Thoroughly revised and updated, this new edition of Blogging provides an accessible study of a now everyday phenomenon and places it in a historical, theoretical and contemporary context. The second edition takes into account the most recent research and developments and provides current analyses of new tools for microblogging and visual blogging. Jill Walker Rettberg discusses the ways blogs are integrated into today’s mainstream social media ecology, where comments and links from Twitter and Facebook may be more important than the network between blogs that was significant five years ago, and questions the shift towards increased commercialization and corporate control of blogs. The new edition also analyses how smart phones with cameras and social media have led a shift towards more visual emphasis in blogs, with photographs and graphics increasingly foregrounded. Authored by a scholar-blogger, this engaging book is packed with examples that show how blogging and related genres are changing media and communication. It gives definitions and explains how blogs work, shows how blogs relate to the historical development of publishing and communication and looks at the ways blogs structure social networks.
Acknowledgements vii Introduction 1 1 What is a Blog? 5 A brief history of weblogs 6 How blogs have adapted to a social media ecosystem 14 Three blogs 17 Defining blogs 30 2 From Bards to Blogs 36 Orality and literacy 37 The introduction of print 41 Print, blogging and reading 44 Printed precedents of blogs 45 The Late Age of Print 47 A modern public sphere? 50 Hypertext and computer lib 53 Technological determinism or cultural shaping of technology? 57 3 Blogs, Communities and Networks 62 Social network theory 66 Distributed conversations 69 Technology for distributed communities 72 Facebook and Twitter as microblogs 76 Publicly articulated relationships 82 Colliding networks 83 Emerging social networks 86 4 Citizen Journalists? 90 Bloggers’ perception of themselves 93 When it matters whether a blogger is a journalist 94 Objectivity, authority and credibility 97 First-hand reports: blogging from a war zone 101 First-hand reports: chance witnesses 104 Bloggers as independent journalists and opinionists 107 Gatewatching 108 Symbiosis 112 5 Blogs as Narratives 115 Goal-oriented narratives 116 Ongoing and episodic narration 118 Blogs as self-exploration 127 Fictions or hoaxes? Kaycee Nicole and lonelygirl15 129 6 Blogging Brands 135 The human voice 136 Advertisements and sponsored posts on blogs 139 Micropatronage 145 Sponsored posts and pay-to-post 147 Exploitation and alienation? 152 Corporate blogs 155 Engaging bloggers 161 Corporate blogging gone wrong 164 7 The Future of Blogging 169 Implicit participation and the perils of personalized media 170 References 176 Blogs Mentioned 186 Index 189
"A landmark in social cyberspace studies – and much more than that. It’s about the way today’s popular culture is actually part of large-scale change in the way culture is produced. Jill Walker Rettberg has written a deep and broad book about the real meaning of blogging as evidence for and a driver of an epochal cultural shift. She deftly uses her own experience as a renowned blogger, examined through the expert eye of an experienced communication researcher, to reveal the psychological, social, political and historical meaning of the blogging phenomenon. She brings media studies, ethnology, literary studies, marketing, journalism and sociology together into a brilliant explanatory framework." Howard Rheingold, author of Smart Mobs "Blogging has become an essential backbone of social media. Jill Walker Rettberg’s book brilliantly documents, analyses and situates blogging, constructing an indispensable account of blogging’s history and future in light of social network sites, mobile practices and other media-sharing platforms. This is a key piece of scholarship for anyone trying to understand the intersection of technology and society." danah boyd, Microsoft Research New England, and the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Harvard University "A solid, unbiased, and unfettered introduction to the social aspects of blogging. Recommended." Choice
Jill Walker Rettberg is professor of digital culture at University of Bergen.
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