What is a Blog?

What is a blog? That was the question asked of me immediately after I finished giving a rather boring “State of the Youth Ministry Address” at my church’s congregational meeting this past Sunday. I fumbled around to try to give a somewhat intelligent answer and what came out was that it is a web log; an online journal of sorts. I said a little more during that time of attempted explanation, but nothing that really defined blogs in their entirety passed through my lips.

So, what is a blog? Apparently, I am not entirely sure. Wikipedia says the following about blogs:

A weblog, which is usually shortened to blog, is a website where regular entries are made (such as in a journal or diary) and presented in reverse chronological order. Blogs often offer commentary or news on a particular subject, such as food, politics, or local news; some function as more personal online diaries. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, web pages, and other media related to its topic. Most blogs are primarily textual although many focus on photographs, videos or audio.

The first blogs were known as “online diaries”, and started in 1994. The term “weblog” itself was coined by Jorn Barger on 17 December 1997

More or less, that was what I was attempting to regurgitate for that older woman who posed the question that fateful Sunday afternoon, but that still does little justice to the true nature of blogs.

As I sit here and ponder this ridiculously simple question, which has me searching for deeper meaning, I keep coming back to the word; outlet.

I think more than anything, for me a blog is an outlet: a place where my thoughts, concerns, and ideas have a home. It is like that place described by Zack Braff’s character in Garden State, that seemingly imaginary place that we all miss and try to recreate, for thoughts.

I have always struggled with finding a good medium through which I could easily release the labors, be them beneficial or not, of my mind and through the blogsphere they have found their home. It is kind of a relief.

At the beginning this particular post I had no idea where this question would take me. I was not sure what would come out, and I was confused as anyone about what a blog was, beyond just being a web log, or journal. Now, through the wonders of soul searching and a little writing, I feel a little more comfortable in describing what a blog is. It is an outlet for me and a home for my thoughts.

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