Monday, June 15, 2009

Classifying Blog Communities

The term 'weblog' was coined in 1997 by Jorn Barger, owner of one of the pioneer weblogs, Robot Wisdom (Blood 2004). Fast forward to 2009 - with at least 185 million blogs (Technorati 2008) in existence, a system of classification is increasingly necessary to separate the wheat from the chaff.

According to Wikipedia (2009), blogs can be classified by their media types, which include:

1) vlog
2) linklog
3) sketchblog
4) photoblog
5) tumblelog

Simons (2008) breaks blogs down into 9 further categories, which include:

1) pamphleteering blogs
2) digest blogs
3) advocacy blogs
4) popular mechanics blogs
5) exhibition blogs
6) gatewatcher blogs
7) diary blogs
8) advertisement blogs
9) news blogs

Although the definitions suggested by Wikipedia and Simons are definitive, an important factor to consider is that most genres of blogs overlap one another. While Technorati (2009) classifies bloggers into three main categories - the personal, the professional, and the corporate - they acknowledge that an overlap in topics often occurs.

(Source: Technorati Inc, 2008)

Therefore, bloggers must employ their own system of classification within their blogs to simplify the reading process for their audience. This can be achieved by labeling their blog posts according to categories such as 'Political', 'Personal' and 'Music'.

However, how do blogs go beyond their authors and become community blogs?

White (2006) identified three types of community blogs:

1) Single blogger centric communities: largely revolving around a single blogger.

2) Topic centric communities: bloggers that identify with a particular topic.

3) Boundaried communities: collection of blogs and readers hosted on a single site.

An example of a single blogger centric community would be Parliament Member Khairy Jamaluddin's blog,

His blog largely revolves around his thoughts on 'politics and public policy issues' (Khairy Jamaluddin 2009) in Malaysia, and his postings on his perspectives are open to comments and debate from the public.

(300 words)


Blood, R 2004, 'How blogging software reshapes the online community', Communications of the ACM, vol. 47, no. 21, viewed 15 June 2009, <>

Khairy Jamaluddin 2009, Khairy Jamaluddin, viewed 12 June 2009, <>

Wikipedia 2009, Blog, viewed 12 June 2009, <>

White, N 2006, Blogs and community: launching a new paradigm for online community?, viewed 13 June 2009, <–-launching-a-new-paradigm-for-online-community>

Simons, M 2008, A taxonomy of blogs, ABC, viewed 14 June 2009, <>

Technorati Inc 2008, State of the blogosphere 2008, viewed 15 June 2009, <>

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