Zizi Papacharissi and Sharon Meraz
This chapter examines the evolution of blog content, from the early stages of personal home pages, to the development of the blog format, to A-list blogs that influence other media and public opinion. Blogging content is examined, with a focus on blogging norms, patterns, and dominant trends the form of blogging takes on. As the blogosphere is vast and diverse, the authors consider the plurality of blog content and the functions it serves for multiple bloggers and potential audiences. Blogging content is examined as a form of sociocultural expression, with an analysis of its function and place in contemporary societies. The chapter concludes with a look at what the future holds for blogs and associated, emerging web platforms, in the context of converging media and reflexive societies.
Content is conditioned by context, and context in turn may be reinterpreted through content. The culture of postindustrialization has advanced a transition from existential to self-expression values (Inglehart & Welzel, 2005). Self-expression values refer to the desire to control one's environment, increase one's autonomy, and question authority. Media content lends shape and form to these conflicting and converging tendencies (Bauman, 2001; Giddens, 1990). Blogs epitomize self-expression, in a manner that permits individuals a form of control over their personalized media ecology, affords a measure ...