Conclusion

Conclusion

In this paper we examined three blog communities in different geographical locations, both by analyzing the network structure of their blog rolls, citations, and comments, and by surveying the bloggers directly. In all three communities, there is strong evidence that blogs do enable relationship formation, with some of those new relationships later extending to other communication media and offline meetings. On the other hand, blogs do not play a large role in helping bloggers sustain their real life relationships; nonetheless, this finding may be due to blogging’s relatively young age.

Although previous blog studies have typically placed more emphasis on blog rolls and citations, we find that much of the community interaction occurs in comments and is not always reflected in blog rolls and citations. In examining the comments dataset, we propose a typology of social roles in commenting: conversation-starters and conversation-supporters. In general, all three communities show high degrees of reciprocity and cohesion.

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