Just a quick post (wasn’t quick after all) on some examples of different types ways many people come together in the blogosphere…got to be careful with my wording here, it’s all semantics on this topic, so I have chose “many” as used by Jon Dron and Virtual Canuck.
The focus is on blogs and the “many”, see my past posts Google could be Facebook…and more on networks and communities, Blog networks or blog communities?, Newsvine : the evergreen social news blogging network and Technorati cross-breeding and community groups.
I’ve tried to find examples for different ways the “many” come together, some services blur the line and make it hard…
Communal blog - multi-authored eg. TechCrunch, mashable, Read/Write Web, FastFoward blog, World Changing, MasterNewMedia
NOTE: the blogs mentioned above are a closed system, but I don’t see why you couldn’t have an open blog, or blogs like Slashdot and LisNews where people submit stories…Digg turned this idea into an open network.
Collection of blogs - multiple blogs on the one website eg. gigaOM, ZDNet blogs, IT Toolbox (collections within a collection), Science Blogs
I guess a collection doesn’t have to be mastered by one site, perhaps a directory is a collection, or as below, an aggregation is a collection.
Cloud of blogs - this is very loose and depends how you look at it, it shapes with bloggers commenting and trackbacking on each others blogs, overtime if this is sustained it kind of assumes a self organising non-structured network, that’s why I called it something fluffy like a “cloud”.
I posted about this type of “many”, and this is the very past work Anjo and Lilia heavily focused on. This type of “many” is the most interesting, as it emerges and is elusive, it’s pure as people find each other and sustain a relationship without a formal boundary or registration…one day I’d like to cover all of Anjo’s and Lilia’s work in this area.
These blogs could later be formerly re-syndicated into one site, see below.
NOTE: an aggregation of blogs could be about a topic or could be formalised around a cloud of blogs.
Hub and Spoke blogs - a cloud of blogs can even be sliced from the perspective of one popular blog and all the blogs that comment and link to it, TechCrunch would be a perfect example, they have opened forums as another place to keep continuing discussion…another is mashable who have visually shown another way to look at the discussion around it’s blog by using Mashtracker.
Aggregation of blogs - re-syndicated blogs into a hub (either done formally or without blog owners knowing) eg. Social Media Today, Global Voices
Informal example is using any re-syndication or remix service like MySyndicaat, Netvibes Universes, BlogDigger Groups, Feedburner Networks, Technorati Favourites, PageFlakes PageCasts, SuprGlu, etc…or even a standalone informal way such as Original Signal.
I guess Technorati Blog Finder fits in here, and even Technorati Tags.
And what about an aggregation of blogs in a network with lots of other aggregation of blogs, this is what you get with kinja, feedbite, and Feed Collectors
Carnival blog - this doesn’t really fit here, but is more about one blog covering the lastest on a topic each week, posts in the roundup are either submitted by the blog owners or just collected by a person.
The Carnival blog could be a group (community) set-up where regular blogs submitting articles have a place to discuss, etc…
eg. Carnival of Infosciences, Carnival of Mobilists
Check out the Carnival directory for all the carnivals.
Branded blogs - belong to a brand eg. 9rules
NOTE: they have chosen to also be an aggregation of blogs or a collection of blogs
Social network of blogs - register with a service where you have a blog in the same platform as others, you can add these other blogs or people as a friend and send messages, and of course leave comments and trackback
NOTE: the social part is adding friends and sending messages (basically communicating), if these features are missing I guess it’s just a network of blogs.
eg. Facebook notes, Sponit, Gather, Newsvine
Group blogs - people with a purpose and common goal, more of a community…blog posts only appear within the communal blog or user blogs within the group
eg. Facebook Groups
eg. Newsvine groups - I like that you can choose to send your personal posts from the network to the group, so your posts to the group are not exclusive to the group.
Blog network within a group - PerthNorg and CommonGate are similar to Group blogs, but then similar to a blog network, reason being is that content in PerthNorg appears in categories, and you can all see posts form one user. Just say most users whose posts are always tagged “entertainment” stop posting in this category. Then this category will die and let down PerthNorg as a whole…in this respect it has a network environment within a group whole (community??)
I will also put Ning into this category, when you set up a Ning Social network, such as Mowser has done, it is a network within a community…sure you have your own space, but the whole purpose is driven to one goal, and that is Mowser support/feedback, you are not there to blog about any topic.
So even though it’s a social network, it’s within a community that has a leader, moderator, members, forum, etc…basically a community of practice with a social network feature.
Of course you can set up a Ning Social Network to be about anything just like MySpace or Facebook, in this respect it doesn’t really have community values, it’s just a free for all.
Elgg is another social network that blurs the boundaries even more, and is much like Facebook, but limited to just a blogging feature, check out eduspaces use of Elgg:
- it’s a social network where you can add friends
- each user has a blog and a tag cloud
- each user has an aggregator of feeds from friends within Elgg
- each user has an aggregator for external feeds
- each user can tag themselves…discover both content and people by tag
- join a community, unlike Newsvine your community group posts don’t appear in your usual user blog
Elgg is real comprehensive, I like the mini blogosphere tag cloud and when you tick on a tag it displays people with this tag, blogs that use this tag, blog posts with this tag, users and communities with files and presentations with this tag.
What have I missed?
[ADDED 22/07/07: Lifestream Groups]
[ADDED 22/07/07: Clearspace : enterprise 2.0 communities]