Blog Semantics

When blogging was first emerging, the blogosphere knocked around the notion of what constitutes a blog. Of course, some basics were challenged, like whether or not a blog necessarily requires a chronologically-ordered archive of posts or whether or not a blog needs to be topical. Those were the minor, almost inconsequential elements of the discussion. The bigger point was that in order for a blog to be considered a blog, it had to encourage conversation through comments or some other form of feedback. Without a two-way channel, it's not really a blog. I think we can all agree on this. Except for the bandwagoners. I'm talking about some of the folks in the established publishing world who believe that if you post a press release once a week through a Blogger account and turn the comments off that somehow, this qualifies as a blog.

I've seen quite a few media vendors try to sell us advertising on "blogs" that are nothing more than repurposed content published via a blogging interface. In many cases, there's no interactivity involved - no comments, trackbacks, message boards or anything like that. They still call them blogs, however.

When I asked one recent office visitor why comments weren't turned on, he essentially told me that turning comments off made the environment safer for advertisers. Kind of like throwing the baby out with the bathwater, huh? Needless to say, they didn't get an order from us.

And this, friends, is yet another example of how those who don't get it are making money from the popularity of the blogging movement.