3 types of blog: closed, conduit and participant in the conversation

By on Feb 26, 2007 in blogging, blogging techniques, social software | 11 comments

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Tomorrow I’ll be giving a presentation about blogging to a group of radio producers and executives. I reckon some of them might still be of the persuasion that blogs are simply “web based diaries” and want to do something that shows that, yes, many are, but there are other types of blogs too.

I’ve had a go at producing three different models or types of blogs that, I think, might be useful if one wanted to try to categorise all the blogs out there. Not that I’m sure doing that would actually be useful! But for the purpose of giving an idea of the different types of blogs out there, each of them perfectly valid in their own way, I propose the following, which you can view as a slide show here:

Closedblog Closed Blogs are, as the image here shows, at the centre of an audience that resembles a closed network. Blogs of this type include baby blogs and wedding planning blogs. Characteristically they have a:

* small but extremely passionate and engaged audience
* audience unlikely to grow
* audience potentially super-served – they all have a very strong personal connection, usually running both ways.

See, for example, the Aitken’s wedding blog

Bloginfoconduit Blogs as Conduit of Information are blogs that act as the conduit between individual audience members and information or ideas. That is, the blog is the centre of the relationship between the information consumers and information producers. The blog itself may not be the origin of this content, but may merely pull it together in a useful way. This sort of blog is characterised by:

* potentially larger audience than closed blog model
* audience highly engaged with personality and/or topic
* audience unlikely to grow rapidly because it serves same audience without reaching out

See, for example, the H5N1 blog or SCOTUS blog.

Blogparticipation Blog as Participant in “The Conversation” are connectors of ideas and people, but also of conversations that flow between them. Blogs of this sort have an audience potentially as big as the numbers actively engaged in the conversation. New people who get involved in the conversation, or who discover a node of it, may very well follow contextualised links, visit other sites in the chain, and become regular audience members of those sites. Bloggers who create blogs like this tend to engage with the comments on their blogs and link out heavily, using tools like RSS readers and technorati to follow the "buzz". Some also use social bookmarking or social recommendation tools to save, order and share links.

This is highly evolved blogging as both use of technology and technique which, I think, an ideal that bloggers should strive for.

Did I get the types right? Am I missing any that you can think of? I’m looking forward to some comments on this one as my thoughts are really at the preliminary stages here…

[Update 07 March: This is, apparently, what I said in this post translated into Italian]