At the Q&A of the Moving Movie Industrie conference someone from the audience asked me what the difference between a journal and a blog is.
In my MA thesis I moved away from the genre approach of blogging that often sees blogging as a form of keeping a diary or as a form of journalism. Rather, I looked at the blog as native to the web, which has its very specific features. With the introduction of blog software standards and search engines the blog has changed significantly. The default settings in the blog software have turned it into an atonomous unit in the network. The blogosphere is just a small part of this network where search engines, ping services, feed readers and other services play an important role.
The blog has changed so much that it is increasingly becoming harder to define it as both the medium and practice of blogging have changed. This prompts the next question in reference to the Wired article whether blogging is ‘over’. Blogging is not over and blogs are not dead but they have evolved into something that no longer resembles the old logging of the web practice that prompted the original word ‘weblog.’ Blog software is often used for publishing magazines or newspapers and the practice no longer resembles the practice of the personal logging of the web.
Seth Godin also noted in ‘the State of the Blogosphere 2008‘ that
The word blog is irrelevant, whatâ€™s important is that it is now common, and will soon be expected, that every intelligent person (and quite a few unintelligent ones) will have a media platform where they share what they care about with the world.
Bruce Sterling, the conference keynote speaker and longtime blogger, notes that we need a new word for weblog that better describes the current practice. But not just any word, it should be as catchy as the ‘blog’ word is and has become. Content Management System or CMS just does not sound as exciting. Bruce Sterling: â€œThe person who comes up with the new buzzword for ‘blog’ should win a Nobel Prize!â€
Suggestions in the comments are welcome :)
- Paulien Drescher’s report in English for the Masters of Media blog
- Speaker Julian Bleeker’s account in English
- Leonieke Verhoog’s account in Dutch for the VPRO.
2 thoughts on “Bruce Sterling: “The person who comes up with the new buzzword for ‘blog’ should win a Nobel Prize!””
Lately, I’ve considered my place on the web (blog, lifestream, tlog, etc.) as just that: an online presence, a web spot. And perhaps it’s not even that, it’s just a site, defined by a URL.
Maybe one day we’ll see people just ask: what’s your web address, as easily they ask for a phone number, and then all this ‘ooh, you have a blog’ malarkey will be over. Godin’s a clever guy.
Eventually, perhaps, ‘address’ will just be enough, when we’ve all become mobile internet nomads.
But as long as even services like Twitter are referenced as ‘microblogging systems’ or whatever… we’ve some way to go yet.
In the end though, the word blog could just survive as a term separated from its origins. That would be good enough for me too.