Magazine article Verbatim

Blog This

Magazine article Verbatim

Blog This

Article excerpt

Since the late 1990s, the weblog, or blog (or, uncommonly, 'blog) has been one of the most popular methods of publishing on the World Wide Web. A weblog is a web page that is updated on a more-or-less daily basis with entries or posts. The content of a post can vary widely, but the typical entry contains a link to another web page along with a sentence or a paragraph indicating why the person who wrote the entry chose to link to that particular page. The posts are date- and time-stamped and arranged in reverse chronological order, so the newest entry is always at the top of the page. That way, frequent readers of a blog can start reading at the top, and stop when they reach the first post that they've read before. Those time-related factors--frequent updates arranged in reverse chronological order--are the defining aspects of the weblog. Some blogs read like diaries, others like commentary on current affairs.

Few new words have been coined that are based on the original term, weblog, but now that blog has been clipped from the original, it has taken off with any number of derivatives. Blog is a synonym for weblog, but, unlike weblog, blog has also been verbed, meaning 'to create a new entry in a weblog,' or simply 'to write,' e.g., "Here are some photos from the wacky, New York-based BDSM-themed workout that Gory blogged about earlier this week", or "I talked with Dave Winer on the phone a little while ago, and I notice he's already blogged the conversation!" As the examples show, usage of the verb form is not yet standard; does one blog an event (in the same way one would log it, or note it, or cover it in the journalistic sense), or does one blog about an event (as one would write about or talk about it)?

People who keep blogs are known as bloggers as in "how about we make tomorrow ... a Bloggin' Lovefest. Devote one post to a blogger you love." Blogger[TM] is also the name of one of the software tools that allows bloggers to update their weblogs easily mad save older posts automatically in an archive.

With the proliferation of wireless networks in hotels and convention centers, it has become relatively easy for bloggers to post to their blogs using properly-equipped laptops while they are actually still witnessing the event they are writing about rather than waiting until later to sum things up. This is called liveblogging as in "Donna Wentworth has been liveblogging the proceedings of iLaw Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Copyright." Liveblogged entries make up for in immediacy what they lack in spellchecking.

A particularly neat coinage is blogrolling, the practice of posting a list of links to other weblogs. Such a blogroll list looks like a roll, or register, but it also recalls logrolling, the practice of mutual back-scratching in the world of politics or literature. When blogs were in their infancy, it was considered de rigueur for blogging to be reciprocal--"you blog me and I'll blog you back." Now, there is more of a blog hierarchy, with some blogs and bloggers being exceptionally well known, and others toiling in (often deserved) obscurity. It can no longer be assumed that the most popular weblogs will reciprocate when it comes to blogrolling.

The term blogerati has been used to refer to some of the most prominent members of the weblog culture: "Perhaps I should get around to creating a Blogarhythm website. One that would track and predict when certain members of the blogerati are going to go off their rockers again." No sell-respecting blogger would refer to him- or herself as a member of the blogerati, and usage of the word implies a gentle (or not-so-gentle) mockery. …

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