The following is a mishmash of thoughts following up from yesterday’s post about blogs and conversations. The real theme of today’s post is “I don’t really know what a blog is” and “that’s OK” and “blogging will probably die” and “is it just me or are these posts getting less coherent as time goes on?”
There isn’t really a strict definition for what a blog is, but it’s safe to say a blog is usually a collection posts about something, sorted by recency, and usually with some kind of way to subscribe (RSS or Atom, or these days Twitter / Facebook feeds). The form of blogs is always kind of undulating, evolving, following the people (see The Awl’s The Next Internet is TV about this).
So blogs end up less like books and more like news or other periodicals. Yeah, the blogs I’m talking about are personal blogs, not tech “news” or what you’d typically think of as a periodical, but they are based on time. You either come to a blog because you saw a link to it (where else, but on some sort of time-based stream like Facebook or Twitter), or you come to a blog to see what’s new, (maybe from a time-based RSS reader).
The medium of the blog is all about time. Thus its content is shaped around time. That’s why so many blogs posts are about current events and that’s why it feels like blogs should foster better conversations, and that’s why it’s so frustrating they really don’t.
I don’t really know what my website is all about. Maybe it’s my web diary, maybe it’s a place for public pontifications. But definitely at some level, I’m putting ideas out into the world because I care what people think about it. At some level, I want to spark something in you, the reader. I hope what I write tickles some part of your brain so you think and ideally, respond (maybe this is fundamentally manipulative, though? there’s another post idea for the future).