What the hell is a weblog?You tell me.

Weblogs are a lot like Unitarian Universalism. You can't define them (or it) for everyone; you can only give the definition that has meaning for you.

My weblog, whim & vinegar, is the way I use the web as the world's biggest vanity press. It's my daily column, my commentary, my public diary, my round table discussion. I use it to express outrage, to share a joke, to tweak my husband, to let my family know what I'm up to, to vent, to share.

I like the person who said "Weblogs are us, only in .html" (that's paraphrased from memory.) He's right. We are our blogs.

Jen {jen@eclipse.net}


they're personalized portals. online can get like new year's eve, everyone relentlessly in quest of the best party. I, at least, need some touchstones.

also, pomegranates*. two years online collecting bookmarks, having strange interactions, theorizing about online sociology, not having a webpage, not working within the community; too passive. it's like opening the pomegranate, spitting the skin so the seeds spill out in their little juicy cells. eat my seeds; I'll eat yours.

*a thick-skinned several-celled reddish berry that is about the size of an orange and has many seeds with pulpy crimson arils of tart flavor

*n.b. perils of Persephone cautionary tale does apply.


i almost feel bad answering this question, because i feel like anyone who tries to talk about the whole trend gets tarred with the brush. (see also: ben brown.) but i have to say something! because, god, this whole trend is just out of fucking control -- 'you update daily, therefore you have a weblog.' 'you actually link places in your updates and understand the whole purpose of hypertext, therefore you have a weblog.'

blah, blah, blah. first of all, something to remember is the cardinal rule of trends: name something as a 'genre' or type and you are going to KILL IT. trust me on this. because the more people try and define what something 'is' or 'isn't' or 'should be' and bicker endlessly about it and talk and go on and blah blah blah, the more you have people who are new to it come in and see what's around and when what is around is comprised of SO MUCH metacommentary, well, that's what's learned and seen and stuff and then that's all that people try to do -- they want to get linked by the popular kids, they want to get their names on the list, they want their referrer counts to go up up up. 'oh it's not like that' some of you may say, but COME ON. i'm sorry.

you don't have to have a weblog to update daily. you don't have to write long, detailed entries of what you had for your third snack, either. you just have to WRITE, put something up there that is you. i don't understand why this is such an issue, why everyone has to be so quick to pigeonhole themselves. are we nothing more than demographic calves readying ourselves for the inevitable marketing slaughter? i just don't get it.

i have a web site. i don't have a diary, or a journal, or a log, or a domain, or a phleekerlinkbot. i have me, and my mind and what wants to be let out. and that's it.

(obdefinition: weblogging -- the internet equivalent of 'talk soup,' only with writers that don't have as developed of a sense of humor. both directed at themselves *and* what they are discussing. ah, the post-ironic age, how i loathe it so.)

maura {maura@unpopular.com}


I still cringe a little at "weblog." Because people have been "weblogging" forever, since the web first started, and suddenly the phenomenon of hypertext + voice equals this "weblog" phenomenon. Ugh. I'd probably still be doing nubbin in one form or another without the trendy weblog label. I just hope that when the fad dies, people who write weblogs won't stop.

...It's comforting to read about the daily details of other people who share the same wide-eyed enthusiasm for the web. And it's reassuring to get that "I know what you mean!!" feeling every now and again after reading another weblog. Weblogging's not a phenomenon, and it's not particularly remarkable. It's just the natural product of people and time and the web.

Weblogs or journals or whatever, I'm glad they happened.


In the end, what's the difference between a diary and a weblog? Quantity? Format?
There's not so much a difference as there is a continuum. A 'pure' weblog might only consist of links--except that even a collection of links reflects something of the personality of the linker, and over time, how that personality changes. Kind of like a journal. And a 'pure' journal--well, at the very least, most online diarists end up linking to the journals of other people in their lives . . .

For me, I'm finding that while most of my entries are pop culture links and such, writing about myself sort of leaks out around the edges. And I like it that way.

james {jreffell@obscure.org}


A weblog is a collection of random disparate elements that most often serves as a very distorted mirror for both the it's creator and it's viewers.
Actually, the above is not necessarily true of all weblogs. Mine definitely.
A weblog is that curious phenomena that sometimes arises when a mouse with a fishing pole observes cheap melting plastic with a little ash hanging off of the edge, not quite knowing whether to interpret the patterns in the fallen bits of ash as a warning against approaching small schoolboys, but with an intuitive urging to inhale yellow gaseous substances.

Bovine {aberaxis@aa.net}

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