Synopses & Reviews
Thoroughly revised and updated, this new edition of Blogging provides an accessible study of a now everyday phenomenon and places it in a historical, theoretical and contemporary context. The second edition takes into account the most recent research and developments and provides current analyses of new tools for microblogging and visual blogging.
Jill Walker Rettberg discusses the ways blogs are integrated into today’s mainstream social media ecology, where comments and links from Twitter and Facebook may be more important than the network between blogs that was significant five years ago, and questions the shift towards increased commercialization and corporate control of blogs. The new edition also analyses how smart phones with cameras and social media have led a shift towards more visual emphasis in blogs, with photographs and graphics increasingly foregrounded.
Authored by a scholar-blogger, this engaging book is packed with examples that show how blogging and related genres are changing media and communication. It gives definitions and explains how blogs work, shows how blogs relate to the historical development of publishing and communication and looks at the ways blogs structure social networks.
"A landmark in social cyberspace studies – and much more than that. It’s about the way today’s popular culture is actually part of large-scale change in the way culture is produced. Jill Walker Rettberg has written a deep and broad book about the real meaning of blogging as evidence for and a driver of an epochal cultural shift. She deftly uses her own experience as a renowned blogger, examined through the expert eye of an experienced communication researcher, to reveal the psychological, social, political and historical meaning of the blogging phenomenon. She brings media studies, ethnology, literary studies, marketing, journalism and sociology together into a brilliant explanatory framework."
Howard Rheingold, author of Smart Mobs
"Blogging has become an essential backbone of social media. Jill Walker Rettberg’s book brilliantly documents, analyses and situates blogging, constructing an indispensable account of blogging’s history and future in light of social network sites, mobile practices and other media-sharing platforms. This is a key piece of scholarship for anyone trying to understand the intersection of technology and society."
danah boyd, Microsoft Research New England, and the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Harvard University
"A solid, unbiased, and unfettered introduction to the social aspects of blogging. Recommended."
About the Author
Jill Walker Rettberg is professor of digital culture at University of Bergen.
Table of Contents
1 What is a Blog? 5
A brief history of weblogs 6
How blogs have adapted to a social media ecosystem 14
Three blogs 17
Defining blogs 30
2 From Bards to Blogs 36
Orality and literacy 37
The introduction of print 41
Print, blogging and reading 44
Printed precedents of blogs 45
The Late Age of Print 47
A modern public sphere? 50
Hypertext and computer lib 53
Technological determinism or cultural shaping of technology? 57
3 Blogs, Communities and Networks 62
Social network theory 66
Distributed conversations 69
Technology for distributed communities 72
Facebook and Twitter as microblogs 76
Publicly articulated relationships 82
Colliding networks 83
Emerging social networks 86
4 Citizen Journalists? 90
Bloggers’ perception of themselves 93
When it matters whether a blogger is a journalist 94
Objectivity, authority and credibility 97
First-hand reports: blogging from a war zone 101
First-hand reports: chance witnesses 104
Bloggers as independent journalists and opinionists 107
5 Blogs as Narratives 115
Goal-oriented narratives 116
Ongoing and episodic narration 118
Blogs as self-exploration 127
Fictions or hoaxes? Kaycee Nicole and lonelygirl15 129
6 Blogging Brands 135
The human voice 136
Advertisements and sponsored posts on blogs 139
Sponsored posts and pay-to-post 147
Exploitation and alienation? 152
Corporate blogs 155
Engaging bloggers 161
Corporate blogging gone wrong 164
7 The Future of Blogging 169
Implicit participation and the perils of personalized media 170
Blogs Mentioned 186