Weblogs media analysis

1. Definition
Weblog media analysis is a particular form of internet media analysis. Like other forms of analysis, it too employs content analysis methods, modified to suit the specific form of presentation (see Conduct section). A weblog (neologism from web and log from the Latin logeum, meaning "archive"), or blog for short, is a digital journal on the world wide web, updated with articles from one or several authors. The log entries appear in an inverted chronological order ("last modified" on top). The writing style is personal, commentative and tends to the colloquial. Priorities are speed, linkage to other blogs, specific topic groups, and idiosyncratic, not necessarily journalistic quality criteria (the emphasis being on sharing information, thoughts, comments and experience).

2. Applications
Blog analysis (like internet media analysis) can serve two purposes:

1) Analysis of "external" blogs as a sub-area of issues management. The main focus here is individual articles or blogs on specific issues. The point is to investigate who is interested in the monitoring organization and how they portray the organization, and who deals with issues pertinent to or potentially pertinent to the monitoring organization.

2) Analysis of "own" blogs to a) orient content to meet communication objectives, b) to establish the quality and quantity of comments and (trackbacks) and c) to investigate content perception among user groups (e.g. in terms of authenticity, credibility, relevance). Methods such as surveys and usability-tests may be used here.

3. Conduct
Media analysis or monitoring of blogs or so-called user generated content is fairly complex due to the rapid dissemination of issues, opinions, comments, and their individual development. Large quantities of data build up. Spelling errors in the articles and comments, community-specific terms and abbreviations make automatic content recognition difficult. Development potential also exists with respect to podcasts and vodcasts. Multidimensionality and multimediality of information (language, sound, image and film) and tonality of the in some cases highly personal articles need to be taken into account when establishing the code book. Various service providers have now developed monitoring tools enabling timely and valid systematic analysis. They use complex server systems with special software algorithms and spider technologies. The post-collection analysis is as described for internet media analysis and print media analysis.

4. Indicators

  • Positive/negative/neutral statements
  • Range/traffic statistics
  • Duration of presence
  • Degree of linkage
  • Number of comments
  • Number of trackbacks
  • Tags/tag clouds

5. Service providers in Germany
Aserto, Hannover
Ausschnitt Medienbeobachtung, Berlin
Business Wire Europe, Frankfurt/Main
convento, Neuss
ethority, Hamburg
FORSA BrandControl, Frankfurt/Main
General Media, Berlin
GESO, Bodenheim
GfK, Nürnberg
Infopaq, Kornwestheim
Ipsos, Hamburg / Mölln / Nürnberg
Kantar Media, Hamburg
Landau Media Monitoring, Berlin / Bochum
mediaclipping, Bremen
PMG Presse-Monitor GmbH, Berlin
pressrelations, Düsseldorf
spring, Saarlouis
TNS Infratest, München / Bielefeld
X-Ray, Hamburg


6. Links

7. Further reading
Paine, Katie D. (2007): Measuring Public Relationships, Berlin (NH).

Zerfass, Ansgar / Hartmann, Bernd (2005). The Usability Factor: Improving the Quality of
E-Content. In: Bruck, Peter A. / Buchholz, Andrea / Karssen, Zeger / Zerfass, Ansgar (Eds.). E-Content – Technologies and Perspectives for the European Market. Berlin/Heidelberg/New York.

Selected texts in German

Zerfaß, A., Welker, M., & Schmidt, J. (Eds.) (2008). Kommunikation, Partizipation und Wirkungen im Social Web. Band 1: Grundlagen und Methoden: Von der Gesellschaft zum Individuum [Communication, participation and effects of the social web. Volume 1: From society to the individual]. Köln: Herbert von Halem Verlag.

Zerfaß, A., Welker, M., & Schmidt, J. (Eds.) (2008). Kommunikation, Partizipation und Wirkungen im Social Web. Band 2: Strategien und Anwendungen: Perspektiven für Wirtschaft, Politik, Publizistik. [Communication, participation and effects of the social web. Volume 2: Perspectives for business, politics and the media]. Köln: Herbert von Halem Verlag.

Zerfaß, A. & Boelter, D. (2005). Die neuen Meinungsmacher. Weblogs als Herausforderung für Kampagnen, Marketing, PR und Medien [The new opinion-makers. Weblogs as a challenge for campaigns, marketing, public relations and the media]. Graz: Nausner & Nausner.

Zerfaß, Ansgar (2005). Weblogs als Meinungsmacher. Neue Spielregeln für die Unternehmenskommunikation. In: Bentele, Günter / Piwinger, Manfred / Schönborn, Georg (Eds.). Kommunikationsmanagement (Loseblattwerk), Neuwied.

8. Case studies

Please send us short texts from your projects on this topic in the same structure as the existing case studies, and more information (pdf or links) on the methods employed in as much detail as possible.
Contact: redaktioncommunicationcontrolling.de

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