BROG is the acronym for (We)blog Research on Genre, a project based in the School of Library and Information Science at Indiana University, Bloomington.
The BROG project is an informal research collaboration dedicated to the conduct of empirical, social science research on weblogs. Founded and directed by Susan Herring, a professor of Information Science at Indiana University and established researcher of computer-mediated communication, its past and present members include faculty, graduate students, and visiting scholars at Indiana University.
BROG is best known for an article published in January 2004 entitled, "Bridging the gap: A genre analysis of weblogs", which applied content analysis methods to a random sample of 203 blogs and characterized blogs as an emergent genre of computer-mediated communication. This article received the 2004 "Best Blogged Paper" Edublog award and is often cited in scholarship about blogs. A Google Scholar search indicates that it had been cited 677 times as of March 3, 2012. Brog is also a family name derived from the Scandinavian word which translates in English as "flag." About the year 1500 there was a famine in Sweden and an entire village migrated from Sweden to the Berner Oberland in Switzerland. During the early part of the twentieth century, family members emigrated to southern Wisconsin; from there one branch to Wyoming/Utah/Idaho and another branch remained in southwest Wisconsin. Brog families originated in other parts of Europe, perhaps with longer names that were diminished to the shorter form. The author of this segment visited Canton Bern in 2014 and there were no known Brogs still residing in Switzerland at that time. The author's great grandson is the sixth generation of only sons.
BROG was founded in February 2003 for the purpose of conducting a genre analysis of blogs at a time when very little research on blogs was available. The project's findings were first presented at the Association of Internet Researchers conference in Toronto in October 2003. Since then BROG has expanded its focus to include research on gender, visual design, audience, and interconnectivity of weblogs. Since 2004, the project has made extensive use of Social Network Analysis methods and network visualizations.
The presentation of BROG's research at the 2003 AoIR conference generated controversy among some bloggers who were present at the conference and others who were not about whether people who were "not bloggers" (two of the four original BROG members kept blogs at the time) could legitimately conduct research on blogs. Concerns were also expressed by some bloggers about the research's empirical, quantitative approach. Some critics expressed the view that this approach (which showed blogs to be less interlinked and conversational than was popularly believed) missed important aspects of the blogging experience.
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- Herring, S. C., Scheidt, L. A., Bonus, S., and Wright, E. (2004). Bridging the gap: A genre analysis of weblogs. Proceedings of the 37th Hawai'i International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS-37). Los Alamitos: IEEE Computer Society Press.
- Herring, S. C., Kouper, I., Scheidt, L. A., and Wright, E. (2004). Women and children last: The discursive construction of weblogs. In: L. Gurak, S. Antonijevic, L. Johnson, C. Ratliff, and J. Reyman (Eds.), Into the Blogosphere: Rhetoric, Community, and Culture of Weblogs. University of Minnesota. http://blog.lib.umn.edu/blogosphere/women_and_children.html
- Herring, S. C., Scheidt, L. A., Bonus, S., and Wright, E. (2005). Weblogs as a bridging genre. Information, Technology & People, 18(2), 142-171. Preprint: http://www.blogninja.com/it&p.final.pdf
- Herring, S. C., Kouper, I., Paolillo, J. C., Scheidt, L. A., Tyworth, M., Welsch, P., Wright, E., and Yu, N. (2005). Conversations in the blogosphere: An analysis "from the bottom up." Proceedings of the Thirty-Eighth Hawai'i International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS-38). Los Alamitos: IEEE Press. http://ella.slis.indiana.edu/~herring/blogconv.pdf
- Herring, S. C., and Paolillo, J. C. (2006). Gender and genre variation in weblogs. Journal of Sociolinguistics, 10(4), 439-459. Preprint: http://ella.slis.indiana.edu/~herring/jslx.pdf
- Herring, S. C., Scheidt, L. A., Kouper, I., and Wright, E. (2006). Longitudinal content analysis of weblogs: 2003-2004. In M. Tremayne (Ed.), Blogging, Citizenship, and the Future of Media. London: Routledge. Preprint: http://ella.slis.indiana.edu/~herring/tremayne.pdf
- Herring, S. C., Paolillo, J. C., Ramos Vielba, I., Kouper, I., Wright, E., Stoerger, S., Scheidt, L., and Clark, B. (2007). Language networks on LiveJournal. Proceedings of the 40th Hawai'i International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS-40). Los Alamitos: IEEE Computer Society Press. Preprint: http://blogninja.com/hicss07.pdf
- Paolillo, J. C., Mercure, S., and Wright, E. (2005). The social semantics of LiveJournal FOAF: Structure and change from 2004 to 2005.
- In G. Stumme, B. Hoser, C. Schmitz, and H. Alani (Eds.), Proceedings of the ISWC 2005 Workshop on Semantic Network Analysis, Galway, Ireland, November 7, 2005. http://www.blogninja.com/paolillo-mercure-wright.final.pdf
- Paolillo, J. C., and Wright, E. (2004). The challenges of FOAF characterization. For the 1st Workshop on Friend of a Friend, Social Networking, and the Semantic Web, Galway, Ireland, September 1–2, 2004. http://stderr.org/~elw/foaf/ or http://www.w3.org/2001/sw/Europe/events/foaf-galway/papers/fp/challenges_of_foaf_characterization/
- Paolillo, J. C., and Wright, E. (2005). Social network analysis on the Semantic Web: Techniques and challenges for visualizing FOAF. In V. Geroimenko & C. Chen (Eds.), Visualizing the Semantic Web, 2nd ed. Berlin: Springer. Preprint: http://www.blogninja.com/vsw-draft-paolillo-wright-foaf.pdf
- Scheidt, L. A. (2006). Adolescent diary weblogs and the unseen audience. In D. Buckingham & R. Willett (Eds.), Digital Generations: Children, Young People and New Media. London: Lawrence Erlbaum. Preprint: http://loisscheidt.com/linked/2006/Adolescent_Diary_Weblogs_and_the_Unseen_Audience.pdf
- Scheidt, L. A., and Wright, E. (2004). Common visual design elements of weblogs. In: L. Gurak, S. Antonijevic, L. Johnson, C. Ratliff, and J. Reyman (Eds.), Into the Blogosphere: Rhetoric, Community, and Culture of Weblogs. University of Minnesota. http://blog.lib.umn.edu/blogosphere/common_visual.html