Someone asked me recently, “What’s a blog?” And after I got over the initial shock and wonder, repeatedly asking myself “is he (yes, he) for real?”, I tried my best to answer.
Seriously, what IS a blog? I guess it’s a journal or diary. Or a news outlet. Or a discussion forum. Or about a million other things.
Technically, the root of the term comes from the longer word “weblog”, meaning a log, on the web. Log like a record of some kind.
But what IS it? For me, it’s a double edged sword; a chore and a hobby. It’s work, sometimes, and sometimes it’s great fun. And sometimes it’s a pain in the a&&; especially when I have nothing of interest to write about, or when my blogging platform, wordpress, causes me no end of headaches and pain and grief as I try to solve some problem I’m having with the site. A site without a dynamic component, like wordpress, can be MUCH easier to handle than a blogging platform. If you folks out there had any idea how much of my life has been wasted as I’ve sat and stared at a screen wondering ‘now why the hell doesn’t it work’, you’d send money. Or drugs. Or money and drugs. Or, well, something. It’s ridiculous.
But I digress. Which is fine, of course, because it’s a blog, and it’s my blog, and I’m allowed to digress. I’m allowed to cuss, or joke, or be serious, or write long, wandering sentences, or short snappy ones, or punctuate correctly .. or not .. that’s one of the real benefits of the blog, you see … it’s pretty much whatever the blogger wants to write, or post. It can be no words at all, just images, as a photo blog. But not videos, then it would be called a vlog. There are rules, apparently.
One of the appeals of the blog, for people everywhere, is it is a platform to communicate. To everyone. Or to no one. To anyone. So blogs became incredibly popular. I’ve no idea what the exact percentage is, but the majority of websites today have a blog … now see, if this were a “proper article”, on a “proper website”, with a “proper editor”, I’d have to go do some research and come up with a reasonably supported percentage their, with “proper attribution”, of course. But, it’s not, it’s just a blog, my blog, so I needn’t bother. But trust me, most websites today have blogs – mainly because all the SEO gurus 5-10 years ago loved to say ‘you gotta blog’, and things like that.
So now, we blog. Not weblog, like it was originally, we blog. We blog and blog, and then stop blogging. For a while. Then back to it again. It’s hard. Here’s how hard it is; I’m actually writing about what a blog is. Yet that’s the beauty of it, and appeal of it, too, you see; that’s also how easy it is. I’m blogging about what a blog is. It doesn’t get much easier than that. Other than not blogging at all.
So we don’t really know what a blog is. But they’re immensely popular. And some of them are very good; but most, like this one, wander and ramble, have their moments of greatness, and their stints in the darkness, they shone and dull, they glow and they fade. Much like, I guess, ourselves. So blogs could well be a wonderful abstract illustration of ourselves;of humanity.
Most blogs are a reach for stardom, I suppose, but, just like bloggers and all people, most fall short of that. Well, they don’t fall short, they just don’t attain it. But they’re still blogs.
In short, I’m not sure what a blog is. And I’m not sure anyone else is, either. It’ll be interesting to see how long their hold on the ole internets lasts; nothing is forever, eh?