Investment and Attention in the Weblog Community

Cameron A. Marlow

While the weblog medium has grown out of a few modest technological innovations, the social and behavioral aspects of this emerging practice represent a large shift towards a new form of interaction: a massively distributed but completely connected conversation covering every imaginable topic of interest. This paper seeks to understand the social implications of hypertext links within the community, both from a systemic view of the entire network, and also from the perspective of individual authors. Using a large corpus of weblogs collected over a one-month period, an analysis of the structural properties of the weblog readership network is presented. These findings are compared to the results of an online survey of weblog authors around the topics of weblog use and linking behavior. Both cases suggest that the largest contributing factor to weblog audience size is the amount that an author invests into the practice.

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