Collaborative blog

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A collaborative blog or a group blog is a type of weblog in which posts are written and published by more than one author. The majority of high-profile collaborative blogs are based around a single uniting theme, such as politics or technology.

In recent years, the blogosphere has seen the emergence and growing popularity of more collaborative efforts, often set up by already established bloggers wishing to pool time and resources to both reduce the pressure of maintaining a popular website and to attract a larger readership.


While every collaborative blog is unique they can usually be placed in one of two broad categories:

Invite only[edit]

Crooked Timber
The front page of CrookedTimber
Founded July 2003 (2003-07)
Founder(s) Chris Bertram
Type of site a collaborative Invite Only blog

An Invite Only collaborative blog is one in which a founder blogger personally selects a small group of co-bloggers, inviting them to contribute to his or her blog. The Invite Only blog typically focuses on a single common interest subject – e.g., politics, legal issues or, occasionally, comedy. Bloggers on a particular topic are invited to contribute to the contents. Resultant posts are edited or curated prior to being published. Such blogs have been created by Online Media, as well as Domain Experts in entrepreneurship, data mining , and environment.

In July 2003 Chris Bertram established Crooked Timber,[1] a collaborative Invite Only blog frequented by such established bloggers and academics as Kieran Healy and Henry Farrell, beginning with the introductory post:

Crooked Timber is a cabal of philosophers, politicians manque, would-be journalists, sociologues, financial gurus, dilletantes [sic] and flaneurs who have assembled to bring you the benefit of their practical and theoretical wisdom on matters historical, literary, political, philosophical, economic, sociological, cultural, sporting, artistic, cinematic, musical, operatic, comedic, tragic, poetic, televisual etc. etc., all from perspectives somewhere between Guy Debord, Henry George and Dr Stephen Maturin. We hope you’ll enjoy the show.[2]

In recent years, popular platforms of Invite Only collaborative blogs are various and mature. For example, Blogger, WordPress, and Mashable.

Open invite[edit]

Daily Kos logo.png
Founded May 2002 (2002-05)
Founder(s) Markos Moulitsas
Type of site a open Invite collaborative blog

Conversely, Open Invite collaborative blogs allow any user to register for a blogging account, providing instant access. Perhaps the most famous of these blogs is DailyKos, a left-wing collaborative blog founded in 2002 by Markos Moulitsas.[3] DailyKos allows bloggers the opportunity to post their opinions on the site without pre-approval of the content. Another example is LiveJournal's "communities" system, in which users join communities to read, post and comment on posts to a community; in this way, communities serve the twin purposes of collaborative blogs and Internet forums.

Open Invite collaborative blogs succeed on the basis that the community acts to weed out trolls, spammers and other troublemakers. Much like online forums, the accessible nature of the Open Invite collaborative site is protected by dedicated moderators and fellow bloggers who will act quickly to quell any signs of spamming.


Collaborative blog VS. Web-based blog[edit]

However, collaborative blogs are similar to, but not the same as, web-based blog aggregators such as Planet, as the latter usually pull data from other single-user blogs to present a more constantly updated, semi-collaborative stream of information.

Planet-based aggregator sites, however, are mostly used to aggregate the blogs of individuals who happen to participate in a common project, often various free software projects.

Collaborative blogs, on the other hand, tend to be a single site of post publication for members, replete with a common login system, user interface for the publication and editing of posts, and single-post comments system for other users of the blog.

Collaborative blog VS. Common blog & Web 2.0 website[edit]

Collaborative blogs are different from common blogs and other web 2.0 websites, such as Wikipedia.

Collaborate blogs are not just blogs, because individuals can modify, add to, or delete the contents from other users.

Unlike users of Wikipedia, users of collaborate blogs usually do not need to understand the components of a Web page work.[4]


For bloggers[edit]

In recent years the blogosphere has seen the emergence of many new Invite Only collaborative blogs, each accepting contributions from a group of established bloggers. While it may be unfair to ascribe this trend to any particular cause it is often the case that the pressures of maintaining a popular individual blog for an extended period of time can become too great, leading the successful blogger to naturally tend towards a lower pressure collaborative effort.

Collaborative blogs (especially of the Open Invite variety) allow those without their own personal site (or those with poorly trafficked sites) the opportunity to present their opinions to a much larger audience than that to which they would typically have access. As for invite only collaborative blogs, individuals with specialized expertise can post preliminary thoughts and foster discussing and information sharing.[5]

For readers[edit]

A primary advantage for the readers of collaborative blogs is the simple fact that a collaborative effort usually make for a more regularly updated site. It is not unusual to find collaborative weblogs publishing new material 24 hours a day, allowing readers the opportunity to read new material on an almost constant basis. They can be notified new posts by RSS Feed.

Another primary advantage is that there is opinion diversity. The different authors publish content with unique perspective, content and style. The reader gains comparative advantage. One can compare and contrast information provided by the different authors.



In recent years the popularity of collaborative blogs has soared. In fact, at time of writing seven of the top ten weblogs listed in N.Z. Bear's Blog Ecosystem (a popular league table of blogs based on the number of incoming links) employ collaboration of some sort.

An open invite collaborative blogs, DailyKos, Founded in May 26, 2002, the premier online political community with 2 million unique visitors per month and 300,000 registered users. In addition, many collaborative blogs websites have launched recent years. More and more users have registered their own collaborative blogs accounts. For example, Open source WordPress created in 2005, which is one of the most popular online publishing platforms. Overall, the network has more than 409 million people viewing more than 15.5 billion pages each month. Users of this website publish about 41.7 million new posts and leave 60.5 million new comments each month.[6]


In addition to the growth in traditional collaborative blogs the last two years has seen the emergence of a professional variety of collaboration – made up of either professional, paid commentators such as The Huffington Post or high profile bloggers engaged in a profit-sharing scheme (i.e. Pajamas Media).Some web publishers have also used the collaborative blog approach to build a business model around content-centered communities.

Another application of collaborative blogs is in the aspect of education. Many projects of collaborative blogs were used in the schools to share information among teachers and students. For example, a student-success blogging project, which was applied in the university of Florida, was designed to share the knowledge and skills with freshmen.[7] Some group blogs are for courses so that teachers can share information with students and collect feedback from students. Besides, collaborate blogs were considered as a teaching tool to promote the interaction among global learners.[8]

Examples of Collaborative Blogs[edit]

The following examples are collected from external introduction pages about collaborative blogs.[9]

Peanut Butter on the Keyboard A group of romance novelist-moms muse on motherhood and writing, from the craft to the business of publishing. An honest, lighthearted tone permeates the blog—they share what they have learned about raising kids and writing books with readers, yet also learn from each other.

Overexposed + Underdeveloped Ten friends explore a mix of topics, including travel, family, and food. Their voices are different, yet they share a perspective that life should be shown as it is: beautiful, messy, mundane, and real. The photography is the blog’s unifying element.

Broken Light Collective Broken Light is a collective of photographers who live with or are affected by mental illness. Launched by a photographer and photo editor near New York City, the site is an accepting, encouraging space for photographers to share their images and support the work of others. Submissions Poke around, and you’ll find evocative images. Jim, a blogger who struggles with depression, submitted an image of a full moon in “Melancholy,” while PJ Brez, a contributor living in the countryside of South Korea, captured isolation and loneliness in a snapshot in “The One That Got Away.” This multi-contributor photoblog also uses Suburbia, taking advantage of its attractive front page format with featured image thumbnails. The “Submissions” link in the menu (shown on the right) leads to a page of submission instructions, making it easy to contribute images.

Just Me & My Dad Through this simple but effective photo project, a dad and daughter get to know each other—and their cameras—better. Each week, they share images based on a theme. The side-by-side placement of their photographs and clean blog design are a winning combination.

In addition to these blogs, companies such as IBM, Microsoft, Sun, ect. have exclusive collaborative blogs for team members.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Crooked Timber origin". 2003-07-08. Retrieved 2007-01-28. 
  2. ^ Crookedtimber introductory post
  3. ^ About DailyKos:
  4. ^ "Wikis, Blogs, and Collaborative Docs.". 
  5. ^ The Many Forms of E-Collaboration: Blogs, Wikis, Portals, Groupware, Disoussion Boards, and Instant Messaging.
  6. ^ About WordPress:
  7. ^ Johnson, M. L., Plattner, A. S., & Hundley, L. (2011). Designing a Collaborative Blog about Student Success.
  8. ^ Meinecke A L, Smith K K, Lehmann-Willenbrock N. Developing Students As Global Learners:“Groups in Our World” Blog[J]. Small Group Research, 2013: 1046496413487020.
  9. ^ Focus On: Collaborative Blogs: