From blogs to open news: Notes towards a Taxonomy of P2P Publications

Bruns, Axel (2003) From blogs to open news: Notes towards a Taxonomy of P2P Publications. In of the Australia and New Zealand Communication Association Conference (ANZCA03): Designing Communication for Diversity:, 9-11 July 2003, Brisbane, Australia.


Peer-to-peer (p2p) communication is currently a major driver of online content development. In addition to some of the better-known p2p communication forms such as filesharing, however, we are now also witnessing the emergence of a wide range of p2p publishing models. These range from solitary, diary-style Weblogs (blogs) to communal blogspaces which place individual blogs within elaborate interconnecting extrastructures, and beyond this to increasingly sophisticated Websites for the open publishing and discussion of special interest news. This form of communal publishing replaces traditional journalistic gatekeeping approaches with a new gatewatching model, and (implicitly or explicitly) applies the philosophy of the open source software development movement to news reporting and publishing, leading to what can be described as open news. Typically emerging from existing interest communities, p2p publications frequently cater for topics which are absent from the mainstream media. Their basis in the community can lead to the publishing and discussion of news and information in a highly topical, well-informed fashion, which has also made such models highly attractive to online activist groups. Common to such sites is that the role of site owners and editors appears largely to be limited to maintenance interventions, rather than content-editorial screening and filtering. The selection and editing of content, on the other hand, is usually in the hands of site users themselves, often (as in the case of sites like with its 500,000 registered users) through elaborate selfmoderation systems. Compared to traditional news and commentary publications, therefore, new power structures can emerge which affect these publications in specific ways. If in these sites we see the emergence of common models for designing communication for diverse communities, it is necessary to investigate whether these site models provide suitable vehicles for information exchange and communication for more than simply the usual techno-geek groups that are already overrepresented in Internet communication structures. This paper describes peer-to-peer publications as a continuum of publishing approaches ranging from isolated, single-writer blogs to widely recognised, large-community open publishing Websites; it notes commonalities and differences amongst these related models along the way. It makes reference to typical examples of p2p publishing sites and points out potential benefits and problems inherent in these publishing forms. Finally, it also considers the extent to which the open source philosophy provides a useful ideological model for these sites.

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ID Code: 193
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Peer to peer communication, P2P, filesharing, Weblogs, journalism, Open source, Filtering, Gatewatching
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > COMMUNICATION AND MEDIA STUDIES (200100) > Communication and Media Studies not elsewhere classified (200199)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000) > JOURNALISM AND PROFESSIONAL WRITING (190300) > Journalism Studies (190301)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2003 (please consult author)
Deposited On: 09 Jul 2004 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:03

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