Category Archives: General

Start the New Year the right way – stop using the word ‘blog’ incorrectly!

Arg! Please pay attention! When you say ‘I wrote a blog today’ you are almost certainly using the term incorrectly. If you’re referring to having written all the content on a blogging website, that’s ok. But if you’re talking about writing a single post (entry) on a blogging website, you’re not using the word properly.

So please,  add this to your list of 2017 New Year’s Resolutions:

“In 2017 I will write a post, not a blog, on my blog.”

Post! The term is POST! Not blog! Aaarrgg!

This is why. The term ‘blog’ refers to a style of web design which allows authors to write smallish chunks of text with attachments if they wish, such as images, videos, audio etc,  and upload them to a website.  It comes from ‘weblog’, i.e. a log or list of entries placed online. That individual item is called a post  and the act of writing and uploading it is called posting. (Sometimes  the act is also called blogging, though that can also refer to the ongoing process of maintaining a blog e.g. “I have been blogging at www.suethomas.net since 2007″.

How did this misconception spread? My belief is that it was started in the early days by media outlets who didn’t really understand what blogs were. Even today you still often hear the BBC, for example, talk about an ‘online blog’, as if there were such a thing as an offline blog! Now we’re at the point where more people use the term wrongly than those who get it right.

So, okay, I admit that this is my petty grumpiness, and it’s probably already gone too far to stop it, but please can you just try to use it correctly so my blood pressure stops rising ?

Any of the following will do:

  • I wrote a blogpost
  • I posted
  • I wrote a post
  • I read a post
  • even ‘I blogged’ is ok
  • but NOT ‘I wrote a blog’ or ‘I read a blog’ (unless it was the whole blog). Please, please, stop it before I go insane!

And if you don’t believe me, check out the Wikipedia definition, which begins:

A blog (a truncation of the expression weblog)[1] is a discussion or informational website published on the World Wide Web consisting of discrete, often informal diary-style text entries (“posts”). Posts are typically displayed in reverse chronological order, so that the most recent post appears first, at the top of the web page. Until 2009, blogs were usually the work of a single individual[citation needed], occasionally of a small group, and often covered a single subject or topic. In the 2010s, “multi-author blogs” (MABs) have developed, with posts written by large numbers of authors and sometimes professionally edited. MABs from newspapers, other media outlets, universities, think tanks, advocacy groups, and similar institutions account for an increasing quantity of blog traffic. The rise of Twitter and other “microblogging” systems helps integrate MABs and single-author blogs into the news media. Blog can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blog

Remember, it’s never too late to change a bad habit :)

So, Happy New Year! And I hope you have enjoyed reading this POST!

post

Turning over a new leaf – this blog has changed

Earlier this year I launched a new blog, Technobiophilia, and in the last months I mostly posted there rather than here. But the process felt rather disjointed, so I’ve integrated the new posts into this site and soon the url http://www.technobiophilia.com will also point here. (This means you might find bits of mess here and there as I tidy it up, for which I apologise).

I’ve also redesigned the look – I hope it works and that you like it. I’m still ironing out the glitches but generally I think it’s working.

If you don’t already read the Technobiophilia blog, you’ll find lots of newly-imported content here that you haven’t seen before. I hope you enjoy browsing through it.

 

“It’s an alien life form”. David Bowie talking about the internet in 1999.

“It’s an alien life form”. David Bowie talking about the internet in 1999.