Weblogs as a Bridging Genre

Susan C. Herring, Lois Ann Scheidt, Elijah Wright, Sabrina Bonus

Susan C. Herring, Lois Ann Scheidt, Elijah Wright, Sabrina Bonus, Weblogs as a Bridging Genre, Information Technology & People, 18(2):142-171, 2005.

Purpose — Aims to describe systematically the characteristics of weblogs (blogs) — frequently modified web pages in which dated entries are listed in reverse chronological sequence and which are the latest genre of internet communication to attain widespread popularity. Design/methodology/approach — This paper presents the results of a quantitative content analysis of 203 randomly selected blogs, comparing the empirically observable features of the corpus with popular claims about the nature of blogs, and finding them to differ in a number of respects. Findings — 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. Originality/value — Based on the profile generated by the empirical analysis, considers the likely antecedents of the blog genre, situates it with respect to the dominant forms of digital communication on the internet today, and suggests possible developments of the use of blogs over time in response to changes in user behavior, technology, and the broader ecology of internet genres.


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