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BloggingOn 2.2

After-after-class wrap-up(-up)

A lot of interesting stuff flew by in class this week. Can’t possibly touch on all of it, but I want to sum-up my thoughts before they disappear.

We discussed the blogs in Technorati’s top-ten (with some additions). Colin’s comments about “code” at the end of class made me think about the blogosphere in terms of audience… Maybe this is what demarcates different types of blogs from one another...

As I see it, we have discussed four different types of blogs so far: list-o-links, gadgetngizmo, personal/diary/self-expression, political/news-based. It seems that the main differences between these sites are the types of people that read/create them.

I mentioned in class that I thought the list-o-links blogs seem to be focused on bored office workers. They are, perhaps, the TVGuide(s) of the blogosphere. Have ten minutes to kill? Can’t bring yourself to fill out another TPS Report? Click on this for more inane crap. Notice how some of these links are accompanied by warnings or ratings of some sort: may not be safe for viewing at work, etc.

Another aspect of the list-o-links that is common to gadgetngizmo is the water-cooler factor. Colin was saying how he “just didn’t get” blogs like gizmodo and engadget. I think there’s probably a gene involved in that particular equation that Colin (thankfully?) doesn’t have. I was, at one time, making electronic music on a regular basis, and there is a personality type that is drawn to that stuff mostly because of this mystery gene’s dominance in their physical make-up. They are far less concerned with great music, than they are in the hardware and the software that was used to make it. Guys like this (and no, that’s not sexist, it’s pure fact… GUYS like this) can stand around for hours “comparing processor speed and CPU size”. How do guys like that stay informed? Right. Honestly, I’m surprised that these types of pages don’t feature more of the soft-porn elements that lurk about on the list-o-links pages. They’re really not too far from those auto magazines with women in bikinis sitting on the hood of some fast shiny chrome something-or-other.

And now, for the opposite end of the emotional spectrum,... blogs of the personal/diary/self-expression variety, seem to be more about the writer than the reader. Perhaps there is a small group of friends who drop in from time to time (along with a rotating cast of more voyeuristic readers), but for the most part, these things exist mainly for the blogger.

Personal expression in the political vein finds its way into political/new-based blogs. A lot of these are pretty similar to the last sort, but there is a much more clearly defined agenda here. These blogs are not necessarily the work of lone-wolves howling in the wilderness. They often have a staff, or some collective of isolated individuals all contributing to the cause.

What else is out there? What doesn’t fit into these not-so-neatly demarcated groups? Would any of these purposes be better served by websites instead of blogs? Are they all really blogs? Does it really matter all that much?


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