Friday, April 30, 2010

I'm too busy to blog, so here's an old blog entry about blogs!

Are you tired of reading about loneliness? I am. But I'm also occupied (read:overwhelmed) with finishing my portfolio in time for graduation. So I don't have time to write a new entry. Fortunately, the blog I wrote for the class that started me out on this journey towards my neverending portfolio development project has my back. Let's see what I had to say about blogging in the golden days of 2007.

December 4, 2007
On Blogging

I'm delighted that we're going to be talking about blogs this week. Blogs, I think, are one of the most wonderful inventions of the modern era. They're a convenient way to stay informed, entertained, and in touch.

But it wasn't always so, and I wasn't always so enthusiastic. Blogs have come a long way in just a few years. My first experience with blogs came in the form of friends' LiveJournals. I read a few, found them boring and full of Internet English [editor's note: I'll resurrect a post on this linguistic phenomenon later], and quickly decided they were not worth my time.

When I first encountered the word "blog" (I think some article referred to them as the next big thing), my only real thought was, "That's an ugly word." From what I read, blogs sounded like a fad best ignored.

The first time I heard the word "blog" spoken was in a class in my last semester of undergrad in 2005. My professor, new to the concept himself, wanted us to participate in his new blog. "I got a blog," he said to us in our first class. He said it in the same way one might say, "I got a slimy creature that looks like it might spit acid at you if you touch it." The next class, he informed us that his superiors had decided blogging was too much work for undergraduate students, and the blog assignment was nixed. So I narrowly escaped the blogosphere for a little while longer.

Later that semester, I student-taught a bunch of mostly uncooperative, malevolent high school students. All student teachers were required to keep a daily journal and hand it in to our supervisors once a week. I was a terrible student teacher, but my journal was impeccable. It was the one thing I enjoyed about the whole experience—and it was my initiation into the system of regular public updates that blogging entails.

It was only that summer, facing eternal separation from my friends, and a complete lack of a future career (I certainly didn't want to become a teacher!), that finally, out of loneliness and boredom, I got a blog of my own. Of course, then, I refused to call it that. "Blog" was still an ugly word and a fad best ignored. So I called it my online journal and wrote in it increasingly regularly and at increasing length.

But now, two and a half years later, blog is a household word. If you still think of blogs as slimy creatures from the great unknown, you're officially living in the Pleistocene. Now it seems that anyone who's anyone has a blog. And anyone who's no one—they have one too.

I've got one! I'm still not crazy about the word, but one syllable beats out four any day, so I guess "blog" is here to stay. While my blog is of the lowest sort - the kind in which plebeians with no credentials ramble on about nothing in particular and have a Google page rank of zero - it is, nonetheless, a blog. And one of these days, when I'm not so busy trying to write in this blog trying to graduate, I'll actually post a new entry.


Tariq said...

Isn't the term "blog" a derivation of "Web log" (just in internet speak)? I think the latter sounds more technical and like something you'd agree with more.

Valerie said...

It is, indeed. However, I'd sound pretty pedantic if I went around talking about my Web log. Especially since it's less of a "log" and more of what the news media would call a "column." If I were all that concerned, I'd just make up an entirely new term for it. But I'd rather spend my time trying to graduate!