Deconstructing weblogs: An analytical framework for analyzing online journals.
The current piece proposes a multi-disciplinary framework for analyzing weblogs through the lens of technology, communication, and psychology. Weblogs are often likened to online journals where the content posts are arranged in reverse chronological order on a Web site. Weblogs can be personal or professional. As of October 2003, Perseus reports that there are at 4.2 million hosted weblogs on the Internet (Perseus, 2003). Weblogs are different from Web pages in style and voice (Blood, 2002) and therefore must be analyzed in a different fashion than normal home pages, threaded discussion lists, online chat text, etc. The authors suggest that weblog researchers employ a three-pronged framework by looking at the mode, content structure, and function of a weblog. Each of these three constructs includes a typology for analysis. Further suggestions for ways to analyze weblogs allow for a quantitative or qualitative approach, including investigations of the virtual proximity of network nodes and content analysis. The researchers call for future research to investigate the motivation of webloggers and impact of weblogs on readers. The formation and use of this analytical framework provides researchers with a baseline guide for analyzing weblogs and supports a multitude of prospective research questions or hypotheses.
2004 Annual Conference of the International Communication Association (ICA)
New Orleans, L.A.