Weblog networks as social ecosystems: finding who belongs to a weblog community
A bit of a follow-up for Weblog networks as social ecosystems.
Let's say that there are cases then community-like structures emerge as a result of connections between bloggers. This is immediately brings a few questions:
- What is their nature? How do we call them? They are probably not communities, but more loosely-coupled networks of people. Mainly weak ties, but still high degree of awareness of each other.
- How do we find them? There is no single "community space", just interconnected networks of weblogs. Where would you draw a boundary?
- What are their characteristics? How and when do they develop? change? die?
Hope to find answers one day... So far just a couple of things:
A. Before there is a good term I'm going to call them "weblog communities".
B. How to define who belongs to a weblog community:
- People who say they belong together - interviews?
- People with similar focus - directories? topicExchange?
- People who share language - content analysis? trend discovery?
- People who link to each other weblogs (using blogroll links and/or links in the text and remembering that these are different) - link analysis?
- People who read each other weblogs on regular basis (e.g. using RSS subscriptions) - RSS Neighborhood?
- Some/all of the above? Something else?
For an inspiration:
This post also appears on channel weblog research