Baumer, E.P.S., Sueyoshi, M., and Tomlinson, B. (2011). Bloggers and Readers Blogging Together: Collaborative Co-Creation of Political Blogs. Computer Supported Cooperative
Work, 20(1-2), 1-36.
A significant amount of research has focused on blogs, bloggers, and blogging. However, relatively little work has examined blog readers, their interactions with bloggers, or their impact on blogging. This paper presents a qualitative study focusing specifically on readers of political blogs to develop a better understanding of readers’ interactions with blogs and bloggers. This is the first such study to examine the same blogging activity from both readers’ and bloggers’ perspectives. Readers’ significance and contributions to blogs are examined through a number of themes, including: community membership and participation; the relationship between political ideology, reading habits, and political participation; and differences and similarities between mainstream media (MSM) and blogs. Based on these analyses, this paper argues that blogging is not only a social activity, but is a collaborative process of co-creation in which both bloggers and readers engage. Implications of this finding contribute to the study and understanding of reader participation, to the design of technologies for bloggers and blog readers, and to the development of theoretical understandings of social media.