An update, July 2015:
Eleven years ago, a group of us (one professor and five graduate students) at the University of Minnesota set out to create the very first edited collection on the rhetorical and communicative dynamics of blogs (then called “weblogs”) that would itself be published as a blog. Blogging was relatively new and somewhat undefined at that time; also, the University’s U Think Blog project was new and very innovative then, and we hoped that our collection would offer fresh ways of thinking about the rhetoric of blogs and about the use of this platform as a real-time, inexpensive, rapid response to a format--the edited collection--that was becoming increasingly too expensive for university presses to justify printing in hard copy. Just as with paper volumes, our collection was peer reviewed and edited. But we were able to publish it quickly (relative to print), and we were able to allow reader comments and questions immediately upon publication.
These many years later, we are pleased to note that the collection and its essays continue to be used and cited in Internet studies, genre theory, rhetoric, writing studies, communication studies, and related fields. Today, blogs are still in use by individuals, corporations, non-profits, and the like, for a range of communication functions. Some blogs are quite mainstream, and others are the voice of a single individual with a particular following. As well, many of the features and uses of blogs described in this collection have been supplanted by newer forms of social media. Yet the blog remains a simple but powerful form of individual and group expression, allowing for up-to-date information as well as user feedback and comments. As with all digital media, earlier forms provide the basis for newer ones: blogs were based on email; Twitter and Facebook built on many of the conventions of the blog. Who can say what today’s social media will look like in another 10 years?
In order to keep that question alive and to preserve this collection for future students and researchers, we have migrated the collection from the UThink Blog platform (which was phased out in 2014) to the University of Minnesota’s Digital Conservancy. You can access the collection here or, also, view the original blog via the Internet Archive.
The rest of this section is the original material from the "About the Collection" section from the 2004 publication. We hope you find what you are looking for. Thank you for your interest in Into the Blogosphere.
Introduction from the original collection, 2004:
This online, edited collection explores discursive, visual, social, and other communicative features of weblogs. Essays analyze and critique situated cases and examples drawn from weblogs and weblog communities. Such a project requires a multidisciplinary approach, and contributions represent perspectives from Rhetoric, Communication, Sociology, Cultural Studies, Linguistics, and Education, among others. We encourage you to post your responses to the essays; please see our posting policies.
Update, April 10, 2005: Due to a lack of recent discussion in the comment threads under the articles, as well as a proliferation of spam, comments have been closed. If you would like to comment on one of the articles, please email one of the editors (see Contributors for email addresses).