Types of Blogging Communities and Methods to Build Blogging Communities: Illustrating Lim Kit Siang’s Blog

Organizing without organization is now possible with the advent of blogging communities. The Bersih 2.0 rally (Savaranamuttu, 2011), and the prejudicial imprisonment of Shaquanda Cotton (Witt, 2009) are evidential of the uprisings of blogging communities.  Blog readers, commentors, and bloggers assemble to discuss common interests, building relationships and enforcing a community structure (Tan, Na & Theng, 2011).

The first form of blogging community is the ‘blogger-centric’ community (White, 2006), usually the ‘A-list blogs’. Power is centralized in the blogger, who determines the discussion topics within the blog. The blogging community’s existence clings on the blogger’s will to keep it operating. The second blogging community – ‘central connecting topic community’ – are formed through several blogs linked by a common topic interest (White, 2006). Features such as tagging, RSS feeds, and trackbacks link these blogs together. Power and identity is distributed across this community as the determinants of the conversation topics are decentralized. ‘Boundaried communities’, the final community, are such the bloggers and blog readers co-exist on a single hosted site. One must own a blog to become part of the community. The site owner exercises power by determining restrictions in the site. Bloggers exercise power by directing the discussion topic and aggregating popularity.

Blog.limkitsiang.com is an example of a blogger-centric community. Although commentors share similar topical interest as the blogger, the discussion topics are wholly determined by the blogger, Lim Kit Siang. His political position reinforces the credibility necessary for him to be the initiator of such a community. Blog readers solely read and comment without initiating discussion topics, hence excluding this blogging community as a ‘central connecting topic community’. 

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REFERENCES

1.  Savaranamuttu, J., 2011, ‘The political impact of Bersih 2.0’, Free Malaysia Today July 20, viewed 26 August 2011, <http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/2011/07/20/the-political-impact-of-bersih-2-0/>

2.  Tan, L. K. W., Na, J. C. & Theng, Y. L., 2011, ‘Influence detection between blog posts, through blog features, content analysis, and community identity’, Online Information Review, vol. 35, no. 3, viewed 26 August 2011, <http://www.emeraldinsight.com.ezlibproxy.unisa.edu.au/journals.htm?articleid=1937296&show=html>

3.  Witt, L., 2009, ‘Blogging communities spurred to action’, Nieman Reports, vol. 63, no. 3, pp. 49 – 51, viewed 26 August 2011, < http://content.ebscohost.com.ezlibproxy.unisa.edu.au>

4.  White, N., 2006, ‘Blogs and community: Launching a  new paradigm for online community’, The Learning Tree, edn. 11, pp. 1 – 16, viewed 26 August 2011, <http://kt.flexiblelearning.net.au/wp-content/uploads/2006/12/white.pdf>

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