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Blog Wars - Ethnography and Content Analysis of Blogs

This is a poster I produced last July for Monash University Sunway Campus (where I am studying). It's using the same material as a paper I presented in August, but focuses mainly on the Social Network Analysis (SNA) potential for combining with content analysis.

I am self-taught as regards SNA, so it is well possible that I have made mistakes. If I have, please tell me as I'd love to know.

blogs malaysia blogwars research social network analysis sna
--Click on the picture to get the larger version - you will have to zoom in and out in order to get the full view and to be able to read it.--

I have anonymised the data, but Malaysian and Singaporean bloggers may recognise the bloggers involved.

Blogwars - my first results!

Woohoo! I finally got this Flash player working (I hope).

Although I've been looking at blogs for more than two years now, I only recently finally completed something tangible. I finally got round to writing this paper which I presented it at the 6th International Malaysian Studies Conference in Kuching last month.

It's called "Blogwars - Authenticity and Value in the Blogosphere", and here is the abstract:

A case study of a 'blogwar' centred on a short-lived 'hateblog' that occurred mostly in the Singaporean blogosphere, with some input from Malaysia. In this case, the renown of the protagonists, and the viciousness of the attack, combined to make the hateblog a 'productive' temporary locus of online discursive activity.

Theoretically, the approach taken shall draw upon Bourdieu's concepts of field, social capital and practice; Bakhtin's concept of dialogics; Appadurai's concept of "commodity candidacy", and discussions of value and authenticity. Miller & Slater, as well as Latour, are important in shaping the ethnographic approach to the internet, rooting online practices in offline contexts.

It is argued that through the posts and comments of those who condemn, support, or merely wish to be entertained by, the blogwar, it is possible to explore the underlying practices and norms of blogging.

Methodologically, the short timeframe enabled the gathering of most - possibly all - related blog posts and comments. These were subjected to content analysis, and the results analysed statistically and with social network analysis tools.

In plain language
There was a blogwar based around an anonymous hateblog in Singapore a couple of years ago. By analysing the connected posts and comments, I concluded that an essential aspect of blogs is the belief that a blog reflects the blogger's true peblogwar malaysia singapore anthropology researchrsonality and beliefs (not necessarily everything, but at least aspects of it), and that if readers don't think that's the case, they will not read that blog.

Frankly, it could be better, and the bit on social network analysis (in the paper, not in the presentation) is very tentative; however, I think I made some good points.

I've recorded a presentation with audio which you can watch here (it's 30 minutes); or, if you prefer to download it and watch it offline, you can do so here (it's a large file, 19.5MB). Or, you can download just the presentation, which is 500KB, here. If you want the full paper, please contact me.

I hope you enjoy it, and I'd love to hear any feedback and/or criticisms! :-D