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What’s in a name?

The price of fame, in blogland, appears to be nasty comments. At least that’s what some visitors, the minority it would seem, to Naked Blog take it to be. Peter rightly points out that it is his writing that is the key element of his site, but I’m not sure that the following statement is quite what he means.

“the medium would descend to a money-making racket, then I wouldn’t have championed it so vociferously over the aeons.”

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to second guess a Bloggies Lifetime Achievement nominee but there seems to be a growing view that you either blog for pleasure, for the aesthetic if you will, or you are a whore to the green mistress that rules us all. The more I think about it, the more I begin to wonder if that isn’t exactly what is going on at the moment.

On one side you have the hobbyist blog. The traditional, grass-roots publishing side of things where, largely (putting small amounts from adverts aside), the key element is the publishing of posts on whatever topic takes the author’s fancy.

Contrasting that you have the “pro” blog. Usually topic-focussed (specialised), and aiming to have a large readership to ensure the revenue generated by adverts is maximised. Includes blogs that rely solely on advertising or sponsorship to survive.

Too simplistic? Well have a look at a blog, any blog you like, and try and apply the ‘rules’ above. I warrant you’ll be able to decide which camp it belongs to pretty easily.

I’m not arguing for/against any blog, what you do with your blog is up to you dearest reader. I just think that, as blogs permeate further into the media and society in general, it’s better for those who blog (that’s us) to take a look at these things and offer some suggestions. What I think we really need is a new word.

I think both ‘sets’ of bloggers would benefit from a new term in the blog lexicon that offers us a way to categorise a blog along the simplistic lines I’ve mentioned above. We already have the term “blog” and I’d suggest that is kept for the hobbyist (although as we are the ones without the money I’m not entirely sure we get to decide!). So we need a new word for the professional blog.

Except we already have one, a quick search for problog brings plenty of results. However I think this is still missing a trick as it doesn’t account for the ‘non-corporate’ professional bloggers (Kottke, Dooce… umm… are there any others??) but I think I can live with that. There are always a few sites that bend the rules.

This site is, and will remain, a blog. A means to publish whatever zips across my radar. A way to keep in touch with a large number of interesting people whom I’ve never met. Something that keeps my interest. A hobby.

Well this has sparked an interesting set of topics, not to mention a couple of very well thought out emails. There are a few other comments over at mike’s place which add to the discussion as well.

To close this out I thought I’d post a copy of the comment I made over there (hey if he can do it..)

Kettle fish etc..

Having re-read my own post a few times, and thought about some comments, and emails as well, I can see why some would think I was saying that X is “more worthy” than Y. That wasn’t the intention.

My background is communications. A key part of that is the seemingly simple matter of using common terminology. GETTING simple terminology out of a complex topic, like blogging, is nigh on impossible.

So, you take the mix of ‘what is a blog’ and distill it down as far as possible. I still think you can categorise ANY blog as either PRO (for money) or PERSONAL (not for money).

You are right that blogs are just “websites with reverse-chronological dated posts”. Couldn’t agree more. So maybe I should have focussed on the author, the motivation behind the blog.

Do I think that one particular type of blog is “more worthy” than another? Define “worthy”. OK, I’m being argumentative… in short, no I don’t.

I read political blogs, web design blogs, blogs about people’s lives, blogs about people’s football teams, blogs about music, movies, books… etc etc.

They are all blogs. The motivation behind them may be different.

I THINK that’s the point I was trying to make (but I’m backtracking a bit).

The next question is WHY categorise at all?

Simple answer? Don’t. There is no need. It was just something I was thinking about (and that I thought might spark a few comments). I certainly wasn’t getting “all het up about it” or anything. Far too unhealthy an attitude if you ask me.

As mike (as usual) succinctly puts it “Live and let live. Peace and love.” Well said, that man, well said.

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Blimey, it’s almost cold enough to freeze the testicles off a monkey made from a copper and zinc alloy!

Anyway, my fingers are just about warm enough to type so I have a question. How long should I wait for payment before re-listing an item on eBay?

The bidding ended 5 days ago, and I’ve contacted the buyer twice, once to say if they paid immediately they could have the item by the weekend, and again last night to enquire WHEN they would be paying… the second email was mainly to see if I get a response at all!

I didn’t include a ‘must be paid in x days’ note anywhere but in my limited experience with eBay I’ve never had anything take this long. Even cheques have appeared quicker.

What say you, oh wise denizens of the internet, should I re-list the item?

UPDATE: eBay’s Unpaid Item Process is what I’m after!

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Blimey, it’s almost over ALREADY!

A few beers on Friday night, and after dragging myself away from the pub I came home to find the remnants of a curry Louise had ordered, bonus! Admittedly after a few pints of Guinness and a spot of curry, Saturday was a little… windy.

Thankfully by the time Saturday evening rolled around I was no longer in danger of making the shipping forecast – MALIN. NORTHWEST 4 INCREASING 7 OR GALE 8. SMELLY. – and enjoyed a great evening out to mark the 21st birthday of Louise’s cousin, Sharon (OK, not really. She’s 53… um… 41?… no wait… 36??). It’s always a good night out, as that side of the family are very easy going and always up for a laugh. Dinner at the Princess Rose was good and the food was excellent as usual, if a little slow coming out. Mind you we didn’t really notice that much as they did a grand job plying us with booze and it was easily the busiest I’ve ever seen it. Of course the round of free drinks helped as well!

The entire restaurant joined us as we sang Happy Birthday to Sharon before we headed off and after a brisk walk, it was bloody cold on Saturday night, arrived en masse in the pub. More drinks, daft stories – when told of the price of a round the world air ticket, Sharon’s sister enquired “How much does the return cost?” – and then back to my parents house where we bumped into my Dad as we all returned home around the same time (yes, that’s right, he was on his way back from another Burns Supper).

Today, washed the car, watched a little football, did a little work and sorted out the Lou Lou Creations website. Many thanks to IanD for pointing me in the direction of Lightbox, a site I’ve bookmarked and will be using again! And to Donalda (no website, yet?!!) for pointing out the obvious mistake (I left a deliberate error on one page to test the error handling and forgot to correct it!). Only thing left for the site is to get better photos of the cards but all in good time.

I also finished a little pre-design work for a new project which should be interesting, more on that later. Once I’m allowed to talk about it.

How was your weekend?

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