Due to the tireless efforts of Liz Lawley the Microcontent Research Center proposal was submitted to NSF. I am very much the not-counting-chickens sort of pessimist, so I won’t talk about our chances. What I will say is that it was a great opportunity to look at some of the research challenges that exist. Everyone remains desperately shocked that no good social science is being done. Despite the negative note about Clay Shirky’s piece below, I now realize its utility: people are getting excited about hard evidence for the effects of blogs. I’m hoping this leads to more thorough research in the area.
I now move on to a couple of projects that have been waiting in the wings. One traces citation networks on a small, snowballed sample of blogs. The other is assembling — on short notice! — a panel for this year’s Associate of Internet Researchers conference in Toronto. I’ll have an abstract up on that today or tomorrow and hopefully we’ll have some interesting stuff to present at the October conference. This panel, along with one I am on at the International Communication Association this may, should provide a collection of core research papers (journal special issue? edited volume?) on blogging in its various forms.