What is a blog?
This isn’t as easy a question to answer as it used to be. When the early pioneers of blogging sat down and recorded their first posts in the 90’s I wonder if they had any idea how the concept will evolve and reshape itself to become what it is today.
What Is A Blog? Watch For My Thoughts:
A blog used to be something resembling an online diary, a place where people would keep a record of their daily lives. The term itself is a shortening of ‘weblog’.
But things have changed. The word ‘blog’ has morphed and depending who you are talking to it means a lot of things or very little.
As someone who blogs I feel a definition is needed. If what I am doing right now is no longer defined specifically as a blog what is it?
Many blogs are still online diaries, others are related to specific topics. Mine, it’s a part of my business. It’s a marketing tool. It’s more like a magazine about digital marketing than a diary.
A couple of years ago I tried to re-define what a blog was. I wanted to be able to explain it to my students better. The definition I came up with was:
‘It’s a website or part of a website that is updated with new pages on a regular basis. And allows commenting.’
It seemed like a good explanation to me at the time and it’s one I’ve continued to use right up until this year. Now I’m not so sure.
Does a blog have to be a website, can it be rented space on someone else’s site?
When I started blogging there were few options. I was only aware of three blogging platforms:
Blogger – Back then it wasn’t owned by Google
WordPress – I had no idea about the two types of WordPress
Typepad – A paid service that only hardcore bloggers used
Now there are many more. We have sites like Tumblr and Medium that merge social networking and blogging. LinkedIn and Facebook both have built in blogging options. Video blogging (Vlogging) has become more accessible as digital video cameras have become prevalent.
Many of these don’t fit my definition.
In the last few weeks I’ve seen bloggers classified as:
1. People who are active online on channels like Snapchat or Instagram
2. Only people who write on their own websites, LinkedIn and Medium posts were discounted
As you can see opinion seems to be widely varied.
So what is a blog? What do I think a blog is? Is it video, can it be audio? Is an Instagram account a blog? Is it only a blog when there are large swathes of text attached? What about a photo blog? Can that work without text?
Doesn’t an Instagram or Snapchat account that shares snippets of the users life fulfil the original meaning of the word better than my business blog ever will?
I don’t have the answer, what are your thoughts? What constitutes a blog and how would you define it. I’d like to hear what you think.