We like to refer to Weblogs as a format. They’re merely a way of arranging information and commentary. Not a particularly original way of so doing, either – it’s widely accepted that the very first Web pages, by Tim Berners-Lee, were pretty much exactly equivalent to Weblogs as we know them now. (Though what pages did he link to?)
In the Weblog format, you find a link that interests you and tell us what you think about it. Or you merely write on a topic that interests you and find related links. Or, in the more diaristic forms, you maintain a journal, with or without links. (The last of those isn’t even a Weblog as far as we’re concerned, but along with the use of access as a verb and the ineradicability of hideous neologisms like repurposing, we have given up that fight.)
The NUblog mixes the first two subformats. But Paul Ford, over at Ftrain, writing somewhat whimsically, has nonetheless come up with further new subformats. It seems that the proliferation of links may not result in endless, hungry, pseudo-pornographic hunting for more and more links, nor may those links exile themselves to the gulag of database.
Some of Ford’s gems:
- DiaLog. Create two fictional characters, and have them post their links and commentary on alternate days. Build a dialog between them. Explore their differences. Build their characters. Have them argue.
- OppoLog. Whenever you post a link to a position, post a link to a counterposition. Argue both sides. Be belligerent.
- ResoLog. Similar to OppoLog, but seek resolution between disparate opinions, rather than reinforcing the argument.
- TextLog. Break up a public-domain text into component parts and post a new, brief section each day, with related web links and discussion. The Bible, the works of David Hume or Darwin, and the novels of Thomas Hardy are all available free of charge, and could be well used this way.
- MemeSmear. Track [a news event]. Show how the language around the issue evolves and changes from one idea to another. Develop a cogent system of the evolution and transformation of concepts in our cultural framework. Obtain Ph.D. in same. Write book. Become a legend.
- NarraLog. A weblog with “current” entries which are also organized by topic. Build longer “narratives” over time. [Didn’t NUblog discuss this the other day?]
- OxyLog/ParaLog. Use the classic “links + commentary” form, but log items not found on the Internet.
Do you like apples? Well, how ’bout them apples? Ford then goes on to give possible variations of these subformats. The guy’s a genius.
Posted on 2000-07-25