There’s an interesting piece discussing how blog stories spread at Microdot News. They’ve looked at 45 stories that have been discussed on a lot of different blogs, and propose that participants either post opinions, reactions, summaries or votes. I’m not sure quite what the difference between an opinion and a reaction is, especially since the article writers say that non-English language bloggers more frequently write reactions to other bloggers opinions, or votes (posts simply saying I agree or I don’t agree). This makes me suspect that a reaction is simply an opinion that doesn’t have (English-language) reactions to it. I’d also like to see much, much more substance in examples from the various blog stories – where’s the data? There are a lot of claims with not that much to back them up – stories develop over 7 to 27 days, these are the four types of posting, foreign language blogs mostly post reactions and so on. There’s no argument, discussion or displaying of evidence, just lots of claims that may well be true but are not proved or made likely. On the other hand this is a really short piece, and probably just the sort of piece journalists would love: it’s so simple and clear. It’s obvious that one could do a lot more on the topic, and it’s interesting to see a beginning analysis of the ways networks of blogs spread, discuss and treat stories. (via Invisble Shoebox) [Update 30/5: Torill notes that stories spread in the same way between local newspapers and other non-digital media, and cites a study she did on this in 1995. So I guess this isn’t really proof of the uniqueness of blogs, then…]

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  1. Jonathan Smith

    Christian Langreiter even gives us some pretty pictures of the phenomenon!

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