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Blog Commenting: A New Political Information Space

Dana Walker

ASIS&T Annual Meeting - 2006 (ASIS&T 2006)
Austin, Texas, November 3-9, 2006


Abstract

Though still a small subsection of the internet, weblogs are becoming an increasingly prominent space for finding and discussing information - in particular political information. But because of their newness, the question remains as to what are the possible implications of political blogs on people's current information reality. As a way to better understand political blogs as a space for gaining political information and also discussing that information, a pilot study was developed whose main focus was to understand the nature of the comments posted to political blogs. There has been much speculation in the popular and scholarly press about the possible democratic implications of people writing blogs, with claims that the medium opens up a new space for deliberation and participation. However, little work has focused on blog commenters - the people who are reading blogs and responding based on what they have read. And yet, to understand the blogosphere as a new deliberative or political information space, it is critical to analyze those who are engaging in the discussion. Therefore, this study focuses not on the principal authors of popular blog sites but the readers who are inspired to post their responses.


  
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