Taxonomy of blogs, and civility online (radio national)

FocusBrowsing the Radio national podcasts, i found this interview and panel discussion:

Author and media analyst Margaret Simons takes a stab at defining the different types of blogs that currently exist.” (The interview follows an article in Creative Economy, where you’ll find relevant other links.)

1) Pamphleteering – often political blogs are like this, with many authors.
2) Digest blog, which aggregates and comments on a range of other stuff, eg from other blogs or from mainstream media.
3) Advocacy, eg telstra – where the company gets their workers to post the company line in an informal blogging style.
4) Popular mechanics, or how-to. Sue Waters on edublogs would be a good example of this.
5) Exhibition – by craftspeople and artists, writers, poets etc.
6) Gatekeeper .. watching the media as it reports the news (eg possum comitatus beats up the Australian on its newspoll reporting).
7) Diary – possibly the majority (family snapshots and life) .. in decline because of social networking sites (myspace, facebook etc).
8) Advertisement .. created by companies, thinly veiled, pretend blogs.
9) News blog, eg crikey.

(Direct link to mp3 here: Media Report .. interview with Margaret Simons .. but i still can’t get the player to work .. )

i love the way the abc has their audio accompanied by a transcript – how useful for higher level literacy learners!! (as well as people like me who have trouble with active listening.)

The interview was followed by a panel discussion on the perceived lack of civility online, with Andrew Bartlett (Australian Democrats), George Megalogenis (political writer) and Laurel Papworth (blogger).

George says one of his posts drew in bullies from both sides of politics (the “usual suspects”), hogging the space and leading to less diversity in comments. He went out on a limb and said, “Enough” .. which led to many more comments than ever before. People who came on to discuss the type of blog they wanted to read were much more the kind of readers he wanted to engage with.

Andrew says that he already gets plenty of people shouting slogans at each other in the Senate, and wants more diversity and nuance in comments to his blog. Real “battle to get a civil discussion place”.

How can we silence the trolls? Fascinating discussion .. have a listen.

Laurel aka Silkcharm also blogged the event, and noted a couple of blog genres missing from the taxonomy: event blogs and education or course blogs

She also makes some strong points on the differences between blogs and social networking sites. Without embedding some special kind of commenting system (eg Disqus), a blogger cannot build individual profiles on the people in their audience.

PS: Thanks Laurel for your rapid comment. Much appreciated!

Creative Commons License photo credit: dkalo

One thought on “Taxonomy of blogs, and civility online (radio national)

  1. Oh look, bloggers have no real problems. A blog is about the blogger deciding on the content to present, creating it, setting the subject and tone.

    Communities are about profiles and identity. Fairfax and News.com fail because they don’t offer a profile. If we could track a persons profile and all the comments they make, it’s like a report card at the end of school term. Reward programs and such, but there is no community engagement other than allowing comments.
    Thank you for your post 🙂

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