I just sent in the manuscript for the Blogging book I’m writing for Polity Press! Hooray!

It’s not quite finished yet. Now it’s going to be read by readers, who’ll give me feedback on it within the next five or six weeks. Then I get a last chance to make changes. And with luck, it’ll be published about a year from now.

I’m mostly pretty happy with the book – it’s going to be awesome! There are some rougher patches, but I’m sure they’ll turn out well too with feedback from readers and not least, the luxury of totally ignoring the manuscript for five or six weeks and then returning to it with fresh eyes.

Hooray! And if you’re interested, the table of contents is below the fold. Of course, it could be modified in the final round of editing, but this is what it’s like at this point:

Table of Contents 2
Acknowledgements 5
Introduction 6
Chapter 1: What is a Blog? 10
– How to Blog 11
– Three Blogs 15
– Personal Blogs: Dooce.com 16
– Filter blogs: Kottke.org 19
– Topic-driven Blogs: Daily Kos 22
– Defining Blogs 24
– A Brief History of weblogs 30
– Who Blogs? 40
Chapter 2: From Bards to Blogs 41
– Orality and Literacy 42
– The Introduction of Print 47
– Print, Blogging and Reading 50
– Printed Precedents of Blogs 51
– The Late Age of Print 54
– A Modern Public Sphere? 57
– Hypertext and Computer Lib 61
– Technological Determinism or Cultural Shaping of Technology? 65
Chapter 3: Blogs, communities and networks 69
– Social Network Theory 71
– Distributed Conversations 74
– Technology for Distributed Communities 77
– Other Social Networks 81
– Publicly Articulated Relationships 90
– Colliding Networks 92
– Emerging Social Networks 96
Chapter 4: Citizen Journalists? 101
– Bloggersí Perception of Themselves 104
– When it Matters Whether a Blogger is a Journalist 106
– Objectivity, Authority and Credibility 110
– First-hand Reports: Blogging from a War Zone 114
– First-hand Reports: Chance witnesses 117
– Bloggers as Independent Journalists and Opinionists 121
– Gatewatching 124
– Symbiosis 127
Chapter 5: Blogs as Narratives 130
– Fragmented narratives 130
– Goal-Oriented Narrative 132
– Ongoing Narration 134
– Blogs as Self-Exploration 140
– Fictions or Hoaxes? Kaycee Nicole and lonelygirl15 142
Chapter 6: Commercial Blogging 148
– The Human Voice 149
– Advertisements on Blogs 152
– Micropatronage 158
– Sponsored Posts and Pay-to-Post 159
– Corporate Blogs 165
– Engaging Bloggers 171
– Corporate blogging gone wrong 175
Chapter 7: The Future of Blogging 181
– Implicit participation 182
– Perils of Personalised Media 183
References 188
Blogs mentioned 195

28 thoughts on “i just sent off the “Blogging” manuscript!

  1. jean

    Hey, congrats Jill – looking forward to reading it.

  2. Jan Schmidt

    Looks great – congratulations!

  3. Martin

    Wow…looking forward to this..

  4. david silver

    excellent, sounds like a huge contribution.

    when its ready, please let me know so i can have i reviewed for RCCS. congratulations.

  5. nick

    Jill, congratulations on getting this manuscript finished, and good luck with the rest of the work!

  6. noah

    Many congratulations — I’m looking forward to reading it.

    Will the book have a blog?


  7. jeremy douglass

    Congratulations! Good luck on the last mile….

  8. Steven D. Krause

    Congratulations Jill, and I’m very happy to see (at least from your TOC) we’re not writing the same book! 😉 I’m looking forward to reading it.

  9. JoseAngel

    I’m a buyer. But – don’t you feel that the gap between the slowness of academic publishing and the immediacy of writing for your blog is distracting? I, for one, can barely muster the patience for all those comings and goings to a few anonymous readers before publication…

  10. William Patrick Wend

    Congrats Jill! I am really looking forward to the book!

  11. madeline

    will there be an online version for download?

    I, too, am eager to read this.

  12. Jill Walker Rettberg

    Hey, thanks for all the congratulations, everyone!

    I agree that the slowness of publishing is strange compared to blogging. But it’s a different thing. I think almost everything in the book has been published in this blog already, but in little bits and pieces, and certainly, connecting it all in a book is a very different thing. And having seen the magic MIT Press have done in the copy-editing phase of Hilde and my World of Warcraft Reader, I’m thinking that the slowness of publishing has a point to it. It’s also interestingly satisfying shaping a large, whole from ideas that have been more like something all around me previously.

    So no, the book won’t be available for download, it’s a book being published traditionally and at a reasonable price – it’ll be in the Digital Media and Society series, and the first book in the series, Mark Deuze’s Mediawork, is a modest $16 at Amazon.com. That’s actually only a couple of US dollars more than what I paid to have a draft printed at the University of Western Australia’s student-friendly print-shop.

    Sorry you’ve got to wait a year, though!

  13. Anne Helmond

    Congratulations! I am looking forward to reading it.

  14. Paul

    Hi Jill,

    What great news – I am so happy to see that you have accomplished this demanding, yet important goal!

    I think getting your ideas on blogging into another form is perfect for the many people who are not using computers, networking, and/or applications like blogging as much as they should.

    I hope there are lots of ideas and suggestions for educators to get started and make sense of blogging. I know your enthusiasm and ideas were the impetus for me to start using a blog with my classes:


    I am still learning and refining how it should work in the context of formal courses, but I am convinced that there is a unique and valuable place for it among the tools used in learner-driven discourse.

    I think the idea of a blog category and entries related to your book would be very helpful and a way to blend the dynamic and interactive with the more static, yet reflective media of a book.

    Keep us posted!

    Many thanks and best wishes,


  15. Michael Faris

    I’m looking forward to reading it too! Congrats!

  16. Alex H.

    Hey, Jill, what’s your tool? I’ve got a spade on mine :).

  17. Alex H.

    Doh! I should have looked at your most recent post. Hopefully you can moderate me out.

  18. Jill Walker Rettberg

    Alex, I missed that you were writing a book in the series too! Awesome! I’m in good company. Search Engine Society sounds like an interesting topic, I’m looking forward to reading it. I wonder whether there’s a master list of all the books due to come in the series yet? I’d like to see one 🙂

  19. […] Update: Here’s the Table of Contents. Filed under:General, writing — Jill @ 14:09 [ ] […]

  20. […] I’m filling out the marketing form for my book on blogging (copy-editing done; proofs next!), and they want me to provide a list of fifteen people who might adopt the book in teaching – I’m assuming the publisher will send desk copies to these people, or at least to most of these people. If you think you might use the book with your students, leave a comment here and I’ll add you to the list 🙂 […]

  21. cigdem dalay

    congratulations!both for the baby and the book. i want to read it as soon as possible. will it be on amazon in agusut? actually i would like to translate it into Turkish.

  22. […] La table des mati?®res : Chapter 1: What is a Blog? Chapter 2: From Bards to Blogs Chapter 3: Blogs, communities and networks Chapter 4: Citizen Journalists? Chapter 5: Blogs as Narratives Chapter 6: Commercial Blogging Chapter 7: The Future of Blogging […]

  23. Charles

    I look forward reading your book, especially the typology of blogs. I find it very interesting to read categorizations of different types of blogs. It seems like the media, weblogs is settling and thats why different categorization appear these days. So as I said, I really look forward to read your book 😀

  24. […] leave a comment » I’ve been reading your blogs this morning. Rettberg’s blogging book is not a how to text, so she doesn’t use lists of tips and suggestions to address the particulars about posting that bloggers might run into.    […]

  25. […] Second, use other courses to sneak some palaeography in. Like a number of universities, Bergen has a growing ‘Digital Humanities’ field (with many engaging and active people). And seeing that many books on contemporary on-line media, such as this one on blogging, frequently give overviews of textual history (oral to written, manuscript to print, published to recorded and filmed, the electronic era, you get the picture), a course along similar lines, a history of textual/reading/writing technologies, say, should appeal to digitally minded colleagues who might be willing to collaborate. Here, I don’t have the experience to back it up, but some initial inquiries and discussions are promising. I’ve got a good ‘Yeah, that would be good for a students’ as a preliminary invitation to pursue the idea further. […]

  26. JenaHConti

    I need this book! – at least from what I can tell by the free Google preview! 🙂 I realized there are some fundamental aspects of blogs I have not considered before (i.e. weak ties theory, citizen journalists, etc.). And I generally have not read blogs as a continuing story – which seems, from your book, to be a key aspect of understanding them. Most of my previous experience with blogs has been reading things akin to the yearly Family Christmas card, and while that IS a story, it’s not been one I wanted to read or keep up with. But, at the same time, I have been missing out on the narrative aspect of these blogs: people structuring their life stories as one might structure fiction. It seems that their episodic structure weaves into my own interests in infinite narrative … I will need to give this some thought.

  27. Jill Walker Rettberg

    Infinite narrative? I like the sound of that! We’ll have to have a talk about this…

  28. […] En ting er bruken av Facebook vs Twitter.¬† Det sl?•r meg at en god del blogger, ogs?• de som er av en mer tematisk karatker (det som Jill W. Rettberg kaller “Topic-Driven Blogs” i boken Blogging), ser ut til ?• ha en mer subjektiv og personlig stil enn hva som ellers er vanlig innen journalistikken, slik vi kjenner den fra medier som f.eks. Dagbladet, NRK og Bergens Tidende. Den personlige stilen ser ut til ?• fenge mange lesere. Det ser ogs?• ut til at mange oppfatter budskapet som mer troverdeig om folk byr litt p?• seg selv ogs?• og ikke bare er gjenomf??rt saklige. […]

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