Publication Details

This article was originally published as Jones, M and Alony, I, Blogs - the new source of data analysis, Journal of Issues in Informing Science and Information Technology, 5, 2008, 433-446. Copyright The Informing Science Institute 2008.


Blogs are a new and intriguing form of communication and personal expression. Researchers are only just beginning to realise the value that these media present as sources of data for research. This paper begins to unveil the untapped potential that the blogosphere provides for research. The paper begins by introducing blogs, explaining their evolution and the important role they play in society. A major contribution to knowledge comes from the paper’s analysis of the motivation behind blogging – providing a framework of seven different motivational schemes. Building on this, the paper explores why blogs are a valuable and reliable source of data for analysis. The paper illustrates how blogs can be used for analysis, highlighting the advantages and disadvantages of their use. The paper concludes with a brief note on some of the ethical considerations of using blogs for research.