As genres go, blogs are hybrid. My blog is all over the place, with elements of other genres rising and falling in prominence-- public journal (another strange genre), political commentary and humor column. Sometimes, I have things on my mind that I sincerely wish to write about, yet they don't seem to fit the mold. Is there a mold?
The blog is a genre that is still in the act of becoming. The expectations are not quite worked out, at least as far as I can tell. Blogs can be thematic or not. They can be personal or not. Political or not. They don't even have to accept comments from others.
The word blog only recently made its way into the Webster's dictionary; a word that finds itself in a print dictionary has been recognized by a committee of authorities as a word that will endure. The word hasn't even existed for a decade, yet it already has done a fair amount of function shifting. To blog, blogging, blogger, blogosphere.
Merriam-Webster's definition: a Web site that contains an online personal journal with reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks provided by the writer; also: the contents of such a site.
I guess the salient part of that definition is the "online personal journal" part. But then is the Humboldt Herald, which contains no information about its writer, a blog? It seems news blogs are blurring the line between blogs and online news media (blurred lines equals the creation of new forms). With that in mind, however, the Herald and the Bitten Apple seem hardly to be the same thing at all.
What is the appeal of blogging? Why do we write blogs and why do we read them?
I have a friend who is sternly and strictly anti-computer. It's very inconvenient for me, since she always accuses me of being out of touch. I rarely write letters during the semester, and you practically have to hog-tie me to get me to talk on the phone. But because of school and work, I am at the computer a lot. I blog every day, putting my thoughts and musings out there to the wide world, so I think it isn't me who is out of touch.
Perhaps the appeal of blogging is that the internet allows people to be in touch. In touch with any friends or family who take the time to read it, in touch with a wider web of acquaintances or interested strangers, and ultimately in touch with ourselves, since articulating our thoughts helps to crystallize them.
Let's not leave out the multi-media appeal as a means of expressing ourselves. Links, pictures, videos, even music can accompany the written word in a blog. Sometimes pictures say it better than words ever could anyway.