What is a Blog Anyway?
Defining a Blog:
I was so busy dealing with other stuff that I missed out on all the fun over at the former uber-Microsoft employee (and a-lister) Robert Scoble’s neck of the woods.
Apparently he tried to limit blogs to 5 rules that define what a blog is or isn’t. And because more than half of all Live Spaces are private, Scoble says that private Web spaces are NOT even blogs, calling them “Plogs”. So I’m guessing that would also go for Blogger Beta too would it not.
Aren’t blogs supposed to be all about the “conversation“? So does limiting a blog’s outreach (by making it private) dismiss it altogether as being a blog?
According to Scoble:
In a ThinkWeek paper, accepted by Bill Gates, and discussed with him before MSN even started publishing Spaces (more than two years ago), we (not just me, but MS researchers too) defined blogging as having five things.
So who nominated Bill Gates (or his employees) as the definitive resource for blogs? Just asking. I know I didn’t. And considering that Scoble uses a Wordpress blog instead of Spaces, it really makes me want go hmm.
Nevertheless, the 5 Rules that he quotes are:
1) Easy to do reverse-chronilogical content display. Type in a box and hit publish. New stuff goes at the top of the page. Old stuff moves down.
2) Discoverable. Through search engines (I listed Google, Technorati, MSN, Yahoo, and a few others). I specifically mentioned a ping server as infrastructure too, ala Technorati or Weblogs.com. IE, blogs are public. I would go as far as saying that a site that does not ping a pingserver, like weblogs.com, is NOT a blog (private Web sites don’t ping weblogs.com and are NOT discoverable by search engines).
3) Social. I can track when you link to me from another domain, either through search engines, through trackbacks, or through my referer logs. (I can’t be social with private cross-domain spaces).
4) Permalinkable. I can send you a link directly to a post. (I can’t do that with private spaces).
5) Syndicatable. I can use a news aggregator to read your content, which lets me read a lot more blogs. (I can’t do that with private spaces).
So what about blogs that don’t allow any comments at all? Or blogs that restrict comments to registered members only? Are they still blogs?
It sounds to me more like sour grapes since Scoble is no longer on the team. A professional pissing match so to speak. It is also a good demonstration of a-listers who take themselves a little too seriously. But in all fairness, Rob did later recant, and it just shows to go ya how volatile the Explosivesphere can be.
What do you think? When is a blog a blog?