What is a blogologist?
You're looking at one right now.
I mean, at his writings and his blog.
Honestly, I feel that every blogger is a blogologist to some degree.
When I call myself a "blogologist", I'm not claiming any privileged position or authority...
except that my opinions are based on spending approximately 15 hours a day struggling to understand blogs, to create blogs for myself and my clients, and to perfect my own blogging technique.
In one sense, as a qualified analyst, I attempt to exert a strong and beneficial influence on the blogosphere.
But in another sense, as an open-minded investigator, I feel I'm always learning more, and adjusting my theories accordingly.
Here's my current definition of the word:
"blogologist" = someone who studies blogs, bloggers, blogging, and the blogosphere, making recommendations based on this analysis. It helps immensely if the person also is a blogger, but is not absolutely required.
Studies blogs: visits blogs and ponders the design, goals, type of blog (personal, academic, scientific, marketing, business, military, political, social, religious, etc.), functions (comments, trackback, RSS, sidebar badges, blogrolls, etc.), and content (text, photos, audio, video, art, etc.).
Studies bloggers: ponders personalities, writing styles, conference reports, conventions, books, reactions to flamers, speed of response to posted comments, topics chosen to blog about, etc.
Studies blogging: including benefits and dangers, time spent on blog, personal or professional/organizational goals.
Studies blogosphere: including number of blogs existing, categories of blogs (true vs. pseudo, benevolent vs. malicious, serious vs. comical, sincere vs. parody, exoteric vs. esoteric, ethical vs. sleazy, etc.).
An academic blog I just discovered, and am starting to enjoy, is Rhetorica.
The writing, though more professorial than mine, is combative, sarcastic at times, and not excessively "diplomatic" , nor is it sickeningly "tolerant and inoffensive".
He lets it rip.
Rhetorica is the blog of Andrew R. Cline, PhD., Assistant Professor of Journalism, Missouri State University.
Professor Cline is more of a blog advocate than a blogologist, as he explains in the quote below.
While some of the best bloggers are academics, the weblog form has yet to spark much interest in academia as a venue for publishing research or criticism.
That's to be expected.
What's been interesting for me, however, is how much I've had to defend the form as a venue for public dissemination of my academic thinking.
But, then, many academics, working under the pressure of publish-or-perish, are loathe to engage the public with work that's unlikely to count toward tenure.
And some are just loathe to engage the public for any reason at all.
I've used this weblog, quite obviously, as a way to write public criticism and public notes to myself about my research interests.
And as a former journalist, I like the pressure this weblog helps me put on myself to write every day.
And again, quite obviously, I've used weblogs to teach. I'll be continuing that trend at Southwest Missouri State University in the fall for my JRN270 Introduction to Journalism and MED581 Issues in Media Ethics classes.
What I have not done is become a "blogologist"--an academic who studies blogs as a form of communication, i.e. interpersonal, public, or something else.
Notice the astute observation that "...some are just loathe to engage the public for any reason at all."
This is what's wrong with pushing blogs at arrogant businesses and corporations. Many of them have no interest in starting candid, transparent, authentic conversations with customers...and no amount of pleading and coaxing will change their misanthropic orientation.
[signed] Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate