I keep getting wheeled out in front of various audiences to talk about blogging so I figured it was about time I did a bit of digging around to see what academics are saying about it. Here are the gems I found on the excellent Journal of Computer Mediated Communication site:
Rzeczpospolita blogów [Republic of Blog]: Examining Polish bloggers through content analysis, by Kaye D. Trammell, Alek Tarkowski, Justyna Hofmokl, and Amanda M. Sapp
Abstract: While researchers are increasingly interested in understanding the social context of weblogs, or blogs, most existing studies rely on analysis of English-language content. This study is a quantitative content analysis of Polish blogs (N=358) aimed at understanding the content elements and user-initiated features, such as hyperlinks, of blogs under the theoretical framework of uses and gratifications. Results indicate that self-expression is the primary motivation for blog posts. Furthermore, Polish bloggers appear to be driven more by self-expression than by social interaction motivations. Additional findings explored the relationship among motivations, gender, and topics discussed in blogs.
Organizational Blogs and the Human Voice: Relational Strategies and Relational Outcome, by Tom Kelleher & Barbara M. Miller
Abstract: This study develops and tests operational definitions of relational maintenance strategies appropriate to online public relations. An experiment was designed to test the new measures and to test hypotheses evaluating potential advantages of organizational blogs over traditional Web sites. Participants assigned to the blog condition perceived an organization’s “conversational human voice” to be greater than participants who were assigned to read traditional Web pages. Moreover, perceived relational strategies (conversational human voice, communicated relational commitment) were found to correlate significantly with relational outcomes (trust, satisfaction, control mutuality, commitment).
Bloggers’ Expectations of Privacy and Accountability: An Initial Survey, by Fernanda B. Viégas
Abstract: This article presents an initial snapshot, based on an online survey of weblog authors, of bloggers’ subjective sense of privacy and of their perception of liability. When confronted with questions of defamation and legal liability, respondents in the survey expressed contradictions between their actions and their knowledge of how the technology works.
The Journalist Behind the Curtain: Participatory Functions on the Internet and their Impact on Perceptions of the Work of Journalism, by Wilson Lowrey & William Anderson
Abstract: Through a framework from the sociology of occupations, this study examines the consequences of increasing audience participation in journalism processes. The findings of a survey suggest that news audiences have continued to broaden their perceptions of what constitutes news.
The Media Downing of Pierre Salinger: Journalistic Mistrust of the Internet as a News Source, by Thomas E. Ruggiero & Samuel P. Winch
Abstract: Through analysis of historical listserv dialogue and traditional media dissection of a watershed debate—that a missile caused the TWA 800 crash on July 17, 1996—this study seeks to shed light on an early example of journalistic wariness and mistrust of the Internet as a news source. Specifically, we analyze the rhetoric of the late Pierre Salinger’s connections to the historic incident, and the credibility of the Internet as a news source, as debated by professional journalists on the Internet and in mainstream media forums. A rhetorical analysis of how this debate was framed suggests that negative journalistic perceptions of the Internet’s news credibility were already solidifying by the mid-1990s, and have continued to do so since that time.
Gender, Identity, and Language Use in Teenage Blogs, by David Huffaker & Sandra Calvert
Abstract: Boys and girls presented themselves similarly overall in their public weblogs; however, males more than females used emoticons, employed an active and resolute style of language, and were more likely to present themselves as gay.