Aargh. This is why I find weblogs often really frustrating as means of communication or content management. This post and its responses require a lot of background knowledge to understand which is hard to find.
Actually, I think weblogs are _normally_ far less context-dependent than other forms of communication, and folks are _generally_ pretty good at linking back to source information. I may have just fallen down on my hyperlinking there. So, here’s some linkiness and context to try to wrap that together.
The Association of Internet Research has held an annual meeting for the last 5 years. It’s a group that provides an interdisciplinary venue (and one that is friendly to cultural studies and generally not as focussed on the “hard” social sciences) for those interested in, broadly, social issues related to the internet. Work that is presented there is often aligned with what might find in the journal New Media & Society. The most recent of the growing conferences, and the one in discussion here, occurred in Toronto at the end of last year. I organized a double panel entitled *Broadening the Blog* (abstracts for part 1 & part 2). I presented a paper (“Urban sociology and a research agenda for the blogosphere,” “pdf”:http://alex.halavais.net/research/halavais-ir4.pdf) as well as chairing presentations by Thomas Burg, Cameron Marlow, Matthew Rotthenberg, Aaron Delwiche, Taso Lagos, Liz Lawley, and Jason Nolan. (Jo Ann Oravec was unfortunately unable to attend.) It was early in the morning, and not as well attended as I might have liked — though not quite as sparse as Cameron’s photo suggests (especially as the morning wore on). A Google search will turn up some presenters and audience blogging about it.
There were a couple of other sessions at the conference that were grouped roughly around different blog-related issues — I don’t think any of these were organized ahead of time as panels, they were collected via the regular grouping process — as well as some blogging-related papers that ended up in sections that were not particularly blog-focused. Among these was the research presented by Elijah and his collaborators, a paper called “Beyond the Unusual: Weblogs as Genre” (“abstract”:http://www.ecommons.net/aoir/aoir2003/index.php?n=105, “ppt slides”:http://www.blogninja.com/aoir.blog.final.ppt). Unfortunately, AIR doesn’t open access to full papers, and I don’t know that a full copy is floating out there somewhere. Likewise, Googling will turn up some posts on those presentations.
Based, I believe, on the same set of data, Elijah also co-authored a paper for the Hawaii International Conference on Systems Science. Though I’ve never attended, the conference is a long-standing one (they are on number 38) and some of the most solid research I’ve seen is presented there. The focus tends to be heavily on “technology,” (in the engineers’ conception) but some of the mini-tracks take a pretty social perspective. The so-called “HICSS paper” is Susan C. Herring, Loius Ann Schiedt, Sabrina Bonus, Elijah Wright, “Bridging the Gap: A Genre Analysis of Weblogs.” Abstract and full paper can be found here.
I suppose I could be even linkier, but hopefully this can serve as atonement for previous hyperlinklessness