Eric Baumer and Danyel Fisher
The already huge number of blogs in existence is increasing rapidly, and many users are struggling to find a way to keep up with the expansion. A number of existing tools aim to capture the general topics of all currently popular topics among the entire blogosphere, while others allow individuals to read a fixed list of blogs. However, few personalized tools exist to help the individual get an overview of the specific blogs he or she reads. This paper presents the concept of social topic extraction via the Smarter Blogroll, which displays current topics for a selection of blogs. While there was little difference in users‘ ability to identify topics using the Smarter Blogroll, the results of our user study point to design recommendations for improving the use of metadata within blogroll entries, thereby facilitating blog reading. The paper concludes with implications for the design of tools to aid in blog navigation and reading, as well as recommended directions for future research.