Weblog networks as social ecosystems
Coming Sunday I'm joining CPsquare open house meeting in Amsterdam. Next to an opportunity of meeting great people and learning about CPsquare I'm bringing my interests in communities (see posts on communities to get an impression :) Of course, my main interest is on social ecosystems that emerge around weblogs and their dynamics.
My experience shows that it's difficult to explain to people new to weblogs that (in some cases :) weblogs are more than a bunch of linked egocentric websites. This time I'll try to use pictures. I know this is powerfull: my collaboration with Aldo de Moor on weblog conversations has started from one of these images ;)
My main points:
1. Weblogs are online identities of their authors: by reading a weblog we learn about and connect with another person
2. Networking. By reading a weblog a reader gets introduced to a blog author network
3. Weblog networkds serve as peer-filtering and recommendation engines: they help interesting ideas travel faster
4. Distributed conversations. Weblog conversations do exist, but they are distributed, difficult to track and different from other technology-mediated conversations
5. Connecting with community. By connecting with several weblogs belonging to a dense weblog network new blogger connects with a community.
Earlier ideas of 1-4 are described in section 2.2 of Learning webs: Learning in weblog networks (more)
A bit more elaboration on weblogs for relation building - in section 4.3 of Discovering the iceberg of knowledge work: A weblog case (more)
More on weblog conversations: An argumentation analysis of weblog conversations and posts on weblog conversations
My thinking about weblog networks as communities is still in progress, so Communities, shared spaces and weblog reading is the closest explanation so far. For a background start from Blogs and CoPs: Can blogging replace communities of practice? by Martin Dugage
And some other posts on weblog ecosystem :)
Disclaimer: I haven't invented all of it myself; these ideas have grown from discussions in my weblog ecosystem and work of other weblog researchers. Check links in posts and references in papers :)
This post also appears on channel weblog research
Update: it seems that images are more powerful than words :) Incoming links for this post.