To blog or not to blog

What is a blog? That is the question. Okay, enough Shakespeare, let’s talk semantics. I’m seeing a trend towards the potentially dangerous overuse of a buzzword.

I had a conversation yesterday on what the big deal with blogging is. I couldn’t easily answer the question, because, well, there are so many different types of blogs, it’s hard to pinpoint a single reason. The particular individual I was speaking to was thinking only of personal journals, where people write about what they had for breakfast, who kissed who, or how bad their hangover is. He was completely unawares of truly informative blogs written by industry professionals, or political blogs, business blogs, or how about funny ones. I think it’s time that we start making a distinction.

After a quick glance at wikipedia, blogs are categorized into a few areas. It actually does a decent job of covering many of the typical uses of the term blog, but do we need new words?

The term “blog” is just so informal. Maybe that’s the point. It is my opinion, though, that this word should be reserved for personal journal style writing.

I come to this conclusion beacuse I’ve found that there is a severe misunderstanding in the business world of how blogging can help them. Scrivs and the gang over at BusinessLogs have a battle on their hands if they are meeting the same type of people I’m meeting. Maybe it would be easier if we change the definition, or come up with a new word for the informal business communication that is the Cluetrain mainfesto.

In addition, we have educational, informative blogs written by industry “gurus.” These read more like magazines or how-tos. Posts are called “articles” because that is exactly what they are. Should these be called blogs?

What do we do? I’m so confused.

2 replies on “To blog or not to blog”

I think there is need for better descriptions than just one word (blog). But I don’t see any fast changes because blog is already starting to be common word that even not-so-active computer users recognize. Mayby using another words with that (personal blog, business blog, news blog, etc.) is the way lots of people are going to use more (like many are already using). Some are completely hiding behind other words (news, updates) because they don’t like words like blog or weblog.

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