 2006; PR Newswire). If age could have an implication in styles the bloggers adopt, here is possibly the affirmation: most blogs in Asia are noted to be more motivational and confessional, whereas in Europe, the blogging style is more confrontational (Technorati 2008). But in both continents, music has consistently been the top favourite blog topic, and most bloggers are college graduates.

Benefits of blogging

Why do you blog? (Technorati 2008)

Why do you blog? (Technorati 2008)

According to Technorati’s State of Blogosphere report, 24% of the bloggers in Asia are currently making money by posting product reviews on their blogs. Still, 74% of the Asian bloggers are drawn to blogs by friends and family, and this represents one way to bring them closer to the circle of friends and family members (Technorati 2008). For 60% of the bloggers in Europe, the benefit comes from the fun of blogging itself. However, to different individual bloggers, the answers are probably more complex than these, as are shown in the chart above. In Malaysia, due to restrictions from many publication laws, blogs have been an alternative media for information that is not provided by the mainstream media (Mahathir defends bloggers 2007).

References:

‘Mahathir defends bloggers’ 2008, AustralianIT, 19 April. Retrieved, 10 November, 2008, from

http://www.australianit.news.com.au/story/0,24897,21583726-15322,00.html

Microsoft Press Pass 2006, ‘Women rule in Malaysia blogosphere’. Viewed, 10 November, 2008, at

http://www.microsoft.com/malaysia/press/archive2006/linkpage4337.mspx

PR Newswire, ‘Blogging phenomenon sweeps Asia’. Viewed, 10 November, 2008, at

http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=104&STORY=/www/story/11-28-2006/0004480819&EDATE

Technorati 2008, ‘State of blogosphere’. Viewed, 10 November, 2008, at

http://www.technorati.com/blogging/state-of-the-blogosphere

My main purpose of creating this weblog is to discuss about contemporary issues related to publications and design. I would like to welcome all who share the same interest and concern about these issues to participate in this global ‘conversation’ which makes the weblog so interesting.