What Makes a Blog a Blog?

What defines a blog as a blog is less the specific technologies that produce it — though those are of course important, too — than the mode of interaction that blogs require of their readers, a way of reading that is intimately tied to the blog’s primary existence as a database. “The Pleasure of the Blog: The Early Novel, the Serial, and the Narrative Archive”. Kathleen Fitzpatrick.

untitledBlogs Branch Out

“Whyyyy did you include a picture of your finances in the post What Makes Blog a Blog?” you may be asking. I was stressing about finances a couple days ago and putting down numbers on paper always makes me feel better. It doesn’t really help me out financially because the end result is “Shoot. I’m still broke.” However, when I was looking at the picture of the curiosity cabinet on the Wiki and Weblogs page I realized that my finances, weblogs, and the cabinet all had things in common. They all branch out. Blogs branch out in links (explained below). My finances begin in neat rows. Then I remember one more thing I need to pay. I create a “link” on paper. Then I realize there’s another check coming. I connect another “link”. Everything on the paper is layed out in a way that’s meaningful and connected. The cabinet is layed out the same way. There are meaningful objects that are categorized in a way the viewer can scan through them. Links connect things just like the former two.

Blogs Use Links

I’m going to start off with saying that I liked the Rebecca Blood article. There are many parts of her article that stuck with me which I’ll expand upon in this post. First off, I’m beginning to think that it’s important to incorporate links in blogs. Blood says that, “The original weblogs were link-driven sites. Each was a mixture in unique proportions of links, commentary, and personal thoughts and essays.” I was able to come up with an example to simplify this. When someone writes an article (lets use the Rebecca Blood article for example), they include quotes or information by other people as well. Blood talks about other people that created blogs before her. She includes quotes from these individuals. I think this is similar to using links in a blog. Instead of using a multitude of quotes or information by other people; why not just link to them? No, this doesn’t mean send your viewers on a wild sheep chase through cyberspace. It means; if you want to let your reader learn more about a certain subject that you don’t want to cover in detail in your blog, link to it. Does that make any sense? Let me know if you agree.

Blogs are Bold

Blood quotes Greg Ruggiero of the Immediast Underground saying “Media is a corporate possession…You cannot participate in the media. Bringing that into the foreground is the first step. The second step is to define the difference between public and audience. An audience is passive; a public is participatory. We need a definition of media that is public in its orientation.” BLOGS AREN’T PASSIVE. I think that bloggers are very active. Bloggers take notice of things that are happening around them. They write about things that many people would be fearful to. They put in their opinion linking to the original content. Bloggers are brave. Even if you don’t think you’re brave- you are. You may be doing this for a class if you’re part of #en3177 but that doesn’t make you less brave. You are taking time out of your day to write. I think all writers are brave. Putting words in to writing/typing is one of the most difficult and rewarding anyone can do in my opinion. There’s also the important difference between the media and blogs. Media is something you cannot “participate in”. You watch the news but you can’t participate in the news unless that’s part of your job. Blogging is different. Writers want their audience to participate through comments, shares, likes, views, etc. I think media participation is starting to increase through social networking but blogs have always been a way to actively participate- writer OR reader.

Blogs Invoke Emotion/ Emotional Response

I think that blogs should invoke the audience to think outside the box and question. Blogs should make people evaluate their beliefs. It’s important to have your blog open to the public. The audience that is drawn to it will read it. If your blog is about cats, cat people will be drawn to it. If it’s about your feelings, people who are into reading about them will come and read them. The blogger shouldn’t be a consumer but rather a “creator”. With this style, whoever reads your posts (if it’s interesting to them) will “begin a similar journey of self-discovery and intellectual self-reliance”. This is one element of what makes a blog a blog. In Blogging, Second Edition there was a quote by Carolyn Burke that spoke to me. She wrote, “I wanted everyone in the world to expose their inner lives to everyone else. Complete open honest people. What a great and ideal world would result.” I think that this is a good aspect to look at when writing for a personal blog. However, blogs should be able to invoke emotion no matter what type.

I think Blood’s closing quote summed it up pretty well with:

Weblogs are no panacea for the crippling effects of a media-saturated culture, but I believe they are one antidote.

Blogs Establish Relationships with the Reader/ Readers Establish Relationships with the Blog

The first sentence that caught my attention in Kathleen Fitzpatrick’s The Pleasure of the Blog was the sentence “I felt like she knew me better from my blog than from our direct interactions”. I have already experienced this in blogging in #en3177. I don’t know most of my classmates personally. However, through blogging I have been able to grasp I sense of who they are. This is what make a blog a blog. It defines a certain element of yourself- or what you want to portray. There is a certain “character” that emerges from yourself when blogging. This character has a relationship with the blog’s readers. Fitzpatrick defines this relationship “in the ways the readers engage with the ‘character’ the blogger is portraying”. On page five she raises the question of why the readers return to the blog. Blogs seldomly have cliffhangers. They don’t have a certain “viewing time”. There is however, always the promise of more. More content, more pleasure of reading or viewing. The blog Fitness on Toast was a blog I began to follow last year. I follow it because it’s so aesthetically pleasing- plus they have great workout tips, recipes, etc. This proves that I as a reader agree with the “pleasure of the blog”.

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9 thoughts on “What Makes a Blog a Blog?

  1. Okay I would just like to tell you that using the picture was an awesome idea. I knew blogs were about linking things all together through the web but never really thought it about branching out with others. Using your finances as an example really helped me visualize how blogging does branch through the web. And when you talked about how emotions are in blogs is exactly how I feel about blogging too. You even put emotion in this blog post because just saying “all writers are brave” was emotional for me because I never viewed myself as a writer but look what I’m doing, writing post about my life on the daily! (even thought it started because of a class)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Emma, this post is awesome. Your example of managing your finances tied in very well with the definition of a blog. It’s an interesting perspective, and one that rings very true! All in all, I can’t disagree with anything you presented. Thank you!

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  3. I really thought it was cool how you used your finances to explain blogging, very smart and very true. And I hadn’t ever thought of it that way, thanks for the new perspective! 🙂

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  4. Sometimes seeing the similarity is the important thing: They all branch out. That lets you define the connections between the individual readings and your consideration of blogs. I wonder if it works with identity and blogging.

    Liked by 1 person

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