Defining blogs

I really wonder why it seems to be so hard for people to define what a weblog is. Yes, there are many different styles. Yes, it’s not the technology. And no, it’s not depending on the number of links in the weblog posts itself.

I wrote about it when I compared weblogging with DJ-ing: It’s not the music that makes a DJ session. It’s the activity of the DJ (and his potential interaction with the audience – or in other words: the probability of changing the DJs mind by dancing). If you replace the beats with news items (blog posts, sound bits or photos), add a timeline of events (usually with the earliest first) and finally publish that at a solid URL – then you have essentially a weblog.

It’s the constant daily activity of the weblog author(s) that count. Without that activity a DJ session is ended and so is a weblog. I called that the »dissipative nature« of weblogs. And that is what makes weblogs different: they’re a discourse by definition if there would be only one weblog worldwide, nobody would ask if that is a weblog or not! Only the weblogs as a whole – the blogsphere – that cause the buzz.

Marshall McLuhan called that the figure and ground distinction. A car is a figure. The ground are streets, gas stations, traffic signs, etc. Single weblogs are just figures. The blogsphere is the ground.

And while you may read all those weblogs the only way to be part in that blogsphere is to run an own weblog.






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