07 December 2010

No, I'm not a 'blogger'

A writer who writes books isn’t called a booker. A writer who writes magazine articles isn’t called a magaziner. So why is it that a writer who writes a blog is called a blogger? Why do wordsmiths working with a certain early 21st century internet medium get labeled with such an unlovely appellation? Bad enough that said internet medium suffered the historic misfortune of having the adequate designation of ‘weblog’ hacked into the fecal-sounding ‘blog’. Must we compound this disgrace by calling writers of blogs ‘bloggers’? A blogger blogging on his blog gives the impression of needing 3-ply toilet paper.

I’m not alone in my antipathy for the word ‘blogger’. Jonathan Dobres eloquently denigrates all things ‘blog’ related in this website post. Personally, I can somewhat tolerate the term ‘blog’, so long as it refers specifically to a website maintained by one or more individuals who regularly post original material (textual, visual or auditory) that isn’t purely objective, disinterested reportage or organisational propaganda. Otherwise it’s a news website or an impersonal home page. It helps if the posted material is interesting/educational/edifying in some ineffably sublime way. Alright, erotically titillating is good too.

What I would like to see go the way of the broad-faced potoroo (potorous platyops) is the word ‘blogger’ being used to describe someone who writes for a blog. My fellow online scribes, you are writers, no less so than someone who gets paid to have her alphabetic ejaculations appear under a globally recognised masthead, or behind a hip orange-and-cream cover with a fucking bird on it. Wherefore this ashamed reluctance to declare oneself a writer just because one hasn’t been professionally published? You use words, do you not? You string them together into (sometimes) coherent sentences, correct? And you are (hopefully) read by an audience, yes? So call yourself a writer, damn it! Unless you prefer a description reminiscent of taking a shit.


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