What Is a Blog, Anyway?

RandyGlasbergen_BloggingCartoonToday is Wednesday, March 5, 2014.

I’m getting close to a writing deadline for another project, so this blog had to take a backseat today.  I saw this cartoon by Randy Glasbergen on the web and thought it was funny.  It got me to thinking about the term “blog” and all the associated terms, such as blogging, blogger, blogosphere etc.

Apparently, the term “blog” is a short form of “web log” that first came into use around 1995.  The online dictionary defines a blog as a site for one or more writers to record their experiences, observations, and opinions.  To that list, I would add rants, advice, instruction manuals, memoirs, and general information about an astounding array of subject matter.  Blogs these days usually combine text with images and links to other websites.   The word blog has apparently made it into the dictionary, at least the online versions.  Perhaps that’s all that matters; who consults a print dictionary anymore?

There are blogs about politics, social issues, various careers, spiritual topics, and practical do-it-yourself projects. Most blogs seem to be focused on a particular subject.  Few are as free-ranging as this one.  Many blogs are updated once a week or so.  Few are updated every day, as this one is.  In the United States, we also have microblogs, which are short blog entries, more like tweets, that are updated often, live blogs, which are updated frequently while an event is in progress, and photo blogs, which consist mostly of photos with quotations or short captions.

As for the cartoon, it’s not unfair to say that the term “blogging” could be considered a questionable activity, if you go by the sound of the word without knowing its meaning.  My parents are in their 80s, and have learned what a blog is, having read several blogs written by family members.  Fortunately, they have not asked me to stop.  🙂


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