The Role of Blogs in Public Debate: A Case Study of the Alito Nomination
Check out New Mediated Deliberation: Blog and Press Coverage of the Alito Nomination by Michael Xenos 13 Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication 485 (2008). Here's the abstract:
This study explores the implications of political weblogs for theories of mediated public deliberation. Guided by contemporary questions surrounding the internet and the public sphere, we examine blog and newspaper coverage of the nomination and confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court of Samuel Alito with an eye toward further development of theories of mass deliberation. Specifically, we pursue questions concerning volume of coverage, ideological polarization, and interactive features in the blogosphere, using newspaper coverage as a point of reference. Data come from content analyses of newspaper stories mentioning Alito in the headline or lead paragraphs from the initial nomination announcement through final confirmation, as well as archival impressions of blog posts featuring hyperlinks to the newspaper stories. Our analysis suggests that blogs may enhance as well as complicate processes of mediated deliberation. We conclude by discussing empirical and conceptual implications of these findings for future research on the role of blogs in the contemporary public sphere.
The Blogging Revolution: Government in the Age of Web 2.0
Professor David C. Wyld's The Blogging Revolution: Government in the Age of Web 2.0 (pdf) examines public sector implementation of blogging in "the context of the larger revolutionary forces at play" in the development of Web 2.0. Wyld observes that "blogging is growing as a tool for promoting not only online engagement of citizens and public servants, but also offline engagement."
Blogging at U.S. Strategic Command. Wyld describes how blogging is used within agencies to improve internal communications and speed the flow of information. Of special interest, his report includes a case study of the experience of the U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM), which has led the way in using blogging to transform the culture and flow of information, prompted by the need for speed in fighting today’s challenges. [JH]
The Blog Readablility Test
How smart do you have to be to understand the Becker-Posner Blog? Genius,according to Concourring Opinions blogger Daniel Solove's blog readability study! Solove's study uses the Blog Readablility Test to determine what level of education is required to understand a blog. This blog scores a whopping
Get a Cash Advance
What level is required for your blog? [JH]
Meredith Farkas Releases Results of Her 2007 Survey of the Biblioblogosphere
Meredith Farkas has started publishing results from her survey. I recommend reading Interesting Facts from the Survey of the Biblioblogosphere 2007 and checking her Index of Results for links to her reports which will be published in four parts: Demographics, Blog Demographics, Attitudes and Behaviors, and Results from Various Filters. [JH]
OEDb Ranks Top 25 Librarian Bloggers
Online Education Database has released Top 25 Librarian Bloggers. In answering the question, "which librarian bloggers have the biggest reach?", OEDb writes "our goal was to show — using objective data from reliable sources — which blogs are the most popular, according to visitor traffic and site backlinks. To this end, we used data for these four metrics to calculate the rankings: (1)Google PageRank, (2) Alexa Rank, (3) Technorati Authority, and (4) Bloglines Subscribers." It would be interesting to apply the same metrics to blogs by law professors and attorneys. Any volunteers?
Our sister blog, Law Librarian Blog, ranked fifth in the overall study and is the most popular law librarian blog according to the report. Thanks readers!
Here's the top five:
2. The Shifted Librarian
3-tied. LibrarianInBlack and Free Range Librarian
5. Law Librarian Blog
Mining the Blogosphere: Age, Gender and the Varieties of Self–expression
Shlomo Argamon, Moshe Koppel, James W. Pennebaker and Jonathan Schler's Mining the Blogosphere: Age, Gender and the Varieties of Self–expression was published in the September 2007 issue of First Monday. Here's the abstract:
The growth of the blogosphere offers an unprecedented opportunity to study language and how people use it on a large scale. We present an analysis of over 140 million words of English text drawn from the blogosphere, exploring if and how age and gender affect writing style and topic. Our primary result is that a number of stylistic and content–based indicators are significantly affected by both age and gender, and that the main difference between older and younger bloggers, and between male and female bloggers, lies in the extent to which their discourse is outer– or inner–directed. In fact, the linguistic factors that increase in use with age are just those used more by males of any age, and conversely, those that decrease in use with age are those used more by females of any age.
Which Law Blogs Do Academic Visitors Read?
Check out Denver law prof and Race to the Bottom blogger J. Robert Brown's very interesting post! The study is based on a August 24, 2007 snapshot of law blog readership and includes a list of the most popular law professor blogs by academic visitors (those with an .edu domain) on that day. Brown provides his data at Comparison of Blog Rankings Based Upon All Visitors and Academic Visitors, August 24, 2007 (a practice I hope others would follow). The data was compiled using Justia's proprietary system for ranking blogs. See related post, BlawgSearch Top Law Professor Blogs by edu visitors and Top Blawgs for August 2007.
See also Brown's Blogs, Law School Rankings, and TheRacetotheBottom.org article which is available on SSRN. Here's the abstract:
Blogs are changing legal scholarship. Although not a substitute for the detailed, often intricately researched analysis contained in law reviews and other scholarly publications, they fill an important gap in the scholarly continuum. Blog posts can generate ideas and discussion that can be transformed into more a systematic and thorough paper or scholarly article. At the same time, blogs provide a forum for testing ideas once they are published in more traditional venues.
While over time, a blog presence will likely become de rigueur for top scholars and law reviews, top tier schools as a group have not yet targeted blogs as a necessary component of scholarly activity. In the short term, therefore, blogs provide unique opportunities for faculty and law schools outside the top tier to enhance their reputational rankings. Blogs can enhance reputation by allowing faculty to route around some of the biases in law review placements and SSRN rankings that favor those at the top tier schools. Blogs also represent a cost effective mechanism for advertising scholarly activity.
The paper discusses the evidence that blogs enhance reputation and surveys the way that scholars at law schools outside the top tier are already harnessing blogs to enhance their reputations. The paper also discusses what it takes to create a successful blog, from the search for content to the benefits of advertising. The paper finishes with a brief history of The Race to the Bottom, a corporate governance blog.
Solove's 2007 Law Professor Blogger Census
George Washington law prof Dan Solove has updated his Law Professor Blog census. According to his study there are now 265 law professor bloggers, an increase of about 17%. Read more about it. [JH]
The Wiki and the Blog: Toward a Complex Adaptive Intelligence Community
The CIA's D. Calvin Andrus has deposited The Wiki and the Blog: Toward a Complex Adaptive Intelligence Community in SSRN. This is a very interesting early theoretical analysis of the benefits of harnessing two Web 2.0 technologies for collaborative information development. Here's the abstract:
US policy-makers, war-fighters, and law-enforcers now operate in a real-time worldwide decision and implementation environment. The rapidly changing circumstances in which they operate take on lives of their own, which are difficult or impossible to anticipate or predict. The only way to meet the continuously unpredictable challenges ahead of us is to match them with continuously unpredictable changes of our own. We must transform the Intelligence Community into a community that dynamically reinvents itself by continuously learning and adapting as the national security environment changes.
Recent theoretical developments in the philosophy of science that matured in the 1990's, collectively known as Complexity Theory, suggest changes the community should make to meet this challenge. These changes include allowing our officers more autonomy in the context of improved tradecraft and information sharing. In addition, several new technologies will facilitate this transformation. Two examples are self-organizing knowledge websites, known as Wikis, and information sharing websites known as Blogs. Allowing Intelligence Officers and our non-intelligence National Security colleagues access to these technologies on SIPRNet, will provide a critical mass to begin the transformation.
An earlier unpublished version of this paper received the Intelligence Community’s Galileo Award for 2004. Cross-posted on Law Librarian Blog. [JH]
Survey on Blogger Perceptions on Digital Preservation Set to End May 23rd
Do you blog? If yes, then please consider participating in an online survey from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's School of Information and Library Science. The study, Blogger Perceptions on Digital Preservation, is being conducted under the guidance of Paul Jones. Members of this research team are Carolyn Hank (Principle Investigator), Songphan Choemprayong and Laura Sheble, PhD students at the School of Information and Library Science at UNC-CH.
The researchers are interested in hearing from all bloggers on their perceptions on digital preservation in relation to their own blogging activities, as well as the blogosphere in general. To hear more about this survey, please visit the study's fact sheet at The Project Site. From there, you can link out to the web-based survey. The survey will be available through May 23, 2007. [JH]
Do Blogs Influence SSRN Downloads?
Paul Ohm says yes. Read all about it on The Volokh Conspiracy. [JH]