The word blog is no longer fulfilling its semantic duty, and must be taken outside and shot without delay.
What do you think of when you hear the word “blog”? Well, this is a kinda one-way thing we’re doing here, you reading this, so you can’t really answer. Instead, here’s what some people think of when they hear the word:
A venue covered in fake electronic sequins which is the scene of someone opening their heart into the void, indelicately ripping back the veil over their emotions. You will learn all about their feelings, their hopes and dreams for the future, and occasionally what they had for lunch. It’s not clear why anyone would read it, but it’s there, and people do.
A travel diary: the first post (beginning, “Well, here I am in [Peru/England/Summer Camp/Space/Kentucky]!”) followed by a lot of silence, followed by a vague apology that, “I haven’t written in a while,” followed by two days of frequent, vapid updates, followed by death.
Something mean about celebrities.
Something anonymous by someone who should know better, sharing political or business secrets.
And so on. The problem here is that whilst all of these ideas are blogs, none of them are adequate definitions of what a blog is.
According to the dictionary, a blog is:
a personal website or web page on which an individual records opinions, links to other sites, etc. on a regular basis.
Which, of course, is a heinously incomplete description itself. If you can’t trust the dictionary, who can you trust?! This definition, for example, takes absolutely no notice of something like a tech blog (say, for example, The Verge, ha ha) which is emphatically neither a personal website nor posted to by a single individual.1
No, the word blog is broken, collapsed under the weight of all of its negative baggage. It’s only useful to signify that the content in question is happening on the internet, and even at that it’s reductive in the extreme. And is it really worth it, if it brings with it all those connotations, negative or positive?
I don’t think so.
Unless it’s a chap with some severe mental issues and exceedingly dexterous fingers. ↩
Published on July 19th, 2013