Starting a "real" blog!?

Like some other popular words on the Internet, there is much disagreement about the meaning of “blog”.

An influential early book, Essential Blogging, begins “Here’s a dry definition of a blog: A blog is a web page that contains brief, discrete hunks of information called posts. These posts are arranged in reverse-chronological order (the most recent posts come first). Each post is uniquely identified by an anchor tag, and it is marked with a permanent link that can be referred to by others who wish to link to it.”

By that definition, the “tidbits” that I write are a blog. However, I’ve not thought of them as blog, for several reasons.

Another of the seminal books on blogging, Rebecca Blood’s The Weblog Handbook, says simply “A weblog is a coffeehouse conversation in text, with references as required.” She goes on to say “There has been spirited discussion in some quarters of the weblog community about when the first weblog appeared, but I think of Mosaic’s Whats New page, which ran from June 1993 to June 1996, as the progenitor of the format.” Both of these quotes are well-aligned with my perception.

Discussing creating new blogs for our church, a friend said “And remember that blogs are only blogs if they are monitored and foster dialogue. If it’s just a once a week letter from the facilitator and doesn’t spark and or maintain comments from the readers, then it’s not a blog…it’s a fancy bulletin board.”

My tidbits have not been intended to be a conversation and have not fostered sufficient dialog to be a blog in my thinking, even though they meet the dry definition, have an RSS feed, etc.

One reason for the lack of dialog has been the lack of a mechanism to facilitate comments. Though I’ve previously toyed with various software that would facilitate comments, I’ve shied away from using blogging specific software. However, my wife wanted to have a real blog (, and I wanted to encourage pastors and others to blog at the church site. After experimenting with Movable Type, I’ve become comfortable with WordPress and am using that here.

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