What differentiates blogging from all other types of writing? From my admittedly non-rhetorical re-reading (actually more like re-skimming) of Andrew Sullivan’s “Why I Blog” I have concluded that the definition is actually threefold:
1) Blogging is instant.
2) Blogging is personal.
3) Blogging is communal.
Blogging is instant in that its goal is to convey some happening or idea as close as possible to its occurrence in time or conception in the mind. Blogging is personal in that it relates those events and ideas to a specific person, namely the blogger himself. And blogging is communal in that it is intended for others to read and invites their perspective as feedback.
This is probably the same definition I would have come up at the beginning of the class when reading Sullivan’s piece for the first time. However, what has changed between now and then is my application of this definition to other social media. For example, isn’t Facebook also instant, personal, and communal? What about twitter? A mass email to some friends? Even an announcement posted on that old-fashioned medium called paper?
Through my experience blogging for this class, I have begun to expand my perception of the term “bloggging” beyond merely a URL followed by .blogspot or .wordpress. Just as Sullivan differentiates between traditional and new media, can’t the term “blogging” be similarly divided between the traditional blog and its newer social media relatives that also meet the threefold instant, personal, and communal definition?