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: [Closed] Is The Word "Blog" Used to refer to all User-Generated on the Internets a Bad Thing?
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Sep 28th 2008
As an individual that uses a blog to communicate my random ramblings into the written word and occasionally to attempt to spur conversation, I thought I would throw this idea to the community at Whitechapel.
I see the word "blog" being used increasingly liberally and often to describe any user-generated content on the internet. The word is used in the mass-media to describe pictures on websites, audio recorded (podcasts), videos, and even text messages.
As journalists and authors begin to write on the web increasingly, the word blog is starting to subsume the words "News" and "Fiction" in online writing.
The mass-media loves to report on "blogs" and, I believe, is adding to the lumping of user-generated content into the all-encompassing word "blog"
I wrote in greater length about this (ironically) on
, but I have two questions I want to ask to the members of Whitechapel:
1) Do you see the use of the word "blog" being used to describe dissimilar things more often, subsuming the original ideas unique aspects?
2) If so (or not) why does this bother you (or not)?
Sep 28th 2008
Well, most of it stems from the fact that "blog" originally stood for "web log" which could be a record of just about anything. Link blogs, photo blogs, video blogs, the whole thing is open-ended. It's so Web 2.0 to say you have a blog, or even a blog about blogs. You could say that Wikipedia is the ultimate community blog, morphing to the whims of its (registered) users.
I don't really see the dissimilarity at all, because when it comes down to it, a traditional blog is putting ideas in words on the internet. Whether you convey those words in a podcast, a video, a collection of links, or whatever, you're still generating some sort of message and posting it for the world to see. The problem most people have is that they're stuck in the old idiom of "internet as text-based media replacement" when its capable of disseminating any idea in any currently known form (and some of its own forms) instantaneously. It's not as rigid as, say, a monthly magazine, and some people have problems processing the fact that not all of their information is presented in one unified format. Your computer is a TV, a radio, a library, and its own thing all in one, and if you're not using it to its full potential then you're not really using it.
Finally, you can't really say something about a regularly updated form of user-generated content "not being a blog" or whatever, because past the "regularly updated user-generated content" definition, what a blog "is" is nebulous at best. There
no set definition past that point. It doesn't care what format the information is in, so long as you're putting your mark on it or presenting it in your way (e.g., a linkblog or a video blog). I think that even a Twitter roll is a blog of some sort. If I post some IM conversation my friends and I had, how, or why, is that
a blog post? See what I mean? Trying to limit the definition of it is sort of limiting to the idea of a blog, in my mind.
bother me is the pimping of traditional media's AMAZING NEW FEATURE-LADEN BLOG EXPLOSION on outlets like CNN or the NYT. We get it, guys. You're starting to understand the web. Welcome to five years ago. You've been supplanted.
Also, I really hate people that pimp their own blogs whenever they can. Like
. Whoever he is he seems to think that it's some big deal that he got Ben Templesmith to chime in on his blog. Okay, it was me. Classic self-loather.
EDIT: Just read your full post. I don't think your problem is with the word blog, it's the fact that it's used by people that don't know what a blog is in an attempt to make themselves look important and/or trendy. It's like your car mechanic giving you investment advice: sure, they might know a thing or two, but in reality, they've only got a slight idea of the intricacies involved. Any time a mainstream media personality pimps their blog or I hear/see mention of one from an outlet, I just ignore it. "Citizen journalists" may be the bane of "real journalists", but you're missing the point. The point isn't about what is or isn't a blog, or what content is deemed blog-appropriate, but it's the information flow between people, the communication. And that's why "real journalism" is failing; they're used to telling people the facts and being the unquestioned authority, and the "citizen journalists" are doing just as good a job by interacting rather than preaching.
Sep 29th 2008
The less times I hear the word blog before I die, the better. So yes, this IS a bad thing.
Sep 29th 2008
2) Not sure why it would bother anyone anyway. Why do you care? I can't even imagine sitting around thinking about such a thing.
Sep 29th 2008
Anyone with a passing interest in mass communications and human interaction would likely try to figure out the trends as they're happening. It may seem silly, but once you get to a certain point of minutiae with any subject, anyone but those who really care about it will find it absurd to even question something that much.
Example: fashion trends. Like I could really give two shits about the exact same belt made by two different designers. But some people do.
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