Friday, July 22, 2005

Blog blog blog blog blog

Have you noticed how repeating a word several times makes it lose all meaning? At the moment the large Norwegian newspapers Aftenposten and VG are doing this to the word blog, trying to become the one to define what a blog is and how it works. Aftenposten claims the weblogs are the headaches of newspapers, VG happily uses "bloggen" as the title of a column in the paper version of their newspaper.

In my humble opinions, both views are narrow-minded, self-serving and aimed mainly at knocking their competition over the head with a new, fancy word. Both have a little bit of right, Aftenposten is right about saying that there is an expertise, competence and reliability in the traditional media institutions which amateur blogs can not maintain. VG is right to say that they are opening up for a dscussion with their journalists through their blog. And so they can keep the headbashing going for as long as they like.

It doesn't matter what they say. Blogs are blogs are blogs, and when the word has lost all meaning through the abuse the established media keep putting it through, blogs will still be written by individuals who are happy with the opportunities the new media give them. The importance of blogs is not the coding, not the technology, not the name, not the style, not the genre, not the relationship to the media, not the content, not the facts they may contain or the fiction they may inspire. The important thing about weblogs is that they give individuals a chance to express themselves in public, turning the individual into a subject in a conversation, not an object in a transaction between media organisations and their advertisers, something outside of national boundaries and unregulatable by the forces that be - commercial, religious or political - or all at once.

Blogs are the people blogging. Define them away from that, and there will simply be a different name for what the bloggers do today.


Thomas said...

Hear, hear!

Anonymous said...

Wow! That was wise words.