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The Personal Weblog

A Linguistic History

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Peter Schildhauer

This book outlines a coherent genre history of the personal weblog from the perspective of media linguistics. An analysis of a diachronic corpus (1997–2012) suggests distinct phases in the history of the genre. In addition to media linguistics, the author draws on methods from textual and corpus linguistics as well as the social sciences. He traces the personal weblog’s various relations to different on- and offline genres and describes the blog communication form as well as the communicative situation, structural features and several posting genres characteristic of personal weblogs. The findings are embedded into theoretical considerations on genre change in general as well as stability and change of web-based genres in particular.
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1 The Dynamics of Genre

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The question of what constitutes a personal weblog is only seemingly straightforward. Indeed, there are several perspectives which could be and have been taken into account, for instance:

• Is a personal weblog about its set-up as a dynamic web page with new entries appearing on top first (Schlobinski & Siever 2005a: 9)?

• Is a personal weblog characterised by a special relationship between blog authors and their readers, forming micro-communities of shared interest (Mauranen 2013a: 13)?

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