a little pet peeve about blogging terms

ok, i realize i’m being petty. we all have our little pet peeves when reading, right? grammar is a biggie for me. spelling is a semi-biggie. scot mcknight gets hives reading my blog because i don’t capitalize here (i do elsewhere, btw).

i’ve realized that incorrectly-used blogging terms is another of my buttons. so, in the interest of public service and personal sanity, here’s a refresher:

the ‘blogosphere’ or ‘blogging world’ is the collective of all blogs, though most commonly used to describe the particular blogs of a particular interest group.
good use: “there’s quite a bit of buzz in the blogosphere today about andrew jones’ ferry.”

a blog is an individual person’s online journal or diary, of course, short for “weblog”. important: a blog is the whole, not the parts. a blog is the collection of entries in said weblog, not an individual entry.
good use: “i read your blog every day; i laugh, i cry, i am transformed.”
bad use: “i wrote a blog today about my new band, invisible kitties.”

to blog is the act of writing a blog. this is a tricky one, as its separation from “to post” (below) is somewhat subtle, yet completely differentiated. ‘to blog’ refers to the whole, just as ‘blog’ refers to the whole rather than the individual entries (called ‘posts’ – see below). here’s where it gets a bit tricky though: it is appropriate to use the ‘to blog’ form when referring to an individual post if the point of the comment is not the individual post, but the act of blogging. so…
good use: “i love blogging. blogging, blogging, blogging. blogging in the morning, blogging at night. yum, yum, yum.”
good use: “kiki will likely blog multiple times today.”

now, the word ‘post’. just like the word ‘blog’, ‘post’ can be used as a noun or a verb. so, ‘a post’ is an individual blog entry. and ‘to post’ is to make live an individual blog entry (i say ‘make live’, because the blogger may have written the entry days earlier, but it doesn’t seem to become a post until it is, well, posted).
good use: “your post about emergent senior ministries was brilliant, and has caused me to completely re-think my use of candles with senior adults.”

finally, the term ‘comment’. once again, used both as a noun and a verb. ‘a comment’ is a response to an individual post. and, ‘to comment’ is to write a response to an individual post (on someone else’s blog, or on your own, in response to another comment).

the most common errors and misuses are:
using the word “blog” when one actually means “post” (as in, “he had a good blog about that subject today.”)
and, using “post” when one actually means “comment” (as in, there were a bunch of interesting posts on his blog today.”)

here’s another way to think of it…

the blogosphere is to the universal church
a blog is to a local church
a post is to a church service or sermon
comments are to lobby chatter after the service is over, or an open mic q&a.

10 thoughts on “a little pet peeve about blogging terms”

  1. what goes on in that head of your, adorned by a rotating set of head & face hair styles, is just so distressing

    honestly – a style guide for web terms ? that boat done left the shore, friend

    i am thinking about unfriending you


  2. I liked reading the posts about this blog about terms for blogging today. I’m glad so many people post to your blogosphere, as it makes your site so interesting. Thanks for letting me post here.

  3. I have to agree the most w/ the “I’m going to go write a blog about “Mac vs. PC” today.” Stirs up something when people say that.

  4. You have like way too much time on your hands…but I guess you are good considering you don’t need to organize a “search party” for the speaker tomorrow. Praying for you and can’t wait to see how God will use you tomorrow (and heck, I won’t even take a picture….)

  5. “Grammer” is a big pet peeve for you? Spelling is semi-big? Was that purposefully ironic? While there is a “seperation” between the two, both are lacking in this particular blog.

    I hope my post isn’t too harsh.

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