Get comfortable. This is going to be along one. I have been thinking about this subject for a while, but suddenly in the last 24 hours I have changed my position.
I was fully behind Will when he posted Blogging vs Journaling again as he argued:
Xanga is not a blog site. It’s an online journal site. There is nothing inherently wrong with journaling online (provided it’s done with the proper precautions.) But there is something wrong with calling that blogging. And that’s what’s happening more and more. And the problem comes when parents and principals equate Xanga and other such sites with blogging, which in turn predisposes them negatively toward efforts to use blogs the way we know they can be used.
Not so anymore. After reading The Horseless Carriage by Tom Coates I have changed my stance on the subject.
There is nothing wrong with calling Xanga a blog site because that is what it is. To follow Tom’s horseless carriage analogy, we can call a car a car, but eventually we start to classify our cars more specifically as they multiply and diverge. I just bought a new car not too long ago. Nobody would flinch when I call it a car even though it is a minivan. People would certainly look at me funny, and probably correct me, if I called it a sedan though. My brother’s car is a truck, and nobody will complain about the contradiction I just wrote because it is not a contradiction. Just as we can now start calling a blog a blog and not trying to explain it as an “online journal” it is also time for us to begin to classify what is a sedan and what is a truck or an SUV or a motorcycle. This means that, while Will cannot say that Xanga is not a blog site he can say that it is not the type of blogging he is interested in. He just needs a name for the type of blogging he is talking about.
I am going to embark on the process of defining the various classifications as a prliminary step to my own research on blogging as an educational tool. For now I will say that Movable Type and Blogger are brands just like Ford and Chevrolet. I have not come up with names for the classifications yet, but when I am done I will expect to have at least 5 sample blogs to list for every category I define. If anybody has names to suggest for categories andsamples for the names I will be happy to consider them as I try to classify the blogosphere. Will’s name of “journaling” may be among them, but his examples on Xanga might be called “diaries” or “rants” just as accuratly so I don’t know if that will stick.