Thursday, July 21, 2005

Types of Blogs Revisited

My previous three categories of blogs have been useful to me and to others in talking about the function and style of blogs. After some discussion with my dad, I’ve decided to refine my original categories and present this still incomplete but more complex schema. Some of the categories are the same, some are new, and some are just renamed. So here are five common types of blogs:

  • Diary blogs: these weblogs function like a personal journal for writers to air all their dirty laundry. They post to vent, celebrate, whine and swoon. These are frequently marked by disregard to conventions of spelling and grammar, use of internet abbreviations and emoticons, dramatic, personal, sometimes gossipy content. Reading this sort of blog feels deceptively like one has an actual relationship with the blogger. Some of the most scandalous blogs fall into this category.

  • Christmas Card blogs: These bloggers use blogs primarily as a way to keep up with friends they might not corresond with personally very often. These are like the annual christmas letter my family sends to people, just a generic response to the question "what's going on with you?" As such, these bloggers are more aware of the public-ness of a blog, and are not as personal as diary bloggers. My xanga site most often belongs in this category.

  • Commentary Blogs: Formerly called “literary blogs” these are similar to an editorial column or essay series. The writer writes about whatever he or she is thinking about or interested in. The quality of writing is often higher, and posts are often well-thought-out and sometimes even revised before posting. It’s more about the writer’s intellectual life than personal life, but it is still very related to the identity of the writer. I aim for this kind of blog with my blogspot.

  • Single-topic blogs: These are blogs that cover one writer’s (or several collaborators’) opinions or observations about a focused subject. This could be a number of things – politics, worship, language, entertainment, etc. They sometimes follow a specific subcategory of their topic (instances of unnecessary quotation marks or the phrase “a whole nother” for example). They are often unabashedly biased; in fact, it’s part of their charm.

  • News blogs: These are blogs that are used primarily to post updates and/or links about specific topics, with little or no commentary. Professional groups and entertainers’ websites often use this style.
Of course there is more in the blogosphere to consider, so this schema isn’t comprehensive. For example, what about blogs of artistic expression? How are blogs with multiple contributors different? What is the effect of comments? More to come later, perhaps.

1 comment:

citystreams said...

Bethany~I've also noticed a trend in photo blogging. I've seen one recently where the only posts were artistic photos with short captions. Just a thought.
Personally I prefer keeping up with the commentary style blogs. I don't like reading all the gossipy stuff but I'm too A.D.D. to stay focused on one topic on a regular basis. :o)