How do you describe a blog?

How do you describe what a blog is? There is the technical definition, which describes the various characteristics of a special type of dynamic website. We could go back to the root of the word web + log = blog.

We could look at a blog as a form of self-publication or self-broadcast. A blog is a personal space or place for the author on the internet.

But there is more too it than that. A blog is not just about a place for the author to broadcast, it is also a place for conversation. To be a blogger is to be a part of a community of the bloggers. Different types of blogs have different cultures. The blog-o-sphere isn’t one thing. It is not something that can simply be identified.

Going back to yesterday’s post, the author started with “Society has changed“.  I would argue that society is change. By its nature, it is not a static thing. It is something that is forever moving. In the same way a blog is not simply a website. It also is not one thing. It cannot be defined in the static, because by its vary nature it is change.

We could think of a blog as a living thing. Something that is fed – primarily by the blog author – but also by those who choose to comment. Those who engage in conversation also feed the blog, encouraging the author to continue.

I have a challenge ahead of me. I want to blog as dissertation. I want to blog as data collection. But before I can do that, I need to define what a blog is. I need to define it for the lay person who is note familiar with technology. I also need to define it for my community. I need to define it for an external examiner. I need to someone make static the dynamic and living thing that is a blog.

And so, I ask my readers, how do you define a blog? What are the ‘things’ that make a blog a blog, rather than a website or a personal public journal? What makes a blog a unique digital media?

4 responses

  1. surprisesaplenty Avatar

    From my own blog post discussion your post:

    “So, I have now described my blogs as places for: storage, PPT and educational resources, daily events, news, a space for argument and persuasion, and as a scrapbook.

    I feel a ‘real blog’ should consist only of daily events and news, scrap-booking and persuasion. It shouldn’t primarily be a place for online storage. Why I feel this way, I cannot fully say, but it feels to me like using a screwdriver as a bottle opener -it works but isn’t designed for it.”

    I’ll be following this post to see what further insight appears.

    1. Rebecca - @rjhogue Avatar
      Rebecca – @rjhogue

      I think you are starting to get to the nuance that I want to ensure is captured within my definition. I don’t want to do dissertation by ‘static website’ as to me that really isn’t a whole lot different then dissertation by monograph. There is a ‘living’ ness to the blog that makes it different from a simple internet repository for information.

  2. dogtrax Avatar

    A blog is … a writing/thinking space with connective threads leading out to a global audience that can interact with the writer. (If comments are open. Otherwise, it’s just a writing space). A blog further reduces the “space” between writer and reader, potentially shifting the dynamics between what is written and what is read, and putting into question who has authority over what is being published.
    Notice all my qualifiers there?
    So much depends upon the settings of the blog itself …

    1. Rebecca Avatar

      Thanks Kevin, can I quote you?
      The benefit to using a blog in my research is that I can define it to be whatever I want for the purposes of the research itself. I just need a way for those unfamiliar with technology and connectivism to understand that when I blog publicly during the research process that anyone can comment, not just my formal “research participants” … as that is the nature of blogging .. and also in part the nature of doing research in the digital open …

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