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On What It Means “To Blog”: Reader Definitions

There’s no one definition of what it means ‘to blog’. We’ve all got different ideas about it: it means different things to each of us.

Readers of the Confident Writing blog contributed some of their own ideas and suggestions about what it means ‘to blog’. They might help you work out what your own definition looks like, and what it means to you.

These definitions come with caveats, from me and the authors: that these definitions are one (personal) perspective, that definitions are unhelpfully restricting, and that it’s what we do with the blogs that matters most.

An application:

On one level a blog is like a word processor, it is an application that works within certain parameters… but as for what people do with it, well, look what people have done with word processors.
Jim Murdoch, The Truth About Lies

An expression and a conversation:

For me, blogging is more than the technology that facilitates the functioning of the medium - it’s the ongoing personal expression of the blogger and the myriad of conversations which take place there.
Amy Palko, Lives Less Ordinary

A website:

I don’t usually even try to explain a blog to people who don’t already know. If I mention my blog and get a blank look, I usually just say, “That is, my website” and at least then they can kind of follow along (grin).
-Deb, Punctuality Rules

I describe it as a content management system. The amount, style and type of content is very individual.
My business clients seem to connect with this definition as it broadens their perspective and enables them to customize the system to their unique needs.
Karen Swim, Words For Hire

An easy way to publish:

It’s an easy way to publish on the web. You don’t have to know html, you just type in a textfield. You don’t need someone to put your content into a website, you can do it yourself.
Ulla, Ulla Hennig’s Foto Blog

A collaboration

Should we consider that the purpose of any given blog is a collaboration between the blogger and the blogger’s readers? I was talking to a client just yesterday about this, trying to develop an editorial strategy. After a while. we came to the conclusion that regardless of the approach we started with, readers would guide us by telling us what content they liked and what information they’d like more of.
Brad Shorr, Word Sell

A way to organise our thoughts, and think differently

A blog is like a set of index cards for the mind, while the perfect post is a single idea honed in such a way that it stands alone or slides seamlessly into the stack.
Jamie Grove, How Not To Write

A way to communicate without barriers

Helen Keller said, “Blindness cuts us off from things. Deafness cuts us off from people.”

I fall in the latter and blogging took care of that problem… blogging and reading blogs made it possible to meet people and participate in a conversation without any barriers.
Meryl K Evans, Meryl.Net

A connecting point

Blog: a unique connecting point for creative conversations online … where one individual begins by sharing themselves, their talents, or their product
Space Age Sage

I guess the definition that resonates most with you will be the one that’s closest to your own blogging purpose. Because blogs are tools: a means to an end. A way of achieving a bigger purpose.

And “to blog”, as Liz Fuller reminded us, is an action verb.

Make a statement. Take a risk. Share your thoughts. Bare your soul. Take a stand.

Write with purpose.

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Comments

  1. Darren Daz Cox says:

    blogging is a step that artists can take to share the creative process as well as the finished results.

    If an artist considers their blog to be a part of their biography rather than a resume they might just end up more than just a name associated with a work of art!

  2. Karen Putz / DeafMom says:

    I’m with Meryl- blogging has given me a way to have a voice on the internet and to “hear” what others have to say. You can see why I’m cut off from podcasts. :)

  3. Joanna Young
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    says:

    Hi Daz

    I like that addition. It requires the artist (of whatever sort) to relax enough or be confident enough to do that… but the rewards in terms of learning, creativity, connection with raving fans… are huge.

    Joanna

  4. Joanna Young
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    says:

    Hi Karen

    Yes, I do see what you mean. Glenda got me thinking about the same point in her piece this morning on accessibility issues

    http://www.doitmyselfblog.com/2008/5-ways-to-increase-the-accessibility-of-blogs/

    Need to look into getting transcripts for the podcasts I’ve got here.

    Joanna

  5. Karen Swim
    Twitter: karenswim
    says:

    Hi Joanna! I love the last line. :-) Meryl raised a point that I never considered, and I’m embarrassed to admit that I put up videos without thought that everyone cannot hear them. I love the many definitions of blog, and they reflect the diversity of this system. Thank you for this post and for making me aware of accessibility issues.

  6. Joanna Young
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    says:

    Hi Karen, yes it makes me think of writers who are unstoppable! :-)

    I know I could do a lot better with accessibility issues too. Getting to know Karen Putz (aka Deaf Mom) and Stephen Hopson at SobCon helped me think about accessibility issues for those who are hearing impaired but there are a lot of issues in terms of sight issues too that we could all sharpen up our act on…

    Joanna

  7. Joanna Young
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    says:

    Hi Karen, yes it makes me think of writers who are unstoppable! :-)

    I know I could do a lot better with accessibility issues too. Getting to know Karen Putz (aka Deaf Mom) and Stephen Hopson at SobCon helped me think about accessibility issues for those who are hearing impaired but there are a lot of issues in terms of sight issues too that we could all sharpen up our act on…

    Joanna