When I began this project, I had just a few academic studies of blogs, and a lot of references that weren't academic but had some insights or background. Students usually go first to one of the textbooks on language and the internet. Mark Boardman (2005), The Language of Websites (London: Longman), barely mentions blogs, but the new edition of David Crystal (2006), Language and the Internet (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) has a chapter on them.
One reference that comes up a lot in student essays, perhaps because it was for a while the only entry in our library catalogue for ‘blog’, is John Rodzvilla, ed. (2002), We’ve Got Blog (Cambridge, MA: Perseus Press). But it is just a collection of short pieces, mostly by bloggers, written in the first couple years of the blog phenomenon. Parts are still useful (including Rebecca Blood’s ‘Introduction’ and ‘History’, both of which are available on her web site), but it is not much of a start for academic analysis. Most of the other books I have seen on blogs are either how-to books, such as Cory Doctorow, Rael Dornfest, J. Scott Johnson, Shelly Powers, Benjamin Trott, and Mena G. Trott (2002), Essential Blogging (Sebastopol, CA: O’Reilly), or collections of articles and interviewsby and about bloggers, such as David Kline and Dan Burstein (2005), Blog! How the Newest Media Revolution is Changing Politics, Business, and Culture (New York: CDS Books).
More serious attention has been given to blogs in relation to news and politics. Dan Gillmor (2004) We the Media: Grassroots Journalism by the People for the People (Sebastopol, CA: O’Reilly) is a journalist’s series of anecdotes, but with very perceptive comments on the difference made by blogs and other ‘citizen journalism’ forms. Stuart Allan (2006), Online News: Journalism and the Internet (Maidenhead, UK: Open University Press), which I just found, is a readable overview textbook (by the author of News Culture) that focuses on such cases as the reporting of 9/11, Iraq, and Katrina. Allan also has a chapter about on-line news in Mark J. Lacy and Peter Wilkin, eds. (2005), Global Politics in the Information Age (Manchester: Manchester University Press). There is an interesting theoretical chapter at the beginning of Michael Keren (2006) Blogosphere: The New Political Arena (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books), about emancipation and narcissism. After that the chapters are mostly descriptions of various blogs – an American soldier, an Israeli mother, Jason Kottke and Meg Hourihan, who were early blogging celebrities. They are bit disappointing, because the definition of ‘politics’ here is a rather narrow one: Keren evaluates their writing about recognised political issues.