My daughter had to do an oral share report for her first grade class this week and the topic was “Your Parents’ Occupations.” I helped her write her report but it wasn’t an easy task. How do you explain what a blogger does? Or even what a blog is?
This isn’t the first time I’ve had to come with an explanation. I tell someone I’m a blogger and she goes cross-eyed. “You mean you write your diary online?”
But that’s what the definition of blog is, right? Dictionary.com says a blog is “an online diary; a personal chronological log of thoughts published on a Web page; also called Weblog, Web log” – while Princeton defines blog as “a shared on-line journal where people can post diary entries about their personal experiences and hobbies”.
To me this screams oudated. Sure, blogs started out that way. My first blog is my personal one where I wrote about my writing and family. But then I became an entertainment blogger, and I certainly wasn’t talking about my life or writing a journal about my latest movie details! The only time I talked about myself was when I tweeted about being sardine-packed onto the press side of a red carpet in Los Angeles when it was 90 degrees out. Fun stuff, but I digress.
So what is MY definition of a blog? How about this? A blog is a portion (or all) of a website, written by one or more people who update regularly and write on a defined topic. And so, by nature, a blogger is someone who writes for a blog.
Let’s break up my definition into parts:
- Portion (or all) of a website: I say this because sometimes the main URL of a site IS the blog. Sometimes it’s not. It depends on the person/product/company and their goal.
- Written by one or more people: Some blogs are personal in nature and written by a single person. Some blogs are written by a wealth of contributors.
- Updated regularly: I think this is the key part of the definition of a blog. Most blogs are updated on a regular basis. And the posts are almost always in chronological order. There may be a top post that is forward dated to always remain at the forefront, but otherwise blogs go backwards in time.
- Defined topic: This may be wide or narrow in scope, but the topic should be defined (and articulated somewhere on the blog).
That’s my definition (although it didn’t make it any more clear to my first grader). What’s yours?
Image Credit: SXC