Blog watching with a purpose
By: Alicia Dudek & Kate Saunderson
2. We are looking into
how people use,
abuse, and reuse new
produc@on of content.
3. Mapping the idea space and
focusing the scope
4. Understanding the
blogosphere’s role in
6. What are you DOING?
– Who are the people in the seats?
• Online – reading blogs – wriDng blogs – commenDng –
replying ‐ parDcipaDng
– Involvement in the blogosphere
• Who, what, when, where
• With who – the groups, the organizaDon of groups, the
• How much Dme is dedicated to this form of new media
7. What are you DOING?
– A form of new media
– An umbrella term for online log wriDng, journal
wriDng, criDcism, reviewing, chronicling, the
commentary mechanism, social system, subculture,
and the literacy of the parDcipants
– The collecDve works of the bloggers and
– The physicality of blogs as well as the ethos or ether
of the blogosphere
– Meta‐blogging ; blogging about blogging; “I blog
therefore I am”
8. What are you DOING?
– The stuﬀ you use to make it happen (meaning the
– The behavior of people with regards to technology
– How people use, abuse, and reuse technology
meaning new media?
– Tailoring technologies
– How oTen and how long are the interacDons with
9. WHY are you doing it?
10. WHY are you doing it?
11. WHY are you doing it?
12. WHY are you doing it?
13. THE INTERNET BARRIER
IS SOMETHING FLUID
THAT EBBS AND FLOWS
CREATED BY USERS
BLOGGER AS THEY
BLOGGER AS PEOPLE
IN THE REAL
14. What PEOPLE and why?
People Reading People Wri@ng
THE INTERNET BARRIER
• Reading blog posts
• CommenDng on blog posts
• WriDng blog posts
• Replying to comments, etc.
• CommenDng on blog posts
• AXending events planned online
through blogs, or implemenDng • Replying to comments, etc.
the advice or knowledge from the • Blogging replies to other
blogs. online content
• Returning to regular blogs. • ReacDng and responding to
• Blogs they you look at to be real world or virtual world
entertained, just for fun? events, you tube videos,
– Blogs that merge fun and funcDon? retweeDng, etc.
• How do you ﬁnd other blogs? • Linking of blogs and whys and
– Google, search hows, eDqueXe/ literacy
– Blog subscripDon, RSS feeds, links
– Reading blogs on blog • Networking
agglomerator sites • Organizing events
– Through websites
but I sDll don’t get it
16. Can you explain more about what
“internet (didacDc) barrier” means?
Exactly the quesDon we would
have asked ourselves. We have
been thinking about this a lot and
its a diﬃcult thing to pinpoint
because this barrier is very ﬂuid
and takes many forms.
I can answer this ques@on best
with a story about the video
game Metal Gear Solid.
Metal Gear Solid was released on the PlaystaDon 2 console back in the day. It was one of the culminaDng
games of its Dme and came to represent what a high quality game should look like, but it also contained
elements that broke the rules of video games. In one of the later stages of the game the main character, a
gunslinger named Snake, is baXling one of the ﬁnal bosses. Psycho ManDs, the boss, has telepathic
and telekineDc powers. Throughout the ﬁght, Psycho ManDs begins to ask the player if they enjoyed playing
other video games and making comments on how oTen they saved or how other games were played. By
reading the memory cards contents and breaking the 4th wall Psycho ManDs, is illustraDng how a video game
can breakout of the game atmosphere and truly unseXle the user. This is further deepened when during the
baXle Psycho ManDs disables the users controller leaving them helpless. In order to defeat Psycho ManDs the
player must move the controller from port 1 to port 2 in order to regain control. By demanding this physical
acDon in order to interact and reading the memory card with the players personal informaDon, Metal Gear
Solid was revoluDonary. Here is a video of the part of the game we are discussing Metal Gear Solid Psycho
ManDs Boss Fight.
17. The internet barrier
What does this mean?
• The internet barrier menDoned in our video can be viewed
as an interacDon barrier. It is constantly changing due to
technology and the acDons of users. It is like the surface of
a giant bubble in a state of ﬂuxus. The player of Metal
Gear Solid is like our blogosphere parDcipant. The game
console is our technology. Psycho ManDs is a
representaDon of the blogosphere. The blogger puts
themselves out there by creaDng representaDons of
themselves online. By creaDng these representaDons and
interacDng in the community the blogger is "ﬁlling up the
memory card" which can then be read and uDlized by the
blogosphere community in order to interact directly with
the blogger. The commentary and reply mechanism which
is fundamental to blogosphere literacy acts as a way of
breaking the 4th wall between bloggers and the online
world. That's what it means at the moment in our context.
HOW TO BEAT THE
19. What other relaDonships are you going to
As the story about Metal Gear Solid illustrates
its really creepy when the 4th wall is not only
broken but a person's private, public, personal,
professional, virtual, and physical world's begin
to collide. Blogger's are ac3vely seeking this
collision and forming it in their own hands by
shaping their interac3ons with this ﬂuctua3ng
barrier. This is what we really want to explore.
How the people shaping the barriers are
changing the way that the blogosphere reads
people and how interac@ons are created.
20. What is the relaDonship between
blogs and technology?
We see that there is a relaDonship between the availability of technology,
the form of blogs, the ways that they are used to interact and get updated.
This rela@onship has an eﬀect on how people connect, learn, and share
informa@on. If people have more access than others there will be diﬀerences
in how people get "caught up" in the virtual world or construct their virtual
world. The barriers that each user puts in place, shielding parts of private life
from the online world and vice versa, are crucial in understanding the
entertainment landscape. Technology and its availability is fundamental to
any shiVs in online behavior. It can either enable or prohibit certain ac@ons,
even going so far as to create en@rely new paWerns of behavior. Looking at
how those paXerns are formed and inﬂuenced, during the development of
the blogosphere, cannot have been mutually exclusive to the development of
Our research would venture into the relaDonship between original blogs, their
tradiDonal format of long wriXen posts, to that of the new forms of blogs,
their predecessors, such as twiXer, vlogging, Flickr, photo blogs – the
morphing of this area alongside new mobile technology, increased internet
access, digital literacy/aXenDon span.
21. did that help clarify?
22. What QUESTIONS and WHY?
23. What QUESTIONS and why?
Things we can learn by blogsurﬁng
• Deﬁne community in blogosphere: blogging community
mapping, TwiXer feed study
• Iden@fy groups + communi@es of blogs: observe and record.
Examples: 'Fail blog'/ 'Itmademyday'/ 'Post Secret '
• Document behavior of commen@ng: Observe blog’s and zoom
in on comment behavior and literacy
• What tech made it happen: Trackback what technology was
• How do people design the frames (camera angle): What tools
do they use?
• Framing bloggers: Digital observaDon/ select quesDonnaires
• Frequency of blog posts: Observe blog replies and comment
• Blog success – public blogs, popular blogs
• How people began: look at early blog posts, interviews
24. What QUESTIONS and WHY?
25. What QUESTIONS and WHY?
Ques@ons we want to answer
• Where people blog: physically and virtually
• Blog history
• Validity of blog output
• Blog stats acDve/passive – No. of dead blogs
• Blogosphere demographics
• People moDvaDons in digital spaces
• Scale of blog writer: create scale/ﬁnd scale
• Scale of tech literacy: create scale/ﬁnd scale
• Sites frequently used
26. What QUESTIONS and why?
Ques@ons to ask people
• Q. Did any technology help or hinder your move
• Q. Where do you blog? Physically & Virtually
• Q. How you got into blogging?
• Q. Why do you blog now?
• Q. Time spent on blogs?
• Q. Do you see yourself as a blogger?
• Q. How people began their blogs?
• Q. How do you ﬁnd blogs?
how are you going to
28. What METHODS and why?
• Digital and real ethnography methods will be mixed in
order to see the whole picture. This illustrates the
spectrum of real or virtual involvement during the course
of the method.
• Catch a “viral” blog wave or comment wave and ride it
• Blog tour – a blogger takes you along on a physical or
virtual tour of their blog
• Focus group on blog avatar creaDon
– Using whiteboard blocks in order to have people role play
through the creaDon of a blog community
– Individual idenDty avatar creaDon, post it note tags on 3
dimensional shapes in order to provide a physical anchor i.e.
29. What METHODS and why?
Method Type Examples
Monitoring over Looking at comments / Geong feedback form
HIGH Dme Dme increments blogger being
Spectrum of invasiveness
Monitoring Passively Watching blogs and Watching Public blogs
noDng post frequency versus individual blogs
Direct ObservaDon Watching people blog & Videos, vlogging –
parDcipatory observaDon check associaDons –
blog twiXer facebook
Full Interview In person, online Blog tours, blogger
Dialogue Have a chat & email ContacDng commenter
exchanges & asking them /
1 OFF – single Comment and ask, Instances of seeing
instance of Things of note, behaviors something in a blog
LOW interacDon or seen on the ﬂy, note during desk research
exchange down related blurbs / or
30. What METHODS and WHEN?
31. What OUTPUT and why?
• Make your last output match your next input
• Design of a focus group on blogs: Blog avatar creaDon role‐
• QuanDtaDve StaDsDcs
– CounDng of the instances that certain similar events occurred
– Supplemented by desk research into overall blogosphere
populaDon and staDsDcs
– Speciﬁc illustraDve examples of stories
– Persona creaDon – a form of storytelling
• ReﬂecDon on the methods and processes used
– DocumentaDon of all methods and processes used
• FINAL DELIVERABLE
– In a format that easily and clearly communicates the ﬁndings
– Form, kind, analysis, visualizaDon, presentaDon
32. What OUTPUT and WHY?
Must be saDsfy demands: