Wassup, Blog?

Cape Times (South Africa), September 7, 2010 | Go to article overview

Wassup, Blog?


BYLINE: Rhodri Marsden

The admission that you write a blog shouldn't be one that's accompanied by a great deal of soul-searching, any more than "I play golf" or "I like cake" would be. But the blogger's lot is not necessarily a happy one.

They're pilloried by much of the traditional media for supposedly devaluing the written word. The political establishment resents their freewheeling, unspinnable vigour.

Those unconvinced about the value of the web as a platform for ideas regard them with suspicion, imagining them as self-promoting at best, narcissistic at worst, while those whose lives are inextricably woven with the internet are deeply aware that "blogging" doesn't guarantee quality any more than "cooking" does.

Because, in just over a decade, blogging has morphed from a niche activity, a thrilling self-publishing opportunity, into the biggest creative splurge the world has ever seen. Tens of millions of bloggers shovel many more millions of blog posts on to an already unstable data mountain every day of the week; the vast majority of those are incoherent, repetitive, self-indulgent, crass or simply boring.

But the amount of good stuff is still overwhelming - certainly more in a day than you'd ever be able to read in a year. There's compelling storytelling, incisive comment, rousing calls to action. Socially, politically and commercially, blogging is a potent force, well on the way to becoming as powerful as the traditional media, while utterly unencumbered by the latter's affiliations, obligations and traditions. And yet, while "I write" has a certain nobility to it, "I blog" certainly doesn't. The two, as acts, are essentially indistinguishable, but "blog" is seen as a four-letter word.

The inherent hideousness of the word doesn't help. If it were more attractive, if it were "flah" or "sool", it might not be spat out with such contempt by its detractors.

It evolved in the late 1990s from the term "web log", a collection of links to other websites with added commentary that appeared in the now-familiar reverse-chronological order. During 1999, "we" disappeared from "web log", while we embraced the way it simplified web publishing; until that point, updating a site had been a laborious, manual, error-prone process.

But blogging now lent itself to the publication of more varied content - not least online diaries, which were already prevalent on the web but now found their more natural home in the (brace yourselves) blogosphere. You could visit a website, see the most recent post, click through to the comments or scroll down for older material. Today, this procedure seems like second nature to many, but at the turn of the century, it felt like a revolution. And to create, no knowledge of HTML or ownership of expensive software was necessary; you just had to type and click. Anyone could do it, and anyone did.

Anyone sharing stuff with their friends on Facebook, be it notes, status updates, photos or other media, is - whether they'd care to admit it or not - blogging. Microblogging services such as Twitter and "tumblelog" services (which hark back to the original idea of the web log) such as Tumblr or Posterous all make sharing of content, either yours or someone else's, ridiculously easy.

But as the mass of blog content has proliferated, it has become incredibly disposable and ignorable. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Wassup, Blog?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.