Blogging: This Is My House – Let’s Build A City

    December 21, 2004

Have you ever thought about your blog as your house … And your contacts with other bloggers resembling “life between buildings” …

Well, I hadn’t until I read this paper about blog communities.

The authors use the city metaphor to find a way of describing – understanding – a very interesting question, even a paradox: How can the existence of highly personal spaces guarded by individuals result in the emergence of social structures?

The way I see it, this question is fundamental to business blogging as well as personal blogging. You can have many different reasons to start a corporate blog, but building strong relationships with people must be among the most common ones.

“As in cities, blogger communal spaces are not evenly distributed: some neighbourhoods are full of social activities and conversations, while others look like a random collocation of houses where inhabitants have nothing in common. Blogger communal spaces may have visible boundaries […], but more often indicators of a community are subtle and is difficult for a non-member to distinguish.”

A successful corporate blog, with a relation strengthening purpose, must find it’s way in to those (busy) communal spaces.

The paper is not practical. Not “10 tips to build a great blog”. But the authors’ pilot study offers some guidance.

“…we were able to identify a network structure with, a large periphery membership and a strong core with fuzzy or fluid boundaries, which allow for the periphery members to become a core member by both entrance through topic and through reciprocal linking.”

This isn’t a totally new concept. Remember the discussion about Alpha Bloggers for example. But I think there’s a lot of corporate people out there who want more theory than the average blog evangelist delivers. For them this could be one small contribution to understanding what for example “conversation” is and why it is such a central part of blogging.

Anyone feel like a barbecue out on the street…? Maybe Hans Henrik who pointed me to the paper?

Fredrik Wacka is the author and founder of the popular CorporateBlogging.Info blog which is a guide to business and corporate blogging.

Visit Fredrik Wacka’s blog: CorporateBlogging.Info.