Wednesday, March 15, 2006

A Blog By Any Other Name...

I Hate Blog

Not blogs. I hate the word ‘blog’; I have never liked it. Originally it was a perversion of ‘weblog’ (which I would much prefer). The first time I heard someone extolling the virtues of blogging (circa 1999?) I thought, “Whoa buddy, what you have there is a diary”.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing inherently wrong with a diary. There’s also nothing wrong with publishing your private thoughts over the web. You have to bare your soul to some extent to be a writer. My feeling is that the best writers are the ones who bare the most. Which is not to say that bad writers do not bare their soul—some do and it does not make them better writers. It merely exposes them for the shallow hacks they are. Hmmm, maybe I’m exposing too much of myself here. Moving quickly along…

About diaries: I’m uncomfortable with the diary word also. When I was growing up girls kept diaries. Men, if they wrote at all, kept journals and ledgers. For years I kept a dialogue in the form of a Word document which I called my “Limited Journal”. My explanation was this: “Why is this journal limited? Because a real journal would not be updated in sporadic bursts at oddly varying intervals. Because if it was complete and updated daily it would be a diary… Because I don’t want to call it a limited blog.”

So, back to ‘blog’. Too much like blob or slog (as in “slog through a foggy bog”). It’s also becoming synonymous in my mind with ‘crap’. If you are just going to link to alternative news and interpretive articles why not just call it a page of links. A ‘plinks’ maybe? If it’s a fragmented analysis of routine things it could be a ‘fart’. If you are going to write, “school was really boring today and I don’t have anything to say”… well, that’s a blog. Serious writing and reporting should be given a more dignified name. But dammit, I can’t come up with anything better.


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