Over the past few years I have increased the amount of “Web Cruising” that I do on a weekly basis. I find myself reviewing newscasts, news print, artists, scientific data, you name it, and it’s there. The most prevalent thing I find on the internet though are Blogs. I use the term Blogs because that is inevitably what the sites all call these posts, but are they really Blogs? Are they Rants? Or is it actually News?
If you look up the word “Rant” one of the main definitions in the dictionary is “Pompous or pretentious talk or writing”. They add synonyms such as claptrap, jabber, mouth off, bombast and many other descriptions that all pretty clearly define someone who is on a Rant.
If you look up the word “Blog” you will find it is a portmanteau of a web log (which is a fancy way of saying it’s the two words smashed together to create a blended word). Web logs have been around since the mid 90’s. When they first became popular they were web locations where an individual or a group of people would post on a specific subject, either as a group discussion, a form of research or to document a specific set of occurrences.
Over time this has shifted. Many of the blog sites I find are being use more as soap boxes for the writer’s personal propaganda. In most cases the writer really doesn’t want anyone else’s opinion so comments from others are generally edited, omitted or there just isn’t an option to comment. While these sites are more Rant than Blog, no one is making anyone go to the Blog site so I say, let them Rant. Not all Blog sites are Rants, many of them are very educational, friendly and overall most are quite interesting.
Another popular form of Blog is, like this one, a Blog location within a news source. These locations are very different from a general Blog and much more confusing. With many people, if they read something in the newspaper or see it on a news web site, it must be true. Now you add a Blog location into the news section and someone’s personal propaganda takes on a whole new meaning. Generally this is offset by the Blog being in the Opinion section. Also, these blogs generally allow open comments so the issue can be debated and opposite views can be posted.
But what about publishing personal propaganda on news sites, as a Blog, but without allowing others to comment? This really isn’t a Blog anymore, as there is no logging of information or discussion. This type of Blog is most definitely a Rant, but due to its location and the inability for others to comment, these Rants are given an implied level of authority similar to an editorial or an educational piece, i.e. News.
While I don’t think I’ll lose a lot of sleep over this issue, it does raise the raise the old eyebrow a little and leaves me more than a little bit concerned. So in the spirit of Blogging I submit this to you, my fellow bloggers. What do you think about it? Are you concerned with it or is it a non-issue? Do you think of a News story differently from a rant? And if so, how do you know which one is which? Go ahead, Blog a comment. What do you think?