February 23, 2001 7:38 AM   Subscribe

Noah proposes a new term-
"Bioblog - weblog-type sites in which the primary (but not necessarily exclusive) focus is on its author instead of the web or other external media, but which, of course, is still more aligned in spirit and form to weblogs rather than traditional online journals."
posted by TuxHeDoh (58 comments total)
Ugh! Here's a link.
posted by TuxHeDoh at 7:39 AM on February 23, 2001

Yes! Finally! God bless Noah for finally giving us a way to recognise the difference.

See Dreama speed to her blog template to move certain "weblogs" to a new "bioblog" category.
posted by Dreama at 7:41 AM on February 23, 2001

Watch your link. Don't you mean this?

That definition's cutting it a little fine. What would separate a weblog from a "traditional" online journal? Would we someday see a bioblog/TOJ hybrid?
posted by argybarg at 7:42 AM on February 23, 2001

Weblog, bioblog, diary... they still seem to me more like arbitrary points on a continuous spectrum than distinct entities.
posted by harmful at 7:48 AM on February 23, 2001

Who is this Noah person and what gives him the right to create pingeonholes for personal home pages?

I propose the following terms, all self explanitory:













posted by bondcliff at 8:00 AM on February 23, 2001

This just seems more proof for our unending need to categorize and codify everything. It's absurd. I call my site a blog because blog sounds cool. Yet, it's a mix, just like most blogs are, of log, journal, diary, bookmark file, etc.

Who's going to write the creed/manifesto for the bioblog movement?

posted by norm at 8:01 AM on February 23, 2001

Good question. Who the hell does this guy think he is, anyway?
posted by Noah at 8:02 AM on February 23, 2001

Hey, careful with those blockquotes cowboy!

I've got to say, I like it. I really like it. Although I'm not sure if my own weblog would qualify as a "bioblog"; I've been trying to keep a balance between the personal and current events because I find that I really enjoy commenting on the world at large as well as staring into the abyss of my own mind and calling out remarks.

Howeever, I believe that the personal stuff, when done well, is actually the more valuable part of what I do.
posted by hanseugene at 8:05 AM on February 23, 2001

Don't forget whiningaboutwhatsomebodyelsecallsitlog.
posted by harmful at 8:06 AM on February 23, 2001

I've occasionally used 'perblog' (from the days when you used to have perzines i.e. personal zines) and 'linkblog' as differentiators, but mostly I don't care. 'Bioblog' sounds like a yoghurt.
posted by freakytrigger at 8:08 AM on February 23, 2001

We must analyze and categorize everything and then argue that there is no differentiating factor after all, dammit. This habit is inherent in the postmodern condition.
posted by hanseugene at 8:12 AM on February 23, 2001

I don't see a problem with "biolog". It's human nature to want to differentiate, categorize, or codify. IMHO all blogs are pretty biographical, since what you link to says a lot about who you are. I like your site, Noah.
posted by gimli at 8:14 AM on February 23, 2001

I've always been comfortable with the term FuryBlog. But that's prolly just a reflection on me.

posted by ratbastard at 8:15 AM on February 23, 2001

Nothing against Noah (great site, love Greymatter too), but I think it's a tad lame (bioblog, come on! it sounds like a nasty future vaccine-delivery system, or like freakytrigger said, a yogurt). And considering how often the term "a-list" pops up around here (not to mention Dave's Userland vs Blogger issues), do we really, pressingly need specificity?
posted by lia at 8:18 AM on February 23, 2001

Heck, why call the things "blogs" even? That's a little lame, too. It sounds like something that you'd do after eating too many beans. Why not just call them frequently updated personal websites?
posted by hanseugene at 8:21 AM on February 23, 2001

say, hanseugene ... that's catchy! I'm going to start a freqUpdPerWeb myself!
posted by argybarg at 8:26 AM on February 23, 2001

But then we would need biographical frequently updated personal website. Sorry about that.
posted by gimli at 8:28 AM on February 23, 2001

I've always called mine proselog in all it's incarnations. Natch!
And if you can't love Noah, who can you love?
Y'all are HATIN'!
posted by Jeremy at 8:29 AM on February 23, 2001

OK, 18 comments on the topic and no one mentions that the word Noah coined is "BIOLOG" not 'bioblog'??

Jeremy, that's perfect:

And if you can't love Noah, who can you love?
posted by bjennings at 8:53 AM on February 23, 2001

Isn't every blog a Waytoomuchtimeonmyhandslog? Self included.
posted by owillis at 8:59 AM on February 23, 2001

Damn that Noah!
Damn him to HELL!

... er... what I meant was... uh... I don't think you're allowed to have a Biolog until you have a soulless clone army at your command.

posted by CrazyUncleJoe at 9:19 AM on February 23, 2001

I think it's kind of a hopeless distinction in a way, because the content within such sites shifts and changes depending on the mood of the person who is putting them together - it's a statistically rare (but not unheard of) site that manages to maintain content about a certain subject alone over many months... What's Is it a weblog or a biolog or just a log?
posted by barbelith at 9:28 AM on February 23, 2001

Personal viewpoint: Everything we think of as weblogs, news sites, online journals, poems, novels, etc., are indeed all points along an infinite spectrum - all labels are nothing more or less than terms of convenience, usually used so that one word can do the approximate work of ten, a hundred or a thousand. I don't call myself "gay" because I think my sexuality/perceptions are identical (or often even anywhere close to) every other man that does so, but because defining it more precisely takes time and effort that usually isn't relevant or necessary whenever it comes up in conversation or in anything I write. "Gay" is an approximation I live with for the sake of convenience, nothing more or less; we live with such labels so that we don't have to go around defining every single thing we say and mean in precise detail if we don't want to (and who does?).

So - my feeling was that, as long as I/we have to live with labels at all, then this general kind of website may as well have this label. If it works for you, great; if it doesn't, also great. It's just an offhand attempt at meme-creation in case anyone else might find it a helpful or convenient way to refer to what they do - that's all.

(So, um, yeah, damn me! All my base are belong to you. Or something...)
posted by Noah at 9:30 AM on February 23, 2001

Yes, damn you Noah! For heaven's sake, drop the apologetic tone! =)
posted by hanseugene at 9:35 AM on February 23, 2001

I agree that I've always found the term "blog" a little disconcerting... I guess because it lacks visual and aural aesthetic, because it rhymes with snog, and because it's used and abused more than "smurf" and "don't even go there" combined. Still, I sort of like "biolog", only because it seems a more appropriate term for many of the personal sites that I read and write.

Categorization may not be human nature, but it's absolutely necessary in our modern world. We categorize to better understand things, and to better explain them to others. Try explaining an idea without using categorization to differentiate generals and specifics. Why say "Chinese food" or "lunch", when what you really mean to say is "food"? Isn't it all food? Why don't they just give only one big Grammy every year, for "Best Music or Sound"? Use a term like biolog if you think it will help someone else understand what your site focuses on. If you want to defy category, use a term like "flooky-wooky" to characterize your site. But when you mention to me that you're going to go post to your "flooky-wooky", I wont know what the hell you're talking about. Language is categorization. If you insist on being accurate, don't speak.

Hmm. A biography describes or chronicles a person's life, and tries to find threads and patterns within that person's story. Many personal weblogs work the same way. But most, I think, look outward as much as they look inward, chronicling the world around the author as much as the author herself. Maybe "viewlog" or "outlog" or "journalook" or "narratime" or another such combination of two previously unrelated words would be appropriate.

Well. I think I need a food-break.
posted by sixfoot6 at 9:45 AM on February 23, 2001

posted by CrazyUncleJoe at 9:57 AM on February 23, 2001

You mean a journal?
posted by tomorama at 10:32 AM on February 23, 2001

1. We need to stop over-analyzing everything.
2. We need to stop labeling everything.
3. We need to stop creating memes.
4. We need to eat more fava beans.

posted by susanlucci at 10:50 AM on February 23, 2001

We call that The Cannibalistic Kneejerk Anti-Intellectualizing Meme - it's pretty common on weblogs run by aging soap opera stars (Slogs).

posted by CrazyUncleJoe at 10:54 AM on February 23, 2001

Biolog? As in one "y" short of "biology"?

Sorry, mind's a bit skewered.
posted by carobe at 11:15 AM on February 23, 2001

well. In that vein, zoolog_,geolog_, and theolog_ come to mind.
posted by sonofsamiam at 11:17 AM on February 23, 2001

dude. call it a biolog if you want. call it a blog if you want. call it the great american novel. it doesn't matter.
posted by sugarfish at 11:23 AM on February 23, 2001

I think it should be called a plergb.
posted by rodii at 11:29 AM on February 23, 2001

Actually when I saw "bioblog" I thought of biology and human biology and the mass of freaky sub-genre blogs I'm seeing crop up:

Diet Blogs (check the sidebar links)

It looks like a whole community has sprung up, in blog form, to discuss weight loss in journal/blog form. Weird eh?
posted by mathowie at 11:52 AM on February 23, 2001

I'm seeing similar ones trying to happen about running. Makes sense, runners (and other athletes) and, um, weightlosers are constantly monitoring their progress and getting/giving support. A blog seems like a natural expression of that.
posted by rodii at 12:32 PM on February 23, 2001

Two words:

"Personal. Site."

posted by fraying at 1:12 PM on February 23, 2001

Here's an idea: Since you're having a conversation with your audience, why not "DiaLog?"

Oh... wait...
posted by honkzilla at 1:18 PM on February 23, 2001

Derek's right. And I don't see the distinction between "bioblog" and "blog", since the latter was intended as an intermediary term between weblog and journal anyway. (At least, that's how it quickly came to be used.) There's a whole lot of gray area there, Grey. ;-)

Then again, bioblog sounds perfect for a daily update on the contents of my fridge. "Tuna casserole getting a little heady today ..." Cf. Stinky Meat project.

Are we done making fun of Noah yet?
posted by dhartung at 1:20 PM on February 23, 2001

Over the past month, I've had two brushes with heart attacks. I just love the fact that, between this thread and the e-mails I've been getting about it, I've had about as much feedback on this as I did from both of those incidents combined.
posted by Noah at 1:24 PM on February 23, 2001

It looks like a whole community has sprung up, in blog form, to discuss weight loss in journal/blog form. Weird eh?

Not at all. It's the digitalisation of the "support" idea that's in place in Weight Watchers and similar groups. By making your plans, goals and progress a matter of public record, you have an added measure of accountability. You can't say that you didn't plan on losing 50 pounds by year's end, because it's out there in writing. And, if you have regular readers with whom you've formed that oddity that is the digital relationship, you'll get support and (in the case of fellow dieters) comraderie through your struggles and triumphs.

I don't see how it's any different than chronicling any other singular aspect of your life, as many have done with other progressive experiences. I can think of athletic training journals, pregnancy journals and journals of those in the process of sex reassignment as similar in concept if not content.
posted by Dreama at 1:28 PM on February 23, 2001

In honor of Derek, I'm going to call mine a "Powazine."
posted by CrazyUncleJoe at 1:36 PM on February 23, 2001

Gosh, I certainly didn't expect this type of response to my post. Especially the argumenative tone. UgH!
posted by TuxHeDoh at 2:18 PM on February 23, 2001

On the theme of diet blogs:
A while ago I was looking for a diet/health related domain name and tried but it was already registered to Evan Williams of Pyra/Blogger.

Putting personal weight loss progress information online is pretty widespread as a aid to commitment via accountability. Dreama is spot on.
posted by atom71 at 3:20 PM on February 23, 2001

"Powazine" .. that sounds like there should be a prize at the bottom of the box!

posted by sarajflemming at 3:21 PM on February 23, 2001

well, I've been calling link based weblogs, "weblogs" and personality-based ones "blogs", but that's a bit too close to be clear.

I like the idea of a clearer denotation, if only so that the adventurous surfer can more easily locate weblogs of the type he or she likes best.

and dan, a minor quibble: peterme coined the term "blog" in early 1999 - when the only weblogs *were* link-based. brig eaton began using the term almost immediately, and it was a while after that - with the rise of the journal-style weblog and blogger - that it began to be used to mean a non-link-driven weblog.

and I still think that distinction is lost on anyone outside of the community: witness any media story about weblogs (or course, most of them think that blogger invented the weblog, so....)

posted by rebeccablood at 3:24 PM on February 23, 2001

I think biolog is cool, especially, the vet biolog!

posted by gluechunk at 3:57 PM on February 23, 2001

Egad, gluechunk, you've found it!

Look, CUJoe... actual photographic proof! It's a picture of Noah's hand holding a card etched with the entire Memome of the GAY CLONES he's created, ready to infect the bios of that unsuspecting computer... good lord, any of us could be next. This could potentially ravage the greater blogging community. Noah... and after all you've done for us...

This meme must be stopped at all costs. I'll stick with "personal weblog", thank you very much.

posted by sixfoot6 at 4:26 PM on February 23, 2001

The point of labeling something is so that people will have an enhanced understanding of what the hell you're talking about. Would someone actually know what you meant precisely if you said biolog? Or would you have to qualify the description further?
posted by davidgentle at 4:50 PM on February 23, 2001

Halfway between a blog and a journal. A blournal.
Halfway between a blog and a diary. A bliary.

posted by shylock at 9:24 PM on February 23, 2001

Or maybe we should try anagrams!
Actually I'm not very god at those.
posted by davidgentle at 9:35 PM on February 23, 2001

No. That's not one...
posted by davidgentle at 9:37 PM on February 23, 2001

posted by rodii at 4:33 PM on February 24, 2001

Link-based = weblog.
Personality-based = online journal/diary.

Simple as that.
posted by Firda at 7:34 PM on February 25, 2001

More proof that the problem ain't in the hardware or in the software, but in the wetware.
posted by Calebos at 8:11 PM on February 25, 2001

Perhaps Noah was getting at something that I'd define a tiny bit differently, something like a professional diary. A blog that would be run by a freelance author, a media personality, or a politican or activist, where the focus is outside the web. Say Rebecca Mead wanted to drive more content to her site by updating it regularly with some notes about where she might be traveling or what stories she's working on. She doesn't intend to get personal ("my cat threw up all over the kitchen today") and she's not there to impress you with his surfing ability ("cool new web toy") nor her links to other web-zeitgeist issues ("zope + c#, boon or bane?").

That said, Noah, I think "blog" works just fine for your site, just as it works fine for my site (though I'm definitely still link-driven, at least in conception). But then, "blog" doesn't sound very professional, and I think that's what has you hung up?
posted by dhartung at 9:43 PM on February 25, 2001

Thank goodness I bothered reading the comments on this thread. All this week, I thought it said BLOBLOG
posted by crunchland at 11:23 PM on February 25, 2001

Hm. I might be interested in reading that one...
posted by CrazyUncleJoe at 9:49 AM on February 26, 2001

FYI, Deborah Branscum, author of the oft-cited recent Newsweek piece, posted an update. I think there's a lot of blurring of the lines between online journals kept via weblog tools and straight web logs (logs of notable places on the web), but I too think there is a line.

Noah's "biolog" works for me - thinking more "biography" than "biology," but then I wonder, "autobiolog?" - but I just consider 'em "online journals posted in reverse order."

As far as "too much time on my hands," that's generally the response I've had to my article on the distinction, also in response to the Branscum piece.
posted by pzarquon at 1:24 PM on March 24, 2001

« Older Marvin!   |   Do you trust AOL IM? Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments