This page offers brief explanations of some blog jargon.
That jargon has been driven by pundits and reportage in
the US. It is variously used as mental shorthand, an indicator
of hipness, an expression of geek humour or tool to exclude
the unwashed and unsophisticated.
Software used by bloggers and content services for automated
checking of a large number of blogs or news sites on a
daily basis. Aggregators typically check selected RSS
feeds for new content, displaying a list of results (generally
with the most recently updated links first) and thereby
allowing bloggers to identify the latest content from
across the web. Some aggregators are web-based, others
operate in conjunction with MS Outlook or are standalone.
A blog that deals with legal issues, often written by
practicing lawyers or academics.
A compulsive - or merely conscientious - blog author and
MIT Media Lab project that periodically checks links from
blogs to "track information as it flows across the
blogosphere". It offers an indication of traffic
rankings and, as noted earlier in this profile, serves
as a portal for some readers.
Blogger identifies both the blogging service of that name
(Blogger.com is now part of Google) and someone who blogs
and thus is a member of the blogosphere.
An allusion - ironic or otherwise - to 'digerati' and
literati: typically high-profile (or merely vehement)
bloggers who are recognised by the mass media in commenting
The "world of weblogs or the community of bloggers",
more sarcastically tagged as Blogistan.
A list of links to other blogs, typically as column down
one side of a blog and used to signal the blogs/sites
esteemed by the blogger.
Use of a blog to puff other writing (online or in print)
and appearances or to promote a particular product.
Software used to run a blog.
A facility that allows blog readers to add comments to
an individual post, whether on an pseudonymous or identified
basis. Some purists argue that a blog is inauthentic unless
there is comment. Other bloogers have exporessed concern
about offensive (or legally problematical comment) and
about comment spam.
The blog equivalent of spam,
with spammers using 'spambots' to automatically post advertising
on blogs in the form of comments. Some bloggers and blog
services accordingly exclude comments per se or exclude
particular users and addresses from commenting.
Omitting a word or words from a quote so as to substantially
change (or undermine) the meaning of the quote. Named
after Maureen Dowd of the New York Times following
an incident in 2003.
A detailed, if not costive, critique of a blog post or
other item, typically in vehement disagreement with its
contents. Named after deconstruction of work by Independent
journalist Robert Fisk.
A blog created by a corporate marketing unit to promote
a service, product or brand - often using a false name
- and thus derided as a 'fake blog'.
A K-log (aka klog) is a 'knowledge blog' - usually a repository
for expertise and compiled by an individual or team in
an organisation for colleagues or peers.
A blog that primarily offers a minimally-annotated list
A blog created via mobile phone or personal digital assistant,
often featuring blurry photographs and a brief commentary.
A link to a specific item/page on a blog and often denoted
by a '#' or 'permalink' adjacent to a post. Permalinking
reflects the structure of many blogs, with old posts archived
and thus not immediately identifiable using the main URL
for that blog. The permalink provides each post with a
A blog that features (or indeed is wholly composed of)
of photographs. The moving image equivalent is a vlog
A ping is a technique for determining whether a specific
internet protocol address is accessible. It involves sending
an automated message and waiting for a reply. Bloggers
use pinging to alert blog tracking services that a blog
has been updated.
An audio (spoken word and/or music) blog, described
in more detail in a separate note elsewhere on this site.
An item - which might be one word, several hundred words
and/or an image - on a blog. Many blogs consist of a number
of posts in chronological order, usually with the most
recent posts on the entry page of that blog and older
content in an archive.
An XML format used by many blogs to syndicate their content.
There is disagreement regarding whether RSS stands for
RDF Site Summary, Rich
Site Summary or Really Simple Syndication.
Sock puppetry involves an author posting comments on his/her
blog that purport to be independent and are typically
identified using a pseudonym. US cultural critic Lee Siegel,
in the guise of 'Sprezzatura', for example visited his
own blog to praise himself as "brave" and "brilliant".
A 'spam blog' - aka a splog
- aims to increase the visibility (through a higher search
engine ranking) of a site/page that a spammer is seeking
to promote. Splogs typically feature multiple links to
one or more such sites. They may also feature advertisements
that attract a pay-per-click payment. Most splogs are
Another content tracking service, noted for 'top 100'
ranking of blogs (based on inbound links).
A mechanism to facilitate automated links to comments
on a blog. It is often a device for reinforcing the authorial
ego through signalling how many blogs have pointed to
a particular post.
Vlogs (aka Videoblogs) feature video content
An engagé blogger, once defined by Dave Winer as
"a person who runs a weblog that started around,
or was significantly influenced by the events of September
11 2001". Warblogs are not necessarily about war,
although some warbloggers appear to wake up and smell
the napalm - or merely their own self-righteousness -
Extensible markup language (XML)
underpins the RSS format used to distribute headline feeds
If you are confused by the jargon about blogs, moblogs,
vlogs, blawgs, foneblogs, hiptops,
and so forth - all clubs, after all, have to exclude the
digitally unwashed or unitiated - there is a fuller glossary
on the Samizdat.net site. Useful if you want to know the
meaning of 'Barking moonbat', 'Blurker" or 'Fisk'.