a weblog by any other name....
a weblog by any other name
Do a search for a definition of the term weblog and you will find many answers. It's where someone logs other webpages they find interesting. It is "commentaries, individual or collective on their particular themes." Whatever definition you come up with, it will never cover all the bases. Because each weblog is as different as the next.
You can't take one word and expect it to encompass such a disparate group of sites. Just the same, you can't sit and compare all these sites to each other, because while they may all hold the title weblog, they are defined in a separate way.
Let's take beer. You can all brewed hops and barley and malt beer, but they certainly don't taste or look the same. If you sat at a bar and started to compare Schlitz Lite to Sam Adams, you would be laughed at. It's the same with music. You can throw the word "punk" around all you want, but Blink 182 is not in the same league as Black Flag.
The same goes for weblogs. You can't compare them. You can't say weblog A is better than weblog B when A is all links and news with commentary and B is more personal and journal-like. Take, for instance, Little Green Footballs, Bluezfire and Chris Pirillo. Politics, personal and tech talk. And they may at one time or another talk about all three things, they are, for the most part, theme specific blogs. You could lump them into a category by saying that they are good blogs. Or well written blogs. Or entertaining. But that's more of an opinion than a description or a genre.
Why is it necessary to compare and contrast at all? Why pit one weblogger against another? Why draw lines and make competitions out of comparisons?
I've seen way too many blogs in recent weeks debate the merit of one over another. Every weblog, and they number well into the thousands now, has its own personality as unique as the owner of that site. People pour their hearts and souls and so much time into their blogs. We risk our self worth in some cases by putting our thoughts and opinions and attempts at writing out for public consumption. It isn't necessary for someone else to turn around and make a post demeaning another person's feelings, or comparing a blogger's writing skills to someone they think is better. There's no purpose in that. Nothing is gained except someone's bruised feelings.
Sure, there are blogs that I don't bother reading. Yes, some of them are nothing but filler and "what I ate for lunch today." Maybe you think this is one of those. That's fine. If I come across a blog I don't care for, I just move on. I don't spend time writing about its deficiencies or comparing it to blogs I think are better. There's no point in that, especially since some people prefer Blink 182 to Black Flag.