An explosion of free weblog building tools has significantly enlarged the Blogosphere (Du & Wagner, 2006) by enabling anyone to weblog about anything. Although a breakthrough in democratic communication, the vast topical range and varied forms of blogs has considerably complicated classification.
In ‘A Taxonomy of Blogs’ (The Media Report, 2008), Simons proposed classifying blogs according to the author’s intention. Blogs whose authors purpose to argue opinions –political issues – are termed ‘pamphleteering blogs’; ‘exhibition blogs’ are manned by authors who purpose to exhibit creativity (The Media Report, 2008). Simons categorize nine types of blog authors, each driven by a separate purpose. Although this system immunizes itself from nuances that are present in a system that classifies according to media form – linklog and tumblelog, it is vulnerable to genre obscurity in blogs which discusses multiple topics. Classifying according to a blogger’s purpose is unfeasible overtime as the purpose of a blog may change overtime (Lomborg, 2009).
Lomborg (2009) proposes categorizing blogs according to content, directionality, and style. Content addresses topic, directionality addresses the nature of communication between the blog and its audience – to inform or to facilitate discussion. Style dictates whether the tone is professional or personal. Illustrated in Figure 1,
the genre of a blog is plotted on the graph, instead of being classified into distinct sections. For example, jeffooi.com is topically political, opinionatedly styled, and constitute a one-to-many communication. Compared to Simons’ classification system, Lomborg’s is less likely to encounter nuances. However, topical specification should be added to Lomborg’s classification system to further distinguish one category of blog from another. It is also proposed that expert attempts should be undertaken to divide Lomborg’s graphical classification system into distinct groups in order to unify categorization.
1. Du, H. S. & Wagner, C., 2006, ‘Weblog success: Exploring the role of technology’, International Journal of Human-computer Studies, vol. 64, iss. 9, pp. 789 – 798, viewed 24 August 2011, <http://www.sciencedirect.com.ezlibproxy.unisa.edu.au/science/article/pii/S1071581906000590>
2. Lomborg, S., 2009, ‘Navigating the blogosphere: Towards a genre-based typology of weblogs’, First Monday, vol. 14, no. 5, viewed 24 August 2011, <http://firstmonday.org/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/2329/2178>
3. The Media Report, 2008, A Taxonomy of Blogs, viewed 22 August 2011, http://www.abc.net.au/rn/mediareport/stories/2008/2372882.html