I’m currently working on chapter 7 of my thesis (textual functions of Personal Weblogs). I have identified several functional ethnocategories such as filter, update, sharing experience, review and so on. Additionally, I have employd theoretical codes to capture functional patterns not explicitally termed by the community (e.g. several contact functions; appellative patterns etc.).
Even before the last conference, a thought struck me: Actually, what I’m doing now is a description of posting genres. Each functional pattern can be differentiated from others by structural, functional and contextual features. The one and only layer which remains constant is the form of communication. So we can say that stable patterns / genres of postings have been established within the blogging community. The Personal Weblog as ethnocatgorial genre picks from those posting genres and thus establishes a functional set.
Another argument for the status of micro genres is the following: Working on the filter function, I realized that there are several ways of
carrying out realising the filter function. A neutral, matter-of-fact way (note to self: include PeterMe Perfect from period I in analysis!!!), a more author-centric way and a humorous way which plays with the established patterns. Therefore, we can assume that the posting genres each have a certain scope of variability. Variation is a central characteristic of genres (cf. Brock 2009, Giltrow & Stein 2009, Lemke 1999, Santini et al. 2011, Swales 1990 etc etc.) So is we can establish several sub-patterns for the micro genres or at least describe a range of variation, this, too, is a good indicator, in my opinion, for their genre status…