"The growing importance of online political weblogs, collectively known as the blogosphere, has been characterized by many as a fundamentally new development in the American journalistic landscape. But for Barlow, the blogosphere is in many ways a regression back to the early American popular press, which allowed a multiplicity of voices and opinions and helped stimulate democratic debate. Over the years, the commercialization, consolidation, and professionalization of American public journalism provided fewer and fewer venues for popular opinion and for discussion of issues the professional media considered unimportant. It is the promise of blogs to renew the abandoned practice of citizen journalism, and not some magic technological newness, that have led to the rapid explosion of the blogosphere."
Reference & Research Book News
"[B]arlow here examines blogs--interactive Web journals through which users share information and opinions. His perspective is that of both an academic researcher and longtime blogger. He looks at blogs in the historical context of the American press, the tradition of alternative journalism, and the position of mainstream media, citing blogs as evidence of the increasing power of citizen journalism. He discusses the social, political, and technological contexts that led to the current popularity of blogging. Complete with chapter notes, a selected bibliography, and a thorough index, this accessible book will be of particular value to those interested in contemporary mass communications, journalism, and media studies. Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty."
"[A] surprising probe of cultural forms of expression highly recommended for any serious college-level holding strong in social issues."
Midwest Book Review
"With The Rise of the Blogosphere, Aaron Barlow provides readers with an insightful, eye-opening exploration of the historic practices and cultural forces that have resulted in the current (and likely future) popularity of blogs as an appealing alternative to the offerings of mainstream commercial and professional news organizations. His research focuses much-needed attention on the backgrounds of political blogs and the essential roles they play in the ongoing movement toward citizen journalism, with its goal of addressing the noteworthy weaknesses of other media offerings in an increasingly complex and technologically advanced world. Barlow's impressive text appears destined to serve as an essential scholarly resource for many years to come."
Kylo-Patrick R. Hart, Ph.D., Chair, Department of Communication and Media Studies Plymouth State University