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The blogging communities

Bock (cited in White 2005) considered that the shaping of virtual communities is depended on three key factors: common interests, frequent interaction, and identification. From my perspective, blog is one of the social medium that fosters virtual connection. Donath (1997) wrote that ‘people are not only looking for information, they are also looking for affiliation, support and affirmation’. Hence, it could be argued that blogging communities are a form of social aggregations when people have developed personal relationship on the Internet (Rheingold 1993).

I would use comment sections and linking devices to build a blogging community because Nardi et al. (2004) found that these basic methods are effective in engaging the audience. There are other ways to improve the interactivity with audience as well. The incorporation of tag clouds to visually show the content of blog inclines with the suggestion of Walsh (2005) on multimodality. She stated that visual texts are changing the conceptual schemata and the reading process is grounded on ‘logic of the image’.

Figure 1: Types of blogging communities

Source: http://kt.flexiblelearning.net.au/tkt2006/edition-11-editorial/blogs-and-community-%E2%80%93-launching-a-new-paradigm-for-online-community

There are three types of blogging communities: one blog centric community, topic centric community and boundaried community (White 2006). One blog centric community refers to one centralized blog that is firmly controlled by the blog’s owner in terms of content. Topic centric community is built on network formation as several blogs are linked together under a common interest. Boundaried community is a collection of blogs and blog readers are invited to host on a single site.

Figure 2: Example of one blog centric community

Source: http://quaintly.net/

Quaintly.net belongs to one blog centric community because the central identity of this community is the blog owner (Su Ann) and the commentators are able to know each other once they become regular on the blog. Another characteristic of this community is that the blog owner has absolute power to control and censor comments that is deemed as derogatory White (2006).

Reference

Donath, JS 1997, Inhabiting the virtual city: the design of social environments for electronic communities, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA.

Nardi, BA, Schiano, DJ, Gumbrecht, M & Swartz, L 2004, ‘Why we blog?’ Communications of the ACM, vol. 47, no. 12, pp. 41 – 46.

Rheingold, H 1993, The Virtual Community: Homesteading on the Electronic Frontier, HarperParennial, USA.

Walsh, M 2006, ‘The ‘textual shift’: Examining the reading process with print, visual and multimodal texts’, Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, vol. 29, no. 1, pp. 24 – 37.

White, N 2005, How some folks have tried to describe community, viewed 18 November 2009, <http://www.fullcirc.com/community/definingcommunity.htm>.

White, N 2006, Blogs and Community – launching a new paradigm for online community?, viewed 18 November 2009,
<http://kt.flexiblelearning.net.au/tkt2006/edition-11-editorial/blogs-and-community-%E2%80%93-launching-a-new-paradigm-for-online-community>.

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