Replacing The Word Blog
Do bloggers and writers-for-the-web ruin their chances of broader "real world" success by squandering their best writing on their websites? A couple of days ago, Maud Newton posted a link to an Inside Higher Ed blog post by Oronte Churm on that very subject, wherein Churm argues, "In the Year 2017, I'm a God." The central thesis seems to be that eventually the academic world will come around and realize that well-written writing for the web should count for something on an individual's C.V., that "just because something comes wrapped in a digital dustcover doesn’t make it disposable."
A Valve post by Amardeep Singh back in March suggested a system of academic blog peer-review would help legitimize the whole thing. But am I alone in thinking that one of the central problems with legitimizing a publishing endeavor such as blogging is in the term itself, which is recognized, both inside and outside of the "blogosphere", as a pejorative — "Oh, you blog, do you..."? I'm with the novelist Michael Lowenthal on this one. He writes, in the introduction to his non-blog, Word of Mouth, "Blogging sounds like what a slug does on a bad day. Like an activity after the doing of which you'd want to spray deodorant in the room." Blogging is not something that can ever be legitimized, at least not until we call it something else.
And why not call it something else? The term isn't really applicable to sites like The Valve or The Elegant Variation, or the majority of the things that Maud Newton posts. When I think blog, I think of what Kottke does a lot of, and what Justin Hall used to do a lot of — links to various sites of interest, a veritable log of cool sites. What Maud and Mark and the Valvers are doing — and what I hope to begin doing here — is a different animal. It deserves a different term.
And so I ask you, dear reader, what should that term be?