When a Blog is Not a Blog

This month marks the 5 year anniversary since I wrote my first blog post. I was testing the waters, thinking I might want to be a writer.

What better way to experiment than with a free web publishing tool that could be accessed from anywhere? That was my theory at least. Little did I know that budding hobby would grow into a thriving business!

Back when I started no one knew what a blog was.

“What’s a blog?”

“Well, it’s a website where I can publish things.”

“What do you publish?”

“Topical stuff that folks might find interesting.”

“And people read that?”

“Some.”

[Awkward silence]

That was then. Today it’s much different.

Blogs Go Mainstream

Now most people have heard of blogs. In fact the overwhelming majority of people have visited at least one blog in the last month. Of course, many of them may not even realize that a particular site they like to visit is powered by blogging software.

Even so, they’ve heard the word “blog” and have an idea what it means.

For the most part business is embracing blogs as a publishing tool. Even huge name brands such as Blackberry, Pepsi, GE, and Ford have climbed aboard the blogging bandwagon at this point.

What a Blog is Not

Now that most folks have heard the term “blog” I think it’s time we talk a little bit about what a blog is and, more importantly, what it is not.

First, a blog is a website (or sometimes a section of a website). There can be many parts/features of a blog including posts, pages, comments, RSS feeds, etc.

Regardless a blog is the whole kit and caboodle.

Lately I’ve been hearing more and more folks, mostly newer to the whole blogging scene, who have a tendency to call individual blog posts as “a blog.” As in,

“I posted a blog today”
No. You posted a blog post or, if you prefer, an article. You see, if you posted an entire blog in one day, complete with hundreds of posts and potentially dozens of other pages, that would be impressive. Except you didn’t. You posted one blog post. So please call it that.

Same thing goes for those folks who say, “I read a blog today…” when they really mean, “I read a blog post today…”

Do you see the difference?

A blog is the whole schmear. A post (or an article) is the individual blog entry.

A collection of posts is a blog. A collection of blogs is a network, as in multiple websites.

Please. Words matter. Let’s not muddy their meanings. OK?

It’s a small thing. It just makes things more confusing for the rest of us.

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