I wanted to briefly record this one, in part so that I did not lose the reference, in part because I know that there is an interest in our immediate blogging world in research related to blogs and blogging.
In Blogging and piracy Professor Joshua Gans refers to a new academic paper discussing blogging. The post includes a link to the paper. I have yet to read the paper. However, it appears to use the livejournal community as a base, concluding that content rich blogs blogs attract more attention and links because of content, whereas less content rich blogs need to pay more attention to cite and discuss others so as to maintain status. Here the paper apparently makes a distinction between readers (content rich) and friends (links, cross-comments, etc).
I am sure that this is right. However, we also need to take into account the reason for blogging. While all bloggers are interested in things like their Technorati ranking (bloggers are human), to many bloggers it is the friends and interaction that makes blogging worthwhile, not the creation of content as such.
I follow what I think of as our blogging community quite closely. As part of this, I consciously track through comments and cross-links, watching the evolution of the community. Most recently we have seen the addition of a set of new bloggers who have added a new texture. I have picked this up in my material, as has Neil through his Shared Items.
I have used the term village many times to describe the process. In a personal sense, I do not think of the internet world as a mass. I cannot comprehend one hundred million blogs. Instead, I think in terms of people, each with their own unique features.
I can understand Tikno's flood, I may not agree with Ramana's sometimes negative view on the human condition, but I can see his viewpoint, I really laughed at Ben's descriptions of Bachelor's Day. Then, too, I had to withdraw from a discussion with Arthur Vandelay because I found that I wanted to argue, not discuss.
I cannot objectively say that our evolving village is in any way unique, although I think that in some ways it may be because of its breadth of views and the importance placed on manners. I can say that it makes an interesting study, one worthy of a paper in its own right. Certainly it makes for a fascinating sociological or anthropological study.
At Tikno's suggestion, I have added Google Translate to the side-bar to make material on this blog more accessible to those speaking other languages.
I am not sure why I did not do this before. I think the first time I thought of doing this, the number of languages covered was still very limited, the translations very odd. My thanks, Tikno, for the prompt.