What's a blog? Where's it goin'?
February 3, 2003 7:34 AM   Subscribe

3 Feb '03 Word of the Day: Blog. Pronunciation: [blahg] Definition 1: A clipping of "weblog," blog is internet jargon for what is basically an online journal or diary. Yes, blogs are going mainstream. Will businesses discover uses for blogs & blog software? Will (mobile-phone) "moblogging" catch on? This link says ...the first Web logs consisted largely of links to sites on the Internet that the author found interesting. Early bloggers were presurfing the Web for people, in a sense [sound familiar?]. About 1999, as free software came on the scene -- making it easy to create Web logs -- the content began to shift. Blogs became more personal, less link-driven. But what is a blog to you? And what is the future of the "blogosphere"?
posted by Shane (25 comments total)
One more link:

2001 was the year that weblogs burst into the national consciousness in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. But 2002 was the year in which weblogs became part of the mainstream, even while remaining outside it... the weblog explosion - fueled by lots of news, and dissatisfaction with the coverage offered by mainstream media, was a post-September 11 phenomenon.

Anyone agree with these links, or are many of these views ("moblogging will be big") just the speculations of outsiders?
posted by Shane at 7:38 AM on February 3, 2003

"Yes, blogs are going mainstream."

I thought they went mainstream a couple years ago.

"moblogging will be big"

I blog from my cell phone when I have no other choice, as in: Try getting a dial-up connection in southeastern Utah.

But for the most part it's just too much of a pain. The screen is too small. The keyboard is too small. You end up using a sort of shorthand that everyone understands, but who would want to read day after day of that? I find blogs that don't expand on ideas and tell interesting stories to be relative drek.
posted by y6y6y6 at 8:00 AM on February 3, 2003

I've installed Movable Type at the office to use for business purposes. Weblog software and concepts are already making their way into large corporations.

We run a 24/7/365 operations and the staff leave notes for each other on what occured on each shift. Previously, we had been using a heinous Filemaker Pro DB. Of course my head of apps gave me a strange look when I requested he set up MT and tie it to our enterprise.

At $150 for a commercial MT license, the software cost is effectively zero. A bit of labor to tie it into a DB2 database instead of MySQL and we were off and running. We were even able to tie the login to our AD/Siteminder authentication to prevent creating yet another username/password.

With user level rights control, managers have the ability to give varying levels of control. Searches, archives, timestamping, comments; all of these are native to weblogging. They also happen to be vital to any organization that must pass knowledge from person to person.
posted by Argyle at 8:14 AM on February 3, 2003

moblogging? Is that like m-commerce? It's like it's 1997 all over again.
posted by PenDevil at 8:17 AM on February 3, 2003

future of blogging: Blog Campaigns, advertising and political
posted by dogwalker at 8:18 AM on February 3, 2003

Am I the only one who's been (internally) pronouncing it bee-log this whole time?
posted by callmejay at 8:20 AM on February 3, 2003

About 1999, as free software came on the scene -- making it easy to create Web logs -- the content began to shift. Blogs became more personal, less link-driven.

That's not really true. What actually happened was that as tools like Blogger and Moveable Type grew in popularity, online journallers, who'd been around since the early web, began using them, and the blogging and OLJ communties began to merge together.
posted by vraxoin at 8:21 AM on February 3, 2003

I curse the man who first called them "blogs". If it weren't for that name, they'd have been mainstream years ago.
posted by oissubke at 8:29 AM on February 3, 2003

As long as blogs stay clear of pop ups and the chaos that is internet advertising, I'll be there!
posted by ruwan at 8:31 AM on February 3, 2003

Can someone point me in the direction of a good link to information about beggining a blog?I have always been curious about them, but have never come across a good article. It would be especially interesting for me if it was as low tech (read>inexpensive) as possible.
posted by SweetIceT at 9:06 AM on February 3, 2003

SweetIceT, check out Blogger.com for the GeoCities of the blog world.
posted by oissubke at 9:13 AM on February 3, 2003

Interesting things are happening in the blog world - my favorite has to be the incorporation of 'wiki' functionality, some good examples being snipsnap.org and decafbad. Plus the developers of Movable Type have said they're working on adding in some wiki-like syntax in the next version. Broad adoption of this should lead to even easier to write web content coupled with even deeper connections between content sources. Cool stuff all around. Definitely check out snipsnap if you're inclined to noodle around with these sorts of tools, it's java based and self contained and can easily be coaxed into running on desktops.
posted by Tempus67 at 9:20 AM on February 3, 2003

Also, SweetIceT, check out Moveable Type. It's the current shining star of blogging software--it's free, but it requires that you have a hosting account somewhere and cgi access. The instructions are straightforward but setup can be daunting to someone who has little technical expertise.
posted by vraxoin at 9:21 AM on February 3, 2003

"the GeoCities of the blog world."? Oh my. Will people look down on me for having my blog on Blogger? I mean, I like it because No Bells/No Whistles means I have to depend on the words, not the presentation.

Also I'm really lazy.
posted by Shane at 9:23 AM on February 3, 2003

Regarding Mob Blogging, you might want to take a look at Howard Rheingold's book, Smart Mobs. He talks about the social ramifications of wireless networks.
posted by Taken Outtacontext at 9:28 AM on February 3, 2003

I've seen beautiful blogs hosted on blogspot that outshine my humble site left, right and center. Both on content and presentation. (which isn't too hard, because I just took a standard template and stuck to it).

I just wish I could use the camera on my phone to take a picture and post it with a small comment. Right now I have to email it to myself, resize it and then post it. Kinda defeates the whole mobile logging idea to begin with.
posted by sebas at 9:31 AM on February 3, 2003

Thanks vraxoin. Thats actually why i am interested because it involves the use of some of the technologies I am learning these days. I am in my second semester of Server Side tech dabbling in Pl/SQL, ASP etc., so fortunately I should understand the terminology. So just reading about it even if I don't find the time to attempt it very soon, will be good supplemental reading for me.
posted by SweetIceT at 9:38 AM on February 3, 2003

it is my fervent hope that those who use the term blogosphere will burn up on reentry.
posted by quonsar at 9:47 AM on February 3, 2003

I used to moblog from the bus in the morning. True, I can't spew forth quite as vociferously, but that means I choose my words a bit more carefully.

I'd rather take the opportunity to do a bit of writing in the down time and get something up than get nothing up, which how things have been of late...
posted by daver at 10:16 AM on February 3, 2003

Pronunciation: [blahg]

I think this depends on the individual and also on accents. To me, "Blahg" is roughly the phonetic translation of my oft-uttered expression of frustration, "blargh". To me "blog" is like "log" with a "b" in front. Short, clipped, blog. I mean, does anyone say that lumberjacks cut down lahgs?

(Why yes, I do like to pick up on the most unimportant details, why do you ask?)

P.S: I'm none too fond of the term "blogosphere" myself. See also, "bloginality". And I suppose this all officially says goodbye to the notion of "Joe Bloggs", but perhaps only my primary school teachers used that name when giving examples and scenarios involving some anonymous person...
posted by sammy at 10:18 AM on February 3, 2003

Anyone agree with these links, or are many of these views ("moblogging will be big") just the speculations of outsiders?

Mobile blogging (I refuse to use the term 'moblogging' as a matter of principle) will catch on amongst those bloggers of a journalistic stripe; on-the-scenes reportage of obscure-but-interesting news that you won't see on CNN is where newsblogs will come into their own (right now they suffer from the same problem as NewsFilter posts on MeFi — no added value).

Of course this will kill the (perceived) pseudo-meritocratic spirit of blogging, at least until wireless always-on ubiquitous net access becomes more affordable by a couple orders of magnitude. (For a long time I ran a blog without a computer of my own, from public terminals — it will be interesting to see how much longer it will be possible to do that and produce a blog that is considered competent).

At some point the idiotic term 'blog' will fall into disuse as the practice becomes widespread enough not to need a specific catchphrase; already it has become more commonplace for bloggers to refer to their 'sites' rather than their blogs. Persons of discerning taste everywhere will rejoice at this; unfortunately, it's looking like they will have to deal with the equally nauseating term whuffie instead.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 10:23 AM on February 3, 2003

Let's not forget my least favorite addition to the nomenclature: smartmob. It seems like some places just keep on making up (and using) words for reasons of self-importance.

Cynical guy over and out.
posted by lalas at 4:45 PM on February 3, 2003

I wish people would shut up about blogs already. The more of this 'mainstream' crap we hear, the closer we are to having them turned into just another corporate forum. It's nothing for some junior marketer to post a bullshit message and throw in some form of promotion. They've fucked up every other part of the 'net; at least give us some time for decent discussion before it happens here.
posted by troybob at 5:03 PM on February 3, 2003

yeeeeeeeeessssireebob. Mum's da word.
posted by Shane at 5:33 PM on February 3, 2003

For those interested in the history of moblogging, Joi Ito's page at
is as concise and elegant a take as you'll ever find.
posted by adamgreenfield at 12:24 AM on February 4, 2003

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