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Top 20 Definitions of Blogging

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What is a blog? Why blog? Who should blog (journalists, marketers, CEOs, techies, educators, scientists, hobbyists)? Should blogging be pure or can you make money with a blog? Will blogging change everything?

Picture several hundred intense writer/thinker/bloggers at a recent blogging conference in Cambridge, Massachusetts. On the Harvard Law School campus, no less. You get the idea.

A blogging conference is not for the fainthearted. The metaphysics of blogging was a hot topic. The warmth of a virtual community (the blogosphere) enjoying face-to-face interaction was palpable.

As conference organizer (and veteran hackle-raiser) Dave Winer put it in his thank-you message to attendees: “Did we figure out what Weblogs are? Probably not—but we came closer.”

Well, I decided to take a crack at it. Here are my top 20 definitions of a blog. Take them with a grain of salt. Take them as a starting point to think about how you might use a blog as part of your Web site or communications strategy.


But don't write Weblogs off as a passing fad, even if you (or your company) are not blogging yet.

Blogging Is...

  1. A form of unedited, authentic self-expression

  2. An instant publishing tool

  3. An online journal with freshly updated content

  4. Amateur journalism

  5. Something that will revolutionize the Web (think RSS feeds)

  6. A way to create community with your voters, er... readers (think 2,200 comments posted to the Dean for America blog in one day)

  7. An alternative to mainstream media (think InstaPundit by Glenn Reynolds and TalkingPointsMemo by Joshua Micah Marshall)

  8. A tool to teach students how to write

  9. A new way to communicate with customers (think Ray Ozzie, CEO of Groove Networks)

  10. A new form of knowledge management inside big companies

  11. A way for a bunch of navel-gazers to communicate with one another

  12. Something to keep you occupied when you're unemployed (more people than care to admit fit into this category… have you noticed?)

  13. A way to think and write in short paragraphs instead of a long essay (which no one has time to read anyway)

  14. Your email to everyone, as A-list blogger Doc Searls puts it (i.e., a way to stay in touch with family and friends)

  15. A silly word that's fun to say (“Gotta go blog now….”)

  16. A way of writing with a distinct voice and personality (think Halley Suitt)

  17. Something to talk about at cocktail parties (“I blogged Seth Godin and he blogged me back...”)

  18. A URL to add to your resume (as in TokyoTim, my 23-year-old son, who's working as an English teacher in Japan for a year)

  19. Something else to do with your mobile phone... think audio blogging and moblogging

  20. Something you don't want your mother to read: what my mother says about blogging

Useful Links

My blog of BlogCon (Scroll up the page to read these postings.)

Good definition of a blog

MarketingWonk's I-Blog Discussion List

Esther Dyson's Release 1.0: Weblogs, RSS and the Rise of the Active Web (intro to the August 2003 issue)

The dullest blog in the world Be sure to read the comments. You'll get the idea….

Most Popular Blogging Tools

Blogger

LiveJournal

Movable Type

Radio Userland

TypePad


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Debbie Weil is an online marketing and corporate blogging consultant based in Washington, DC. She blogs at www.DebbieWeil.com and www.BlogWriteForCEOs.com. Visit her main site at www.WordBiz.com.

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