Blogs are probably the best form of user generated content. And finding good blogs is a challenge because there’s plenty of junk out there. Let’s take a look at a little of the organizational structure for blogs. The network of computers that connects us all makes for an ecosystem and every blog fits somewhere into that system. The first type of blog and the most popular is the personal blog. This is the type of blog where you express yourself and layout your own feelings and thoughts. Of course, if you happen to be bright and interesting and quirky than these are good blogs. But if you are dull and plodding than your blog will follow suit. A good example of a personal blog is Dooce.com. You can check it out here: Dooce.com is a personal blog that records the person’s life. A second type of blog is a filtering blog. These simply lists links with little or no commentary but they connect you to many other blogs. Filtering blogs filter the web from the blogger’s point of view. So some topics are more representative than others. Jason Kottke’s blog is a particularly good example that uses the web to represent his own interests particularly when he and his wife had a baby. You can find the blog here: Jason Kottke’s Blog
Topical blogs are of course extremely popular and they are simply devoted to issues and focused topics rather than the blogger. You can probably imagine the variety of topics available on the Internet. Politics is important but less so than you might think. A Pew Internet research study in 2006 found that only around 11% of all blogs were primarily about politics . You might also try The Daily Kos and The Artful Parent. Topical blogs usually take the practice of writing a post like a news story; that is, they describe an activity and then include additional information and insights about that activity. Some of these topical blogs are simply quirky and creative and enjoyable to read. For this, I would recommend “your civic doody.” You can find it here: Your Civic Doody.
Liberal blogs are plentiful on the web but there are even more conservative blogs. One fellow who is chronically pissed and pretty fun to read can be a found here : chronically Pissed. An angry liberal blogger. No holds barred language
The conventions and the practices of blogging will change over time. Blogs will change as the technology changes as well as the communication interests of people. Still, there are millions of blogs and very few of them receive very much attention . But it is also important not to think of them as mass communication . They are not designed for the masses but for slices of the audience. I think the issue of whether blogs are simply a medium or whether they are genre of writing is an interesting one. If they are simply an electronic tool through which text passes then they have relatively little to offer other than speed and availability. But if they are genre of writing then blogs stand to play a significant role in the expression of information.