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Communications and Media: Blogging and Community

The purpose of this research

This research is intended to find out the role that a blog plays in the building of the community and also examine the meaningfulness of its social implications. It seeks to establish more of social and community roles as opposed to its common business activities. It will break the ground for more research work to establish and publicize the major implications of using blogs in both the social and business activities.

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Executive summary

The discovery of computers and how they can be interlinked has led to improved ways of communication. These ways are software based and they enable every part of the world to communicate with other parts within a very short time and at a low cost. Due to computer and internet, people are able to communicate through mobile phones, emails, faxes, and social sites. Research has been done on the use of internet to determine how its various aspects influence the society in terms of politics, economics, and social life (Kahai, 2008). The field of information technology is ever growing and more discoveries are being made. One of the products of computer and information technology is the use of blogging in communication and sharing of ideas. As much as several researches have been done in areas of internet based interactions, blogging has never received proper attention of the researchers. This research will seek to study blogging and how it influences interactions in the society.

Introduction

A blog is a short form of weblog. It is a kind of website maintained by an individual, organization or group. The contents of a blog may include diaries, chronology of events, regular updates of commentaries, graphics, videos, and pictures. The term blog is also used as a verb to refer to the act of adding and maintaining contents on the blog. A person who blogs is known as a blogger and blogging is the process of adding and maintaining contents of a blog on regular basis. The contents of a blog may include links to other blogs (Thinkquest, 2006). One of the distinct features of a blog is the provision for posting of comments by those who log into and read the contents of the blog. Most organizations and companies have resorted to using blogs in doing other activities that do not form core of their businesses such as events, information on up coming activities and also use them to explain more about themselves.

Literature review

Before the advent of computers communication took place in different forms like writing of letters and posting, use of telephones and received information through radios and news papers. Diaries were kept solely in books and papers. The coming of information technology has rapidly brought a revolution in the way people keep, pass, and receive information. Prior to blogs, and with the presence of computers and internet, people communicated and still communicate through emails (Weinberg, 2009).

Weblog was established in the year 1990 and was chiefly used as online memoirs for individuals. Those who visited the blog sites could easily leave their comments. Through this, people could communicate with anybody from any part of the world. Currently blogs have been developed into many different kinds and are handling different contents. Blogs mirror the functionalities of websites. The only difference is that a website has more features than a blog (Weinberg, 2009). A website can handle more complex contents and are generally expensive while a blog is relatively simple and in most cases can be opened free. The advantage of a blog is that its features are customizable and can be altered any time as the user may desire.

The rate at which blogs have been on the increase is unbelievable. According to one of the chief blog search engines which track the number of blogs in the internet, Technorati, the figures of blogs have been doubling after every five months for the period starting in 2003 (The editors of the Huffington Post, 2008). Their statistics indicates that currently they have tracked blogs amounting to over 22 million and everyday 70,000 new blogs are created.

Since the advent of blog many different kinds of blogs have emerged. The main reason for this is to enhance the uniqueness of the blog and pull more visitors to the blog site. One of the types is text based blog; blogging gained its conventional eminence in the year 2004, since this time, large numbers of teenagers have been engaged in blogging. The teenagers mainly use text based blogs to inform their colleagues of what they do daily or regularly, report their frustrations, these blogs can also be accessed and viewed by strangers. Collaborative blog may be opened by an individual but used by many people for posting contents. For instance a group of people can agree to use one blog for all members to write and share their ideas and opinions. This means each member has the login password and username to the blog site.

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Topical blogs are used to discuss different topics as may be selected by the user. An individual or group can choose a singular topic to discuss in a blog. For instance, the topic may be on politics, education, financials or business. Spam blog are some times referred to us splog (The editors of the Huffington Post, 2008). These blogs are made up by computers set to generate a sequence of programmed functions independently. They are mostly used commercially to sponsor companies and or specific products. Spam blog always generate messages which may not make sense and usually have several links. Users are free to choose the appropriate types of blogs to use.

Even though blogging is gaining momentum in usage, in some countries where there is no freedom of expression, it is not common. Blogging requires that people are free to express their opinions without suppression, in the nations where there is not such freedom, some people shy away from blogging due to fear of state arrest.

Scope of the study

 The study will involve participation, structured and unstructured interviews. 4800 participants will be engaged in thorough discussion for four weeks starting from 1st May 2010 to 1st June 2010. Where possible the team will use voice recorders and video cameras in recording the proceedings of the discussions.

Theoretical approach

 Blogging has always been part of the revolution taking place in the information technology sector. It has got as much impact on the society as other components of internet communication and interactions. In studying the impact of blogging on the relationships in social sphere and its contribution to the development of the community the research will use interactionist theory. This will involve how blogging influence interactions amongst community and society members (Prediger, 2008).

Methods

The research will be qualitative methods of collecting data.

  1. review literature on how blogging creates community and whether it constructs meaningful social relationships
  2. the research assistants will use both structured and unstructured interviews twice a week and for the remaining days participatory methods of data collection will be used
  3. receiving of preliminary results and reports on the progress of the research process from research assistants
  4. involve research assistants in coding and feeding the data into the computer system
  5. Using research experts to analyze and interpret data
  6. draw a report of the research based on findings

Work schedule

Date activities
April 20th– April 27th Recruitment and training research assistants
April 29th Research assistants travel to the fileds
1stMay-15thMay Data collection
17thMay Submission of collected data for more actions
18thMay – 20thMay Data coding and entry into computer system
21stMay – 26thMay Data analysis
27thMay and 29thMay Report compilation
1stJune Presentation of report

The budget

  • 4 Data [email protected] $1400                          5,600
  • 24 Research [email protected] $200              4,800
  • Logistics                                                     20, 000
  • Transport                                                    5,000
  • Report writing                                            4,000
  • Miscellaneous                                               600
  • Total cost of research                      $40,000

Statement of the problem

The roles of a blog in creating and fostering community and creating social relationships have never been given kin attention. Since the establishment of blogging in 1990s its roles have increased significantly. Unfortunately, the main focus has been placed on its business values. There is therefore the need to scrutinize, through well designed research, the communal role of a blog and the part it plays in creating social relationships. A blog has fashion-like qualities; however, this might just be the beginning of its attraction to more and more users. Individuals have been sharing their thoughts on the blogs for more than a decade now, although the last six years blogging has facilitated the legitimacy of using the blog to write and share any ideology. The idea of blogging is great with regards to globalization, but it is never perfect, while it is such a great environment for people to freely distribute their thoughts, it is important to note that some of these thought are not based on fact, never legitimate, lack insight, and never correct in terms of culture and politics. But we also realize that blogging has provided everyone with the opportunity to admittance to the web and interact with the global audience (Allen, 2005).

Nonetheless, blogging has also its opposite side, there are users who misuse the blogs to cause crime or incite violence. There have been users who, instead of using their blogs to share their good ideas, use the blogs to commit criminal activities. In many cases the owners of the blogs do not use their real identities since there is no legal statute governing the use of blogs. In the process of creating the blog, the user is never prompted to provide his or her identity. This leads to question of ethical issues as regards the use of blogging.

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Research questions

  1. Does blogging build the community?
  2. Are there developments of meaningful social relationships due to influence of blogging?
  3. What are the ethical implications of blogging?

Objectives of research

The objectives of this research include:

  1. to find out the contribution of blogging to meaningful social relationships
  2. to establish the roles that blogging plays in building the community
  3. to identify other social areas in which blogs can be used to enhance interpersonal relationships
  4. to assess the usage of blogging

Sample population

The sample to be used in the research will include 4800 respondents drawn from areas where information technology is well established. The choice of areas is due to the reason that the research requires respondents who have interacted with computers and internets freely. The sample population will be representative of both gender in equal numbers and different age groups (Perez, 2010).

Techniques, data collection and methods

 To achieve the task of this research the technique of historic-logic will be employed to establish past research about the subject matter of this research. The real research will then use triangulation to capture as much data as required for the study. Participatory techniques will be used with part of respondents who will be free and have time for the discussion (Deacon, 1999), to those with tight schedules they will be given brief structured interviews and the research team will also be involved in visiting several blogs and analyze their usage with relevance to the research problem (Perez, 2010). In cases where the research team will not be able to meet some respondents face-to-face telephone interviews will be conducted and response recorded.

Analysis of data

 The data collected will be analyzed by hired professional statisticians. The information from the research will then be presented in terms of graphs and essays. From the analyzed data a report will be compiled and made public and recommendations will be made regarding future researches on the same subject matter.

Limitations

The challenge to the study lies in the fact that the respondents are scattered all over the country and also that they are in a large number. This is likely to lead to budgetary constraints hence affecting the accuracy of the research outcome. The research team is likely to encounter harsh respondents who may not be pleased with either of the methods used to collect information. There is also the possibility of some of the respondents either changing their minds and or refusing to turn up for research process, in the case of telephone interviews the respondents may be unreachable. The research will involve traveling all over the country and will take long time. There is possibility of interruptions by weather. There are some cases where qualitative method of data collection may not be sufficient in getting the right data for analysis; this may be due to lack of proper participation by some respondents.

Delimitation

The research activities will take place during favorable weather conditions and with possible postponement in cases where the weather may not be good for research. The research work will include 24 research assistants to help facilitate the research process and also reach all the selected regions of research. They may (Flick, 2006).

Conclusion

This research will be undertaken to establish whether the blog contributes to community building and how it meaningfully influence social relationships. The social role of blogs has never been thoroughly examined. This has left a very wide gap to be filled through progressive research. Blogs have always been used to share academic, political, and economic ideas. It has also been used to advertise company products (Gunelius, 2010). Blogs have never extensively been used to promote social relationships like in other sites like facebook, LinkedIn, twitter hi5. Those who open blogs are mostly driven by desire to make money. It is also evident that many people are not aware of the existence of blogs, especially those living the rural and developing countries.

There are many sites that are known to build communities online and also promote social relationships amongst friends and relatives; amongst these sites blogs do not appear, in fact in most ratings where social sites are ranked according to numbers of visitors it receives, blogs are unlikely to be included. In some cases many individuals have only used the blogs as personal diaries online despite its potential to be used in a wide scale to include creating alarge network of friends, relatives, and peers (Social Media Optimization, 2009).

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Appendix

  • the rights of the respondents will be give priority
  • the information given by respondents will be kept confidential
  • the research is only meant to find out influence of blogging on community and social relationships and will not be used for any purpose which may demean the respondents
  • discussions may go until late in the night

Reference

Deacon D., et al (1999). Researching Communications. London: Oxford University Press

Flick, U. (2006). An Introduction to Qualitative Research. Sage Publications.

Gunelius, S. (2010). Blog Advertising Overview. Web.

Kahai, S. (2008). Building Social Relationships in Virtual Teams. Web.

Pérez, N. (2010). Research Methodology: An example in a Real Project. Web.

Prediger, S. (2008). How are theoretical approaches expressed in research practices? Web.

Social Media Optimization. (2009). Top Twenty Five Social Networking Sites. Web.

The editors of the Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington. (2008). The Huffington Post Complete Guide to Blogging. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 1439105006, 9781439105009.

Thinkquest. (2006). Blogging, the Phenomenon. Web.

Weinberg, T. (2009). The New Community Rules. Marketing on the Social Web. O’Reilly Media, Inc.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, December 11). Communications and Media: Blogging and Community. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/communications-and-media-blogging-and-community/

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StudyCorgi. (2021, December 11). Communications and Media: Blogging and Community. https://studycorgi.com/communications-and-media-blogging-and-community/

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"Communications and Media: Blogging and Community." StudyCorgi, 11 Dec. 2021, studycorgi.com/communications-and-media-blogging-and-community/.

1. StudyCorgi. "Communications and Media: Blogging and Community." December 11, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/communications-and-media-blogging-and-community/.


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StudyCorgi. "Communications and Media: Blogging and Community." December 11, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/communications-and-media-blogging-and-community/.

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StudyCorgi. 2021. "Communications and Media: Blogging and Community." December 11, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/communications-and-media-blogging-and-community/.

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StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Communications and Media: Blogging and Community'. 11 December.

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