How do communities use blogs?

Communities use blogs, such as Blogger or WordPress, in two ways: individual blogs and collective blogs.

  • Individual blogs give people a personal voice as contributors to a community. Some communities offer individual blogs inside the community space for specific purposes, such as telling personal stories of practice. Some communities also point to the personal blogs of their members outside the community space, for instance by including member’s blogs on their “blog roll” (links to associated sites). Informal communities also develop as conversations connect related blogs through postings and comments that point to each other across blogs.
  • Collective blogs are also used by communities as shared chronological spaces for posting opinions or news items. In some cases, a community blog acts as a kind of dynamic, online newsletter to keep members or broader audiences up-to-date on what is happening in and around the community. In other cases, a collective blog focuses on a topic and the chronological stream of postings and comments forms a kind of conversation on that topic.
  • Aggregated blogs such as planets can be used to create a shared feed among members (and others), which can retrieve a set of posts on selected topics. Such aggregation allows members to contribute to the community while focusing on their own blog. When done collectively, this creates a community’s view of the blogosphere with respect to topics related to its domain.

When a blog is updated it “pings” a server, which generates a list of blogs that have new material. This enables people to know when there new material has been published on a blog site. It is also used to notify someone when their blog has been linked to by another blog. Pinging enables people to automatically stay updated to new blog posts. It is also a way that bloggers keep up to date with the people who are referring to them.

 


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