Blogs Study Guide
Blogs Study Guide

Blogs Study Guide

Source: University of Minnesota Libraries

Student Price: FREE

An information systems study guide from the University of Minnesota.

Blogs - Study Guide

Blogs provide a rapid way to distribute ideas and information from one writer to many readers.

Ranking engines, trackbacks, and comments allow a blogger’s community of readers to spread the word on interesting posts and participate in the conversation, and help distinguish and reinforce the reputations of widely read blogs.

Well-known blogs can be powerfully influential, acting as flashpoints on public opinion.

Firms ignore influential bloggers at their peril, but organizations should also be cautious about how they use and engage blogs, and avoid flagrantly promotional or biased efforts.

Top blogs have gained popularity, valuations, and profits that far exceed those of many leading traditional newspapers, and leading blogs have begun to attract well-known journalists away from print media.

Senior executives from several industries use blogs for business purposes, including marketing, sharing ideas, gathering feedback, press response, image shaping, and reaching consumers directly without press filtering.

Discussion Questions


How are popular blogs discovered? How is their popularity reinforced?


Are blog comment fields useful? If so, to whom or how? What is the risk associated with allowing users to comment on blog posts? How should a blogger deal with comments that they don’t agree with?


Why would a corporation, an executive, a news outlet, or a college student want to blog? What are the benefits? What are the concerns?


How do bloggers make money? Do all bloggers have to make money? Do you think the profit motive influences their content?


Investigate current U.S. Federal Trade Commission laws (or the laws in your home country) that govern bloggers and other social media use. How do these restrictions impact how firms interact with bloggers? What are the penalties and implications if such rules aren’t followed? Are there unwritten rules of good practice that firms and bloggers should consider as well? What might those be?


What advantage do blogs have over the MSM? What advantage does the MSM have over the most popular blogs?


Start a blog using,, or some other blogging service. Post a comment to another blog. Look for the trackback field when making a post, and be sure to enter the trackback for any content you cite in your blog.

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