The What, Why and How of blogging

In these pages I will talk about, What is blogging? Why blog? And, How to blog?

Blogging and its related social or participatory-media practices of video and photo sharing through e.g. YouTube and Flickr and the social networking sites of Facebook, mySpace, Orkut, Bebo, is one of the most important developments in the history of knowledge in recent times: up there with Gutenberg and Penguin pocketbooks.

William Dutton, head of the Oxford Internet Institutes calls it the Fifth Estate:

Self-selected individuals can build horizontal, peer-to-peer or even very centralized networks that are designed and used to meet broader social objectives more than those of the purely self-interested personal networks suggested by the individualist viewpoint, which serve up a ‘daily-me’ …

Networked individuals can move across, undermine, and go beyond the boundaries of existing institutions. This provides the basis for the pro-social networks that comprise what I am calling the fifth estate They are neither personal nor institutional networks…

These self-selected, internet enabled, networked individuals often break from existing organisational or institutional networks that are themselves being transformed in Internet space… The ability that the Internet affords individuals to network within and beyond various institutional arenas in ways that can enhance or reinforce the communicative power of networked individuals is key. (Dutton 2008, 5-6)

So, what is blogging?

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