Blog Is Blog
Some previous background is at these two previous posts: Hong Kong Blogosphere Up In Arms (May 2, 2005) and Weblogs as Online Diaries (May 5, 2005). There is now a public letter to media/organizations/scholars, which is published at HKBloggers.com (the Hong Kong blog directory). Here is my English-language translation:
Blog Is Blog
To media/organizations/scholars: The response by a group of bloggers concerning the recent reports and research studies about blogs.
BLOG! Not just an "Online Diary"!
Following the rise of blog culture in Hong Kong, some organizations and media have began to study blogs and make reports.
But recently, certain organizations and media have translated the term "blog" as "online diary", and defined it as "a tool mainly for young people to record daily life." So far, we know of the following organizations and reports:
1/ BreakThrough: The Study of Online Diaries and Youth.
2/ Cable TV News One (April 28, 2005; New Growth Points (新增點))
3/ Sing Tao Daily (May 4, 2005; page A21)
Actually, blogs have been popular around the world for some time already. There are many variations and purposes, and they are not limited to being just "online diaries." In Hong Kong, blog culture has also bloomed in diverse directions. For the media and research organizations to issue a narrow definition will cause the public to misuderstand blogs and therefore distort the room for development of blogs in Hong Kong.
Based upon these circumstances, we as bloggers and as those who care about the development of blog culture feel that we need to clarify the definition of blogs to the related organizations so that the public will not misunderstand.
What is a blog?
According to the information at Blogger.com, the definition of a blog is as follows:
A blog is a personal diary. A daily pulpit. A collaborative space. A political soapbox. A breaking-news outlet. A collection of links. Your own private thoughts. Memos to the world.
Your blog is whatever you want it to be. There are millions of them, in all shapes and sizes, and there are no real rules.
In simple terms, a blog is a web site, where you write stuff on an ongoing basis. New stuff shows up at the top, so your visitors can read what's new. Then they comment on it or link to it or email you. Or not.
Since Blogger was launched, almost five years ago, blogs have reshaped the web, impacted politics, shaken up journalism, and enabled millions of people to have a voice and connect with others.
More information: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: BLOG
There is no commonly accepted Chinese term for a blog. We believe that if there must be a Chinese term, then 網誌 ("online journal") is a more appropriate translation.
A few days ago, Business Week (Cover Story - Blogs will change your business) made a detailed report while presenting a number of blogs with different styles and forms. We suggest that this is a useful resource for understanding what blogs are.
The letter then goes on to list the bloggers who have signed the letter. You too can sign by going to the Google Group named Hong Kong Bloggers Group, go to this page, hit reply and then enter:
1/ Your name or your blog's name
2/ Your blog's URL
At the time when I wrote this note, there were 35 signatures on that page. I don't know most of them, so I expect to have an interesting time visiting their blogs later. This is an indication of the power of the distributed nature of blogs. The blogosphere has no center; the list just coalesced by word-of-mouth over a loosely connected network. So you spread the word too. I just did.