Acts of Reading Diary Weblogs

Lena Karlsson


The number of weblogs has increased exponentially since several weblog service providers released free and easy-to-use software in late 1999. This enabled people with a computer, Internet access and a desire to present themselves and their daily lives, and/or their political views, tech news, knitting projects for a possible audience to create and keep a blog. Yet, why do people read blogs, and why and how do they read the blogs they read? I report the results of an investigation of diary weblog reading practices. The report is
primarily based on a reader survey that I conducted on four independent diary weblog sites which I have followed for the past three years and whose authors I have repeatedly interviewed via e-mail. The survey data suggests that we need to view the diary weblog as a genre, at present stabilized enough for communities of readers to have a sense of their position in the text, to the author, the text’s relationship to the “real,” and its use value. The most evident offline antecedent, the paper diary (and offline autobiographical writing in general), to a high extent shape these relations.


diary weblogs; genre; reading; autobiographical acts; interactivity

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