Tuesday, February 20, 2007

what's your definition of blog?

All bloggers have some sort of seat-of-the-pants, ad hoc, unplanned, subconscious definition of the ugly little word "blog". What's yours?

I mean, when you accidentally let slip the fact that you have a blog, and your friends or family go, "Huh?" or their faces twist into bewonderment and they ask, "What exactly is a blog?"...

...what do you say?

Or do you go, "A blog? Oh, nothing much really, just a little online diary. Hey, why do you think Britney Spears shaved her empty head?" to change the subject?

I am going to create a new client education document called "What is a blog?" and you can help me. Just add a comment on how you define or explain to people what a blog is.

As good ideas come in, I'll add them to my list presented here.

What is a blog? Well...

(1) A blog is an "email to the world" -- Doc Searls.

(2) A blog is a simple CMS (content management system) that non-technical users can operate to publish content to the web.

(3) A blog is a digital diary.

(4) A blog is a mini-web site that one person authors, updates, and maintains.

(5) A blog is a log of what you find interesting on the web, hence "web log" or "weblog", with links and sometimes a little bit of commentary.

(6) A blog is a home away from home.

(7) A blog is an online conversation that anyone can join via comments.

(8) A blog is a web journal containing frequent postings that are displayed in reverse chronological order, with older posts archived according to month and year or in categories, with links to other relevant or favorite blogs, and a comment function that allows readers to add their input.

(9) A blog is the first universal content publishing system to allow any human with a computer and internet access to express their ideas to a potentially global audience.

(10) A blog is a revolutionary tool that lets the average person publicize their thoughts on a level playing field with corporations and traditional media.

(11) A blog is a software application that enables compu-telepathic communication from one mind to another, with no filters, censors, or approval channels intervening.

(12) A blog is web platform that enables text, photos, video, audio podcasts, music mp3s, PDFs, and other digital media to be distributed to the world.


Stephan Tual said...

Nice, in-dept post as usual. On to the answer:

#8. For sure.

We need to kill the meme that a blog is something more than a mechanism to enter information in a particular way, once and for all.

The fact that people don't understand that has caused me a lot of grief in the past. Selling websites for example. You go see a client: "our platform includes a blog module". Client: "but I don't want an online diary" Us: "it doesn't have to be one" Client: "but online marketing guru #1393 said....". You can change the client answer with any of the other options you gave, depending on the client.

It's hosted, it's made of parsable client side code like flash of HTML, ergo it's a website. Doesn't matter how you enter information in it, in fact, it's a great idea to combine formats. Why not put a wiki on your website, alongside your blog? Or a CMS? Or a shop to sell what you blog about? Or a blog to frequently give news about the photos in your gallery?

A blog becomes an online diary when I start writing about my aunt Evelyn on it, the exact same way a paper notebook becomes an offline diary when I put the pen to the paper. Look at it any way you want, "a series of dead trees flattened to paper format", "a collection of my most intimate thoughts", "a bindable series of sheets with lines drawn on it"... a notebook is still a bloody notebook.

A blog is a blog is a blog.

Steven Brent said...

Love you too, you big ol' goofball.