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The personal weblog is a continuously evolving genre of online communication in which bloggers and readers create diverse social spaces for conversation and self–expression.This article addresses a conceptual gap in the literature, namely how to distinguish the personal weblog from other types of weblogs.Scholarly research on personal weblogs is currently blossoming, resulting in a growing body of literature building theory about the personal weblog.While a majority of the research has dealt with the personal weblog understood as a rather private diary or lifelog (, Sorensen, 2008).
Accordingly, the typological framework offered in this article can serve as a reference point both for discussions about the generality of theory and findings in studies of personal weblogs, and for reflections about the various forms a personal weblog may take.
Due to this lack of clear and systematic definitions, it is at best uncertain whether there is consensus as to what the personal weblog is and what social uses it might have.
As a consequence, this casts doubt on the significance of the studies of personal weblogs for theory building, since it is unclear to what extent the theoretical and analytical points can be generalised to different kinds of personal weblogs.
While yielding different results, studies estimating the size of the blogosphere agree that the number of weblogs is well beyond one hundred million, and readership is even higher (see Technorati, 2008).
Technorati’s annual survey of the blogosphere further shows that the blogosphere is highly diversified, , in terms of weblog content and user motivations for engaging with weblogs.
These latter studies, which evidently concern something very personal, point to the need to challenge the often assumed idea that the personal weblog is necessarily a kind of diary, since it blinds us from seeing other types of weblogs as personal.