What are Blogs?

This seems like a basic question, and the idea of blogs is not new to web users. They are very valuable sources which would inform us about registered events in the web. A blog is a blend of the term “web log” which is a type of website. Blogs are usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions or events, or other materials such as graphics or videos.

Generally, blogs are concerned with gathering and extracting information of different subjects such as congresses, e-commerce, political view points, architecture, medicine and so on.

A blog user Courtesy of http://science.opposingviews.com

A blog user
Courtesy of http://science.opposingviews.com

Types of Architecture Blogs

There are many types of architecture blogs like individual blogs, educational blogs, student blogs, organization or firm blogs and so on. As an example of firm blogs is Utile. Boston-based Utile calls itself a design firm “built like a think tank”, and its blog reveals the substance of that tagline. Posts contemplate aspects of the historic constructed environment and comment on new buildings conceived by other architects, while others are concerned with a certain obsession with environmental graphics. In all, the blog pulls back the curtain on inspirations and musings.

The aim of architecture blogging is discovering and exploring outstanding architectural subjects on the web and learning the direction of thinking towards this kind of information, in a way to extract precious and important data from the web and announce them reasonably (Naghavi and Sharifi, 2012).

An architectural firm blog Courtesy of http://www.raintoday.com/

An architectural firm blog
Courtesy of http://www.raintoday.com/

Importance of Architecture Blogging

Nowadays, blogs compete with main stream media in delivering news and information. Why? Because anyone can easily set up their own blog and share their thoughts online. Consequently, this brings freedom to express thoughts that is far more direct than what used to be the conventional way of relaying information. because of this freedom, the information is informal and with that comes a sense of caution. Blogs are written about any subject and for a wide range of purposes, including personal, business, work and sharing new stories. Hence, architecture blogging is concerned with topics like architecture, art, landscape, interior design and conservation which deal with everybody in the field of architecture and would affect the society harshly. This has opened the door to fluid participation of and communication with professional both directly related to architects and other professionals that we encounter generally in the field. Most blogs are interactive, allowing visitors to leave comments and even message each other via widgets on the blogs. This interactivity of architecture blogs distinguishes them from other static websites.

Immediate awareness about the effect of these blogs, can give you a chance to think of a needed solution to prevent different crises and make necessary predictions for solving different problems in the field of architecture.

Thus, architecture blogs are a newly presented phenomenon in the World Wide Web which has changed social relations present in the web sphere and has affected the architectural field. The most important characteristics which make the architecture blogs different from other websites, are their universality, being interactive, and their short speed getting up to dated.

Blog social community Courtesy of http://bloggingtips.moneyreigninc.netdna-cdn.com/

Blog social community
Courtesy of http://bloggingtips.moneyreigninc.netdna-cdn.com/

Best Ten Architecture Blogs

After looking and searching on the web, I found that – according to several websites – it is agreed that the best architecture blogs are:

Pretty Architecture:

It is a newcomer to the field of architecture blogs which I definitely recommended to visit now and then.

Architectureblog:

It is a blog with pictures of architecture.

The Architecture Blog Courtesy of http://www.architectureblog.tumblr.com

The Architecture Blog
Courtesy of http://www.architectureblog.tumblr.com

Jeroen Apers:

This is a Dutch blog with a huge amount of posts that you can use if you need inspiration on a particular topic.

Architecture of Doom:

It is a blog with lots of pictures of buildings in disrepair.

Architecture of Doom Courtesy of http://www.architectureofdoom.tumblr.com

Architecture of Doom
Courtesy of http://www.architectureofdoom.tumblr.com

life1nmotion:

It is a blog with extremely high quality of topics and pictures. It is characterized by a personal touch.

archtlas:

It is one of the most original architecture blogs and it keeps posting stuff. However, it seems an unfriendly and it doesn’t attract the reader because it is not arranged at all.

archimodels:

It is a blog filled with models. This serves as a collection of scale models, but doesn’t have comment on them. It might be good for browsing through some interesting models.

Archimodels Blog Courtesy of http;//www.archimodels.info

Archimodels Blog
Courtesy of http;//www.archimodels.info

domestic space:

It is a blog written by architects and for architects. However, the guys behind are not displaying fitting pictures of cutting-edge home- and workspace design.

Contemporist:

This blog feeds large picture of some far-out building each day. It is an important source of news on innovative building and design.

Contemporist

Contemporist
Courtesy of: http://www.contemporist.com

ryanpanos:

I do not think this is a good choice, because I couldn’t find a common theme. The content may be light, but not productive. It is just a collection of images and not much more.

Architecture Blogging as a Searching Tool

In architecture blogging, appropriate tools can empower participants and researchers to say what they think and receive feedback quickly from others. Also, it operates as a knowledge-center, which is a great architectural tool. It is a medium in which users are involved in research activities and are engaged in discussions with practitioners. It leads researchers through development concepts of the discipline’s knowledge domain.

Yes, we all know blogs aren’t a credible source of information, but they do provide something valuable: discussions between users, which are not limited to architects. This gives us insight on how the public perceives the architecture. However, sometimes a blog provides unclear content and unfriendly practice.That’s why academic researchers don’t take blogs as a reference for their topics, as ideas in blogs stem from discussions between users whom might not be architects.

The use of these blogs is a collaboration between users to work together to build knowledge. Finally, the opportunities for users to post substantive comments to other users’ blog entries add an additional tier of interactivity and social interaction.

Encouraging the Use of Architecture Blogs

Architecture blogs are sometimes considered as a valuable e-learning source and a searching tool. It can be used in a number of ways to engage users in discussion, exploration and discovery. Blogs work best when integrated into a coherent pedagogical approach, vested in an appropriate educational theory and updated regularly by participants. As more users use blogging, we will have the opportunity to assess new applications for this emerging research technology. More importantly, extending contact between participants through a blog could provide a practical way to mentor and encourage users to continue their studies in relevant fields.

Many times, we find ourselves searching the web and finding an answer on a blog, which leads to further research if needed for verification. The point is, that first initial contact can happen on a blog and lead to more information elsewhere. Part of why that is, is because blogs are approachable, they are written by people we can relate to. With this in mind, let me ask this again: Is architecture blogging constructive or destructive, and what are the cautions we need to keep in mind?

 

Written by: Riham Nady

Edited by: Aiysha Alsane

 

References

– ARCHITECTURAL RECORD official website. (2012). “10 Architecture Firms to Watch in 2013“.  http://archrecord.construction.com/news/2012/12/121227-10-Best-Architecture-Blogs.asp

– Glogoff, Stuart. (2005). “Instructional Blogging: Promoting Interactivity, Student-Centered Learning, and Peer Input ”. The Fisher School of Education and Human Services at Nova Southeastern. http://www.innovateonline.info

– INDEPENDENT official website. (2012). “The 10 Best architecture blogs“. http://www.independent.co.uk/extras/indybest/house-garden/the-10-best-architecture-blogs-7912530.html

– Naghavi, Mehdi and Sharifi, Mohsen. (January 2012). “A Proposed Architecture for Continuous Web Monitoring through Online Crawling Blogs”. International Journal of UbiComp (IJU), Vol. 13, No.1.

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