Blog as New Buzz Word

Apparently, blogging has reached the status that it’s attached to stories having nothing to do with blogging in order to create a buzz. Here’s an example from the front of WaPo’s page at the moment:

Blogging Clicks With Colleges (WaPo, B01)

First the Internet turned colleges upside down, extending classrooms and changing the way people learned. Next came Napster and other file-sharing tools, then Web logs. Now blogs are morphing into the next big thing on campus: wikis.

The wiki, which got its name from the Hawaiian word for “quick,” is the scrappy little brother to the blog, an interactive Web page that can be changed by anyone who stumbles upon it. While blogs let people publish their thoughts online, wikis take things a step further, creating freewheeling, collaborative communities: Students can edit one another’s work, bounce ideas around or link to infinite other Web sites. “Students keep pushing for more interactivity, often in ways I hadn’t thought of yet,” said Mark L. Phillipson, assistant professor of English at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine.

Granted, there’s some material several paragraphs into the story about the fact that students and professors blog, although that’s hardly news. But in what sense is a wiki “the scrappy little brother to the blog”? Aside from the fact that people use computers to write them and they’re both on the Internet, not much. Presumably, though, calling the story “Wikis Click(i)s with Colleges” wouldn’t have have the same impact.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. suzanne says:

    What does the term “BLOG” mean? I have never heard it before today! May I have a definition to help me better understand, please!
    Thank you so much!
    Suzanne C.

  2. Attila Girl says:

    Suzanne, it’s difficult to define blogs. You might want to click on some of the names on the Outside the Beltway sidebar to get a better idea of what they are about.

    I usually tell people that a blog is a cross between a personal journal and a newsmagazine–but on a web page, of course.

    Good luck.