Thursday, August 14, 2008

Feminist Blogs, Community Style

Everybody's Doing It!

Trend alert! Now, let's discuss...

What do folks think of the new trend feminist blogs are setting as many move to community blog formats? Feministing lead the way and now Salon has incorporated a community blog/social networking feature as well that Broadsheet is promoting. Further, bloggers like Deborah Siegel over at Girl with Pen are musing about making the move to group blogging. Community blogging seems to be the next wave of cyberfeminism.

As a blogger, I totally understand the benefits of group blogging in a content-driven genre. Keeping a weblog - with daily content, the latest widgets, a presence in the newest networking hotspots, building community among readers - is a bit more work than one person should probably bite off - even if they can devote themselves to blogging full-time. Group blogs offer the benefit of multiple contributors and multiple perspectives. They create go-to sources to find experts in specific areas. Plus, the personalities and their quirky interactions keep us coming back for more as readers. Community blogs offer similar benefits with the boon of empowering readers to become bloggers in their own right (and not just in the comments below the fold) while also keeping a blog community united. They are a great tool for teaching/sharing the power of the blogosphere in creating informed blog citizens actively engaging in public debate.

I think one of the beautiful things about blogging is how fluid the genre is. That which we call a blog...Well, let's just say they come in all shapes and sizes and colors and varieties. But the academic dedicated to the analysis of cyberculture and tracking online activism wonders, Where will community blogs take the blogosphere?

Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

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