23. März 2004

[ English , Kommunikation ]

On Differences between Groupblogs and Individual Blogs

From: Martin Roell <martin@roell.net>
To: Thomas N. Burg
Subject: Re: Groupblogs and its traits

Hello Thomas,

Thank you for the interesting discussion on the differences between groupblogs and individual weblogs at BlogWalk 1. Let me first summarise my points, so that other readers know what we are talking about and can join the discussion, then let me reflect on what I said in Enschede.

My main point was that I think that group weblogs tend to make the authors write more in "publishing-mode" than into "reflection-mode". I think it will make them more likely to publish more "polished", "finished" thoughts than on personal weblogs and that they will write less about personal things. This will be especially the case in group blogs where the members don't know eachother well.

These thoughts built on a discussion I had with Martin Dugage earlier in the day: He had stated the hypothesis that as individuals discusss and network with eachother through their (individual) weblogs, they will develop a common language which could lead to the creation of a group weblog. (That was a fascinating thought for me - I had never thought about the formation of group weblogs on the base of interlinked individual blogs and common language. I will probably write more on that in German later.)

You write that you observed that on a group weblog an author expressed his personal feelings which provoked reaction from the other participants immediately. I think that we have to make a difference between group weblogs in a protected environment and those on the world wide web:

In a protected environment, where only members of the organisation or even only the group members can read, there will be a lower barrier of posting and of reacting to personal postings of members. On the web however I think that people are less likely to post personally in group weblogs, unless the group is connected very well. My thinking is that otherwise posting personal things could create a pressure on the group: The individual author may not be sure about how the others think about his post and if it is really "suitable" for the group (others are reading!). The others might not be sure if they place more value on the personal expression of their member or to the image that they want to present as a group. (I hope this paragraph is clear. If it's not, drop me a line and I will rephrase it.)

Regards,
Martin

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Hello Martin, I can't affirm your statement,that in groupblogs are less or more personal statemants and raw thoughts. It much depends on cultur and familiarity within the group and what goal the groupblog has.
Even though you might expect from a blog for entrepreneurs a link hub or a collection of essays whether finished or sketched but M-E-X Blog doesn't excels in that respect.And there are quiet a few very personal statement and not all have been answered. The "Das Kollektiv" is a mere link hub and in consequence, there are no personalstatements.

There are groupblogs, which share common space.

Interdependence is a major factor within a groupblog and definitly influences the behaviour of each member. If my words are rated and my career depends on what and how I bring things forth I will think twice before I post. This doesn't mean, that it always leads into "finished" thoughts and lack of emotion. I think this is again a matter of cultur. Any cultur can be introduced by moderating and other means of influence on the group.

Silke Schümann am 23.03.04 23:44 #
 

Martin,

I agree to some extent. Certainly, my writing on my group blog www.fistfulofeuros.net is at times a little different from my writing at my personal blog www.almostadiary.de. Yet that is also a consequence of my participation in the group blog. Before I started writing at AFOE, my own blog was much more theoretical and far less personal than. I suppose the change in character is largely owed to avoiding "cannibalisation". Thus, my "almostadiary" is now much more of a diary/personal blog, then it was before. I would also like to stress that group blogs usually develop as some kind of market induced consolidation - more readers are clearly more interesting than less. And writing for a larger audience most of the times means abstracting from issues that only a small community would understand.

However, there are exceptions to this rule in less journalistically oriented community blogs. Group blogs do not necessarily become link-hubs, in my opinion. Just take AFOE or crooked timber.

This is clearly an interesting topic to follow up on.

Tovias Schwarz am 24.03.04 00:42 #