So, the question of the week: what makes a blog a blog. We all use the word blogs and have an idea what is being talked about when someone says blog, but there doesn’t seem to be a definitive answer. Wikipedia has it’s own definition of a blog as a “discussion or informational website published on the World Wide Web consisting of discrete, often informal diary-style text entries (“posts”). Posts are typically displayed in reverse chronological order, so that the most recent post appears first, at the top of the web page.” After readings from Blood and Rettberg, I don’t think this definition covers what a blog can be. In chapter one from Blogging by Jill Rettberg, she breaks blogs down into three categories: diary, filter, and topic driven blogs.
Diary blogs: like Dooce.com (which is hysterical by the way), are places where an author(s) can create and talk about anything, and usually they are the subject of their posts. They create snapshots into their life which they deem to be public information, unlike a diary where private moments are kept private.
Filter Blogs: like the name suggests, are blogs that filter information for the reader. These blogs are used to find certain information and links and give you comments on said links. An example from Rhettberg’s reading is Metafilter, which has links to articles, blogs, and websites, and the author’s opinion and/or summary of it.
Topic-driven blogs: Again like the name suggests, are blogs that usually chose a topic to focus on and to write about. For some reason, when I think of this type of blog, my first thought went to the term “mommy blogs”. “Mommy blogs” like Mommy A to Z focus on parenting: tips, tricks, advice, and a place where people can share their experiences with kids and parenting. You don’t need to be an expert; it’s where people who share certain interests or hobbies can have a platform dedicated to it.
To me, this still doesn’t necessarily explain what a blog can entail. What is the blog in general? I think it’s more than just the different kinds of posts. I connected to Rettberg’s description that “blogs are not a genre, but a medium”. It’s not limited by the categories within them and it is not a category of something else. Blogs are their own entity.
I thought Rebecca Blood shed some light on what blogs are. She writes that the term blog was coined after “Peter Merholz announced in early 1999 that he was going to pronounce it ‘wee-blog’ and inevitably this was shortened to ‘blog’ with the weblog editor referred to as a ‘blogger’.” Did anyone else think about the word WE while reading that? It makes me think of something anyone and everyone is included in while still being a part of some exclusive club. From what I gleamed off the reading, blogs are a sense of belonging. They are a way for people to participate in “the outside world” and/or “their own world”.