Academic journal article Entrepreneurial Executive

State of the Entrepreneurial Blogosphere

Academic journal article Entrepreneurial Executive

State of the Entrepreneurial Blogosphere

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT

Existing scholarly research on blogging is limited, despite the widespread and rapidly growing use of weblogs in actual practice among small businesses and the rise of a new business sector comprised of professional entrepreneurial bloggers. One publisher's brand new "flagship" entrepreneurial and small business academic textbook used in college and university entrepreneurship courses (copyright 2007) fails to index either the term "blog" or "weblog." Several other leading textbooks also fail to index the aforementioned terms. There is a paucity of research expressed in scholarly journals in general, with virtually none published in entrepreneurship oriented journals. It is presumed that the lack of coverage within leading entrepreneurship textbooks is a reflection of scant research in the literature.

Nevertheless, the blogging phenomenon is now so large that it has become known as the "blogosphere." The popular press has documented blogging as what could be described as nothing less than a paradigm shift. Blogging is having a profound impact in the business community, with implications for practice on several fronts. This paper is necessarily exploratory in nature, and presents an overview of blogging and its impact within the business community, with an emphasis on possible implications for future entrepreneurship teaching, research, and practice.

INTRODUCTION

The term "blog" is short for Web log, or its shortened form, "weblog" (Blog, 2006). Early blogs were primarily used as online diaries (i.e., personal logs or journals). However, blogging has evolved and has metamorphosed well beyond this original usage. From a technological vantage point, blogs are related to content management systems (CMS). Content management systems serve as a container, in effect, and allow for the entry, storage, archiving, retrieval, and reporting of data. Relative to weblogs, the reporting is ordinarily in the form information that is displayed on an Internet user's computer screen. As such, content management systems are able to capture and present for either private (through password protected access to certain information, for instance) or public view, the expressed knowledge and experiences of individuals or organizations, or whatever other content is placed within a given system.

Most present day blogs are "dominated by text and photos" (Shapiro, 2003), which are perhaps embellished with graphical images such as photos or illustrations within blog entries (also known as posts) and in headers, navigational sidebars, or advertising material that is displayed adjacent to editorial content. On the other hand, photo blogs, audio blogs--also associated with the term "podcasting" (Podcasting, 2006)--and video blogs are emerging as processor speeds, storage capacities, and bandwidth continue to increase and enjoy greater dispersion among Internet users. (For examples, see: Photoblogs.org, Audioblog.com, and Vlogdir.com.) Blogging technologies typically incorporate a capability for remote posting of content by users of a given blog. As examples, in the case of textual blogs, posts can be made by computer either directly though the blog's Website interface, or through e-mail; audio bloggers can post recordings by telephone. Hence, blogs allow individuals to become roving correspondents, much like journalists (and publishers) in traditional news media.

REVIEW OF EXISTING LITERATURE ON BLOGGING

In an Entrepreneur magazine article titled, "Who Let the Blogs Out?," Kooser, observed that blogging has "gone beyond fad to become a full-fledged Internet phenomenon" (2002). The blogging phenomenon has been associated with a paradigm shift, and is so pervasive that the term "blogosphere," has arisen, defined as a "collective term encompassing all weblogs or blogs as a community or social network" (Blogosphere, 2006), in keeping with its immense proportions and social impact.

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