So, now you know what the official Oxford English Dictionary definition of a blog actually is.
But the what isn't usually the most asked question. It's the why. 'Why do you blog?' is what people really want to know when they look at you goggle-eyed over the bowl of kettle chips at someone's house party.
It's not an easy one to answer and sometimes I'm not even sure myself (as can frequently be seen in the ever-increasing gaps in my blog posts *slaps self on wrist and promises to do better*). But, even though my poor, long-suffering blog should probably be taken off to some sort of a Shelter for Neglected Blogs at this stage, I could never abandon it, walk away, switch off completely, because it's my little bit of space to write, rant, pontificate, practice using words like pontificate and generally 'connect' with other people who like to write, rant and all of the above.
This is by no means the first blog to question the why of blogging. Far from it - there is continual debate out there in the blogosphere about the 'why'? Funny that - how the act of blogging itself often becomes a reason to blog. And it isn't just the doubters and the nay-sayers and the blog conspiracy theorists (I don't actually think there are any of them, I just made that bit up) who ask why - it's the bloggers themselves. People like me. Bloggers.
Is it all a bit pompous, we ask? Are we bloggers just the annoying kid at school who strains their arm ever skywards in a desperate attempt to be picked to answer the question; the kid who revels in the 'show and tell' days - 'Look at me, Look at me!' we shout, 'I have something very important and astute to say.' Are we bloggers all just lying in the gutter, looking at the words of agreement and support in our comments boxes?
I don't think so.
In fact, I think blogging is just the same as anything else we choose to do in life. We do it because we enjoy it. We get a sense of satisfaction from it. We may do it to hone our skills as a writer (you wouldn't find Usain Bolt heading off to the Olymipcs without putting in a bit of practice somewhere first would you now). We may do it to build a profile, to 'showcase' our portfolio, to promote a book (oh yes, one day, it will be mine), or to simply have a space to say what's on our mind when a spiral-bound notebook and a distracted pre-schooler don't seem to be giving us quite the attention we feel we deserve.
Why blog? Why not.
This post was inspired by two other very interesting posts I've read this week about the point of blogging. They are written by Caren Kennedy here and Derek Flynn here.