Monday, August 02, 2004

Essayist vs. Diarist

The New York Times recently referred to bloggers as "web diarists". When I saw this article I immediately reacted negatively -- I don't think of what I do on my blog as being a "diary" -- nor are most of the blogs that I read "diaries." The next day I happened to hear a piece on NPR about the art of essay writing. Essay writing seems to me to be much more like what I expect from blogs. Perhaps the medium has matured to the point where it is valuable to distinguish one type of blog from another -- diaries are certainly one important category, but not the whole story. Diarists, essayists, news aggregators, collaboration venues... each uses blogs as a technology but shouldn't they be distinguished from each other in how we refer to them? Diary blog, essay blog, news blog, collaboration blog?

6 comments:

Anonymous said...
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dan said...

Ted, I agree. Using the term "diarists" seems like an attempt to use an Old World term to try to convey the nature of the Strange New Thing happening on the Internet to an audience that's never been out in cyberspace. And you're right, too, about the wide range of blogs or sites called blogs -- from Fark to BoingBoing to the purely personal journal-like sites -- that would benefit from some better description. I don't have a clue what the description might be, though.

dan said...

Hey, Ted, you may have picked up on this already, but Jason Calacanis has a recent post on "what makes a blog?": http://calacanis.weblogsinc.com/entry/0883457356734213/

Anonymous said...
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website_templates said...

Yeah what you say is correct. Mentioning all blogs as diaries was not a good statement at all. Even major businesses have blogs and most of them use blogs to create awareness of their products and services, new agencies use blogs and best of all online marketers use blogs. There are personal blogs too but they are just part of the larger system and not the system in itself.

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Roland Tanglao said...

This is why I tell people that blogs are "networked digital paper" and diaries and journalies are just part of it.