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Links to my published articles online
List of Publications with Full Citations

Adolescent Diary Weblogs and the Unseen Audience

Conversations in the Blogosphere: An Analysis "from the Bottom Up". Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS-38) Best Paper Nominee.

Weblogs as a bridging genre

Bridging the Gap: A Genre Analysis of Weblogs. Winner of the 2004 EduBlog Awards as best paper.

Common Visual Design Elements of Weblogs

Women and Children Last: The Discursive Construction of Weblogs

Time until my next publication submission deadline
27 March 2006 23:59:59 UTC-0500

Links to my conference papers online
The Performativity of Naming: Adolescent Weblog Names as Metaphor

Buxom Girls and Boys in Baseball Hats: Adolescent Avatars in Graphical Chat Spaces

Time until my next conference submission deadline
31 March 2006 23:59:59 UTC-0500

Adolescents and Teens Online Bibiliography
Last updated July 8, 2005.

Weblog and Blog Bibliography
Last Updated November 22, 2005.

My CiteULike Page

My Book2
New books are added but reading status is rarely accurate.

December 04, 2004

Finding adolescent blogs, with a preference to the random

How does one find blogs that meet a specific criteria? BROG has long used and their "random" feature to find blogs for our studies. Of course "random" is not a true random, but then when is it ever. The websites random feature is biased toward recently updated blogs and limited to blogs that can utilize pinging so that software knows that they have been updated. But in the blog world - where a significant number of sites have a beginning post and are then never updated, and also where many blogs are updated for awhile and then fall into disrepair - bias toward active is almost a general requirement, unless of course your research questions are about dead blogs. Of course as we have added to our earlier corpus with each new study we have developed a nice longitudinal list of blogs. This is great for BROG work.

For my own work on adolescent blogs it is a bit more complicated. I need a corpus of blogs that not only are slightly biased to those that are alive and recently updated but also that are limited to blogs created by writers in a specific age bracket. I had planned on doing my up coming work by utilizing the random feature and just weeding through to find those created by adolescent bloggers. However this methodology won't work at present since the "random" feature is down. We have contacted the webmaster asking when the feature will be live again but have received no response to our repeated inquiries.

What is a diligent researcher to do? Of course I could use a snowball sample this would be fairly easy as we have a set of adolescent blogs in the BROG data. I could start from one of them and just merrily roll my snowball along their links until I had enough unique blog addresses to conduct my study. Of course snowball methodologies have their own issues, another issue for another post. I could also go to sites, like LiveJournal or Xanga, which are largely populated by teens and have keywording that would allow me to access blogs by this age group fairly quickly. While I do want access to these blogs I do not want to limit my research to a specific community or tool. I want a more macro view of blogging across communities, tools, and expereince levels - LiveJournal and Xanga trend toward the new user group.

Enter PubSub, PubSub is a matching search engine that allows you to enter keywords and find matches across the web. They purport to be tracking 6,762,441 total sources, 3,674,008 active sources, and 935 new items per minute (figures retrieved 09:14 EST on December 4, 2004), it should be noted that not all of these sources are weblogs rather they are total web resources. They do say they are monitoring 6 million weblogs all of whom are available in RSS or Atom...another bias. Unfortunately they don't offer a "random" feature, which would be really really nice.

So I have been, and will be continuing to, play with their keyword search features. As such I am basically developing a set of keywords that I believe will help me find my way into clusters of adolescent blogs. I've been running for several days with the following string ("teen or teens" and "high school") to no success. I've changed it today to just "teen" to test if that word is used more by adolescents or by their parents. So as I play with this it's clear I have the potential makings of a methodology paper, as well as, getting the big goals of publishable papers and a dissertation out of it.

For those of you that work with teens in your research, do you have any terms you can suggest for this quest?

Posted by prolurkr at December 4, 2004 09:34 AM

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