How many blog types out there?

Prompted by a comment from Mel Starrs, I’ve been trying to think of the different ‘types’ of blog I’ve come across. I think I can see Mel’s four, and raise her a bit. If I’ve missed any, please add details in the comments.
The ultra-personal: my family, my pets, my life. Unlikely to be of interest to anyone outside one’s immediate family or social circle, and even then, not necessarily all that interesting. Most commonly found on: Myspace, MSN (sorry,, Livejournal, Vox.
The expert: a diary of events and thinking in a work context, offering ‘an insider’s view’. Usually written by outspoken/gobby individuals who think they have something to say, and are arrogant enough to think the world wants to listen. Examples: you’re looking at one. 😉
The corporate: a blog written explicitly on behalf of a business or organisation. Attempts to give a glimpse ‘behind the scenes’, seeking engagement with either the customers or the sales channel. Tend to make greater use of industry jargon, and assume a certain personal or professional ‘buy-in’ (otherwise, why would you care?). Not to be confused with expert blogs written by people whose employers who don’t know what they’re up to.
The project noticeboard: somewhere for work colleagues in multiple locations to keep each other informed of news and developments. Written by its readers for its readers. A great alternative to lengthy email chains, especially if you have access to an RSS client. Typically found inside the company firewall, or at least password-protected.
The real-time magazine: large-scale professional publishing operations like Engadget, which could just as well be done as normal, run-of-the-mill websites (albeit without things like comments). They usually try to keep a more casual tone of voice, though.
The list of links: ‘weblogs’ the way they used to be. A flowing list of interesting finds on the web, or these days, items in the news. Offered with a few lines of commentary at most. Arguably though, these have evolved into people’s lists of bookmarks, or ‘stories I dugg’ (complete with comments).
The not-a-blog blog: a news website which makes use of the tools developed for blogs, but which opts out of bloggy features like commenting. Typically won’t even use the word ‘blog’ for fear of terrifying line managers. A growth area, given the inflexibility of many corporate CMS solutions, the speed of deployment and the sheer simplicity of the blogger’s toolkit. Most commonly found on Typepad, given the can’t-refuse £70-a-year pricetag.
I’m pretty sure every blog I can think of is one of these types, or a combination of two. Any of them can be individually or collectively written, but I still think you should decide which you are from the outset, and stick to it. It may well be irrational, but I still instinctively see most blogs as personal to a single author – and looking down my own watchlist, very few are joint efforts.
(I’m not including ‘moblogs’ or ‘photoblogs’, since most blogging tools have done a good job integrating those sorts of features into their core products. I don’t see them as separate types any more.)

5 thoughts on “How many blog types out there?”

  1. I think you’ve missed one out, but I’m not sure what you’d call it.
    My blog, Gizbuzz, covers tech news. It has two bloggers, so its not personal, but it is written in a conversational style, joining in memes and has full comments / trackbacks etc. It has some original journalism, like the odd interview, but is largely based on meta-journalism (reporting on other stories, and commenting on them) and original features (such as tutorials). The comment on it is too extensive, I think, for it to be called a simple link blog, especially given the orignal content on there.
    What would you call it, because I don’t think it fits into any of your categories!

  2. I think there’s a bit more merit to it than that, Aaron. We talk about blogs as if they are all one type, and it might be useful and thought-provoking to list out the various uses. Of course, you could always argue that there’s no such thing as a blog in the first place… since it’s all just content management. 😉

  3. “Of course, you could always argue that there’s no such thing as a blog in the first place… since it’s all just content management. ;)”
    That was, sort of, my point! Unless you buy into the idea of ‘the blog’ as some sort of cultural movement akin to the birth of punk.

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