In search for a virtual settlement: An exploration of weblog community boundaries (draft)
As promised, the paper :)
In search for a virtual settlement: An exploration of weblog community boundaries by Lilia Efimova & Stephanie Hendrick
Abstract. Although weblogs are perceived as low-threshold tools to publish on-line, empowering individual expression in public, there is a growing evidence of social structures evolving around weblogs and their influence on norms and practices of blogging. Emerging from connections between weblogs and their authors, weblog communities often do not have a shared space, clear boundaries and membership, challenging researchers who want to study them. The purpose of this paper is to get an insight into methods of finding "life between buildings", virtual settlements where weblog communities may reside. We use Jones (1997) theory of a virtual settlement and archaeological metaphor to address research challenges of locating weblog communities, suggest an iterative approach that includes refinement of research methods based on assumptions about community norms, practices and artefacts, and propose which artefacts could serve as indicators of a community presence. A pilot study is presented, where a social network analysis of links between weblogs is used to identify a community of knowledge management bloggers.
This is a slightly updated version of what we have submitted to Communities and Technologies 2005. Still work in progress, so comments are very welcome.
This post also appears on channel weblog research