It’s official: blogs have genre boundaries too

I know I am a little late with this one, but it links up with recent (actually, probably more forthcoming) posts about genre containment – that is, to define is to exclude, to place in a relation of difference from some other alternative. And as anyone who has ever had to write an entry in a reference work knows, it’s a heavy responsibility, because definitions are often read as being prescriptive rather than descriptive. But I reckon jill has done an ace job with her final version of the weblog definition, for Routledge (what would we do without them)?

Everything I would expect to see in a 500-word entry is in there:

“A weblog, or *blog, is a frequently updated website consisting of dated entries arranged in reverse chronological order so the most recent post appears first (see temporal ordering). […]Examples of the *genre exist on a continuum from *confessional, online *diaries to logs tracking specific topics or activities through links and commentary. […]Most weblogs use links generously, allowing readers to follow conversations between weblogs by following links between entries on related topics.”

I particularly like the consideration of reading practices – of course, the fact that this is a reference work on narrative helps, but still –

“Readers may start at any point of a weblog, seeing the most recent entry first, or arriving at an older post via a search engine or a link from another site, often another weblog. Once at a weblog, readers can read on in various orders: chronologically, thematically, by following links between entries or by searching for keywords. […] Weblogs are serial and cumulative, and readers tend to read small amounts at a time, returning hours, days, or weeks later to read entries written since their last visit.”