Blogging has profoundly influenced not only the nature of the internet today, but also the nature of modern communication, despite being a genre invented less than a decade ago. This book-length study of a now everyday phenomenon provides a close look at blogging while placing it in a historical, theoretical and contemporary context.

Scholars, students and bloggers will find a lively survey of blogging that contextualises blogs in terms of critical theory and the history of digital media. Authored by a scholar-blogger, the 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 and at how social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook incorporate blogging in their design. Specific kinds of blogs discussed include political blogs, citizen journalism, confessional blogs and commercial blogs.
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  • August 2013
  • 184 pages
  • 152 x 229 mm / 6 x 9 in
Available Formats
  • Open eBook $20.75
  • 9780745655963
Table of Contents


Chapter 1: What is a Blog?

How to Blog.

Three Blogs.

Personal Blogs:

Filter blogs:

Topic-driven Blogs: Daily Kos.

Defining Blogs.

A Brief History of Weblogs.

Chapter 2: From Bards to Blogs.

Orality and Literacy.

The Introduction of Print.

Print, Blogging and Reading.

Printed Precedents of Blogs.

The Late Age of Print.

A Modern Public Sphere?

Hypertext and Computer Lib.

Technological Determinism or Cultural Shaping of Technology?

Chapter 3: Blogs, Communities and Networks.

Social Network Theory.

Distributed Conversations.

Technology for Distributed Communities.

Other Social Networks.

Publicly Articulated Relationships.

Colliding Networks.

Emerging Social Networks.

Chapter 4: Citizen Journalists?

Bloggers’ Perception of Themselves.

When it Matters Whether a Blogger is a Journalist.

Objectivity, Authority and Credibility.

First-hand Reports: Blogging from a War Zone.

First-hand Reports: Chance witnesses.

Bloggers as Independent Journalists and Opinionists.



Chapter 5: Blogs as Narratives.

Fragmented Narratives.

Goal-Oriented Narrative.

Ongoing Narration.

Blogs as Self-Exploration.

Fictions or Hoaxes? Kaycee Nicole and lonelygirl.

Chapter 6: Blogging Brands.

The Human Voice.

Advertisements on Blogs.


Sponsored Posts and Pay-to-Post.

Corporate Blogs.

Engaging Bloggers.

Corporate Blogging Gone Wrong.

Chapter 7: The Future of Blogging.

Implicit Participation.

Perils of Personalised Media.


Blogs mentioned.

About the Author
Jill Walker Rettberg is Associate Professor at the University of Bergen.
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“A key text for an emerging field.”
Times Higher Education

Blogging is 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 reknowned blogger, examined through the expert eye of an experienced communication researcher, to reveal the psychological, social, political, historical meaning of the blogging phenomenon. She brings media studies, ethnology, literary studies, marketing, journalism, sociology together into a brilliant explanatory framework.”
Howard Rheingold, author of Smart Mobs

“Jill Walker's Blogging is set to be a key text in its field. Unlike too many other books about blogging, this is no simplistic 'Blogs 101', but instead places blogging in a wider context from the declining supremacy of print culture to the emerging hot spots of social networking, including Facebook and YouTube. One of the world's leading scholars on blogging, and a veteran blogger herself, Walker is uniquely placed to document and examine the impact of blogging and allied forms of participatory media.”
Axel Bruns, author of Blogs, Wikipedia, Second Life, and Beyond: From Production to Produsage

“To date, the history and culture of blogging has primarily been blogged, distributed and difficult for outsiders to follow. Walker's book brilliantly documents, analyzes, and situates blogging, constructing an indispensable account of the phenomenon for both scholars and the public alike. A must read for all interested in social media!”
danah boyd, Harvard Law School Berkman Center for Internet & Society

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