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What is a Blog?


Q: Not to ask a ridiculously obvious question, but what is a blog? And what's the future of blogs and blogging?

A: By a remarkable coincidence, Steven Streight, aka Vaspers the Grate, just asked me the very same questions about the definition of blogs on his own site, so rather than write something new, I'm just going to quote what I wrote for him:

What is your definition of a "blog"?

A blog isn't what everyone thinks it is.

In fact, on this very page, you have a pile of definitions of blogs that I disagree with.

Why?

Because everyone likes to focus on the *presentation* of information and blogs are really all about the *management* of information.

Here's what I mean: if you think that a blog is a web site characterized by frequent articles displayed in chronological order, typically with timestamps, a la a journal or diary, you're missing the forest for the trees.

Weblogs, instead, are just the facade that we see of considerably more powerful content management systems that really revolutionize the maintenance of Websites.

Look at it this way: if you're not using a blog to help manage your site, when was the last time you added any new content or revised an existing page?

When you do add content, do you make sure to link it into all the other pages on your site, including your sitemap?

Sure, there are other software solutions for managing Web sites, but none that are as flexible, easy, inexpensive, and SEO-friendly as weblogs.

What is the future of blogs?

Having said that, I think that blogs are going to go the way of the dinosaur, evolving from an animal we spot into the petroleum we use to fuel our journeys, without giving an iota of thought to the source of the petroleum.

It's not that blogs aren't cool and interesting, but just as geeks used to learn PostScript so they could work with printers and display systems and now...

...have no idea that PostScript is the underlying language of many devices, so we'll find that we can focus on our sites, how the information is displayed and how we utilize it for our needs.

After all, the bottom line is the same as it was before the blogging "phenomenon":

How do you find the best, most useful and valuable information on the Internet for any given question, problem or query?

Dave Taylor is an internationally recognized expert on business and technical topics and is the author of 18 different books and thousands of magazine articles. His Q&A Web site is http://www.askdavetaylor.com/


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