Why I Hate The Term "Blog"

James Berardinelli has it right when he writes in ReelViews:

"Blog" is an ugly word. It sounds like something that comes out of the nose when a person is sick with the flu. As I'm sure nearly everyone reading this knows, "blog" is short for "web log." (I prefer the term "online journal.") Initially, it was a noun, but its versatility has been expanded. It became a verb (to blog). Then the verb became a gerund (blogging). So the ugly word has legs and has become an official entry into all comprehensive dictionaries.

A weblog, from a technical standpoint, would refer to the trace from a web server. Hence, "online journal" is more appropriate. But quibbles aside, blog is an ugly word. It's one "l" removed from "bog", which according to webster,

is a poorly drained usually acid area rich in accumulated plant material.

Hmm, that sounds about right, "bog" is also UK slang for the loo. Not only that, blog doesn't even rhyme with anything interesting. Only "frog" comes to mind. Again, not a pretty thought. So, when I read stuff like "AJ Reinhold is blogging on the environment!", I think, "good lord man, what's mother nature ever done to you for you to dump on her this way?" Or when I hear that "Shanachie Kitmer is live blogging from the courthouse!", my immediate response is to pray for the sanitary wellbeing of that edifice.

Speaking of blogs, newspapers have embraced the whole phenomenon like nobody's business. All of their staff reporters seem to have blogs these days and when they're not busy podcasting, another lovely buzzword, they are linking to each other's blogs. Their motto seems to be blogito ergo sum i.e. "I blog, therefore I am." But then, why blame newspapers? Seven years ago, everyone had a website, including the vending machine at CMU. Back then, a friend and I used to joke it was only a matter of time before a toilet had its own website. If so, the visitor site counter (This site has been visited 12687 times) would have another meaning entirely! Can you imagine? Now, of course, everyone and their dog has a blog ("dog blogs", what else?), usually on blogspot. How much longer before the aforementioned toilet has an exclusive blog, I ask? No wait! It's already been done!

And never underestimate the power of blogs for procrastination! These days, the very first thing for anyone who's thinking of doing anything is to open a blog and link to someone else droning on about the very same thing. There are blogs on books in progress, films in progress, albums in progress, gardens in progress and on life in progress. No, I'm too lazy to link any examples of these - this is meant to be a rant - but you know exactly what I mean!

Of course, as you no doubt have realized by now, a lot this venting comes from jealousy. When a new media form is invented, there exists a small window of opportunity for amateurs to jump in before established content producers jump in and become all-singing, all-blogging, all-linking, all-tagging, all-podcasting, all-streaming, all-dancing wunder critters. As for desi-come-lately's like us, perhaps there's still a little bit of time to jump on the video blogging bandwagon before the big cheeses take over. Maybe, I'll start a new blog on video blogging and link to other video bloggers who then will link to me. Yeah, that's the ticket...

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- October 5, 2005 5:05 PM // General