1. Blogs as impression management. This comes from Erving Goffman's work. I especially like his discussion of the personal front and how ego tries to control the impressions of observers in an infinite cycle of revelation and discovery.
2. Blogs as performance. This I get from Judith Butler mostly, and it's rather intuitive if you think about it. Still, despite some background in feminist theory I'm rather weak in this area and would like some help.
3. Blogs as speech genre. This comes from Mikhail Bakhtin by way of Alireza Doostdar, who wrote a very interesting analysis of Persian weblogestan (a neologism for blogosphere) in the Dec 2004 issue of American Anthropologist.
What I am not looking at is blogs as panopticon. The panopticon is a tool of control that is used without the consent of the observed, which is not what blogging is at all, since it is done at the will of the blogger. The gaze of the blogosphere is one that is invited by the blogger, so it is not entirely a panopticon. In fact, many bloggers don't even consider that anyone besides their intended audience might be able to read their blogs.
Anyway, whatever thoughts and suggestions anyone else can share would be appreciated.
x-posted to blog_sociology and lj_research