What is a Blog?

It’s a strange question to ask. The fact that you’re reading this implies that you have some kind of an idea of what a blog is. The problem is, a blog is whatever the owner of it wants it to be. This can vary widely from blog to blog and even between posts on the same blog. This post is going to explore the types of content I might post here and why.

There are two broad categories of blog. The first is the link blog. A link blog consists of short entries that identify an interesting topic and links to other sites on the web that deal with it in greater depth. Link blogs often have multiple posts per day.

The other category of blog is the essay blog. It typically has longer posts than a link blog. It may have links to other sites but it is itself a more in depth treatment of its topic than is typical of a link blog post.

It is probably obvious to those of you that have been reading this blog that I tend to write essay posts here. But that is only one dimension characterizing blog posts. Another way is by the unifying topic that the blog covers, sometimes referred to as “the beat” in newspapers and magazines.

The obvious unifying factor of most blogs is the perspective of the author. This isn’t necessarily the case though. Some blogs are written by multiple authors each giving their perspective on a common topic.

I have proceeded so far this year on the theory that publishing a post on a regular schedule was more important than trying to establish a theme beyond my personal interests. I’m trying to get a couple of posts ahead so that I don’t feel so much pressure to get something written and posted by Monday.

I used to write a lot about computer languages and application software that I liked. Lately I have become less focused on programming and more engaged in writing fiction. This changes the topics that I think about a little.

I am learning the structure of a short story and how it is similar to and different from a novel. I am learning how to get a reader engaged in your story and deliver a satisfying ending. I am learning how to build a fictional world and the people that inhabit it. It is so different from writing software and yet there are amazing similarities too.

I don’t plan to post much fiction here although you never can tell. I will definitely let you know if the piece is fiction. I suspect there are better places to share fiction. Perhaps I’ll build a home page for my writing and point to it from here.