Of blog posts and online illiteracy

Überblogger Norman Geras is understandably peeved with a linguistic faux-pas committed by many bloggers and blog followers. This concerns the use of “blogs” to describe both online journals and the textual products of the procrastinatory activity known as blogging.

Let’s get this straight. What you are reading now is a “blog post”, and the section of my website in which it is published a “blog”. The post itself is not a blog, and, as Norm says, the distinction is important. Is that clear? Do you even care? You should do.

As a professional scribbler, what fecks me off is new media consumers who source all their news from blogs and pseudo-blogs referring in online comments to a piece of web-published mainstream media writing as a “post”, and to the author of same as the “OP” (original poster). It’s not the vain attempt to elevate the importance of often inane wibbling, but the likening of journalistic writing to something knocked together in stream-of-consciousness mode by bored office workers hiding behind silly pseudonyms.

That some journalism is crap is beside the point. Journalism is a professional activity carried out in a competitive market environment. Bloggers and blog commenters who write about current affairs are media parasites who can afford to zero-rate their time, and whose lesser efforts contribute to the degradation of journalism as a whole. That could include me, when I’m working outside my particular fields of expertise.

Blogs and blog posts aside, just don’t get me started on the sad illiterates who begin almost every sentence of their uninformed opinions of the latest smartphones and other useless gadgetry with “So…”. I would have them all shot in front of their families.