Defying definition

The Online Journalism Review tries to define “blog.” They asked me for mine and I got snippy (always handy when you’re looking for a foil for the lead). I’ll be obnoxious — not for the first time, eh? — and quote my reply:

To blog or not to blog is no longer the question.

The question now: What is a blog …

“I don’t care,” e-mails Jeff Jarvis, the veteran print journalist and prominent blogger behind BuzzMachine. “There is no need to define ‘blog.’ I doubt there ever was such a call to define ‘newspaper’ or ‘television’ or ‘radio’ or ‘book’ — or, for that matter, ‘telephone’ or ‘instant messenger.’ A blog is merely a tool that lets you do anything from change the world to share your shopping list. People will use it however they wish. And it is way too soon in the invention of uses for this tool to limit it with a set definition. That’s why I resist even calling it a medium; it is a means of sharing information and also of interacting: It’s more about conversation than content … so far. I think it is equally tiresome and useless to argue about whether blogs are journalism, for journalism is not limited by the tool or medium or person used in the act. Blogs are whatever they want to be. Blogs are whatever we make them. Defining ‘blog’ is a fool’s errand.”