The GodBlogCon website is looking fantastic. The event promises to be even better than the historical one of the year last. Matthew Anderson is a stud for putting it together. We miss his insightful posts, but encourage his creativity and hard work in making GodBlogCon a reality. Thanks, Matt!
Posted by Matthew Lee Anderson
Matthew Lee Anderson is the Founder and Lead Writer of Mere Orthodoxy. He is the author of Earthen Vessels: Why Our Bodies Matter to our Faith and The End of Our Exploring: A Book about Questioning and the Confidence of Faith. Follow him on Twitter or on Facebook.
I was actually noting that just the other day. Website does look really great, Matt. Gotta say, I still hate the word “blog”, but I suppose you didn’t coin that one. :).
Great job, man.
Also add to the words I hate: blogosphere.
Times have changed around, me I get that, but I can’t say that word with a straight face.
Why do we have to come up with such an UGLY word to describe what is proving to be one of the biggest revolutions in information distribution in the past thousand years?
I’ll wager this: we’re stuck with words like “blogger”, “blogging”, “blog”, and “blogosphere” (along with all the variants that so lovingly attach the word “god”) because the word shares the same democratic roots as the medium it describes.
You’ll have to excuse my fuzzy history, but I think it went something like this:
Some Joe one day started making a “web log”. It caught on. A bunch of Jims and Janes started making “web logs” that were basically personal, online journals. It snowballs until one day some Jack in Baltimore, a James in Seattle, and a Janet in Tuscolusca all decided individually that “web log” was just too clunky for their every day conversation. They start referring to their online journals as “blogs” — they never make an announcement about it, they just do.
And so does everyone else.
Soon enough a Jake in Milwaukee breaks a major news story that the traditional media hadn’t yet caught on to. What is the word for this thing that Jake has made, that all the sudden has the spotlight — long ago, he decided to call it a “blog”.
“My god,” say the television news anchor, “do I really have to call it a ‘blog’?” But he’s only got 5 minutes before he’s on the air. Zoom. Sprits the hair. Touch the makeup. “Last looks” calls the AD. “And we’re on in 5, 4, 3, …”
Why does it matter?
I don’t know, why build the Cathedral of Our Lady of The Angeles when it’s so much cheaper and easier to just toss up four walls and some fluorescent lights?
Marketers spend thousands of hours (for which big business pays millions of dollars) naming and packaging products. Some products will succeed despite their haphazard naming (as is the case with blogs), but why toss a hindrance in front of your base right from the start? Why wear the ugly shirt to the party — the one that makes you look frumpy and awkward?
A bit of free association: BLOG. goop. muck. monster. lagoon. plorp. plop… BLOG. flog. sog. smog. fog. nog.. BLOG.
The word just doesn’t say what you want it to say: freedom, truth, democracy, maybe revolution, or insight… not in those four letters.
Don’t get me wrong. I believe in democracy as a system of government. I believe in the free press, maybe even a press so free as our “blogosphere”, but democracy and things that behave democratically are messy, especially on levels so rooty as the individual “blog”. Check out Myspace sometime. Some of the page design on Myspace is so atrocious that I wonder that some of these people dress themselves. Then again, some of these people are the ones that wore the frumpy shirt to the party.
Some John and a Janice decided five years ago that they would call their site a “blog”– maybe we’re too far down the line to remedy this unfortunate addition to world language, but I still hold out hope that a tasteful adman somewhere down the road will give our “blogs” a bit more of the dignity they have grown to deserve.
Don is right, but GodBlogCon will still rule – even with “blog” in the title. :)
The website looks good. Impressive list of sponsers!
And Don, your diatribe on the mythical origins of the word blog and its demerits as a word was, simply put, brilliant.