Friday, October 27, 2006

An interim assessment of blogs

It is not effortless to get one's bearings in the heterogeneous world of blogs, a world freely composed by the copious supply of information and by stimulating areas where it's possible to express one's opinion.
But this abundance can even metamorphose in deficiency when there is not a clear path in order to reach what one wants (it is also necessary to say that Technorati often diverted my intentions). For example, after going in Technorati website, searching for both general words (jazz, philosophy, photographers, etc.) and specific names and controlling the first results, I remained fairly unsatisfied, probably because, accustomed to "traditional" websites, I desired less "personal" and "misleading" writings.
Despite this incompetent approach, I was able to bring to light two appreciable weblogs:

http://www.aldaily.com is (in my opinion) a medium between a blog and a website. It has the daily updating of a blog and the formal construction of a website (there is no possibility to comment articles).
It contains an accurate juxtaposition of Articles of Note, New books, Essays and Opinion. In addition, there is the possibility to click on many interesting links (positioned in an orderly way on the right side of the home page) which make reference to magazines, newspapers, radio broadcasters, book reviews, columnists, weblogs, etc.
The blog offers, directly or indirectly, a complete overview of the political and cultural world, encouraging me, exactly by reason of this detailed analysis of facts and personages, to put in a good word for it.

http://www.worldfilm.about.com is a useful guide to new and old films. The home page is characterized by the reviews of the latest films (there is also the possibility to see their trailers) and by an ordered series of links situated on either hand of the page. These links concern different categories (Essentials, World film offers, Topics, Buyer's guide, etc.) which include even movie scenes online and the opportunity to download classic films, to open files about actors/resses and film festivals, to watch documentaries and photos.
The language of this blog is fairly plain and comprehensible; whereas its style altogether informal reflects writers' oscillation between the subjective comment and the "impersonal" review.

Daniele.

The question risen about the pertinence of my first presumptive "blog" induces me to compare some definitions of blog with the features of the blog I have advised.
I think that the fundamental aspects of a blog synthetically are included in the website http://civilities.net/OnBlogs, which reports the following 5 points:


1) typically run by a single person (OED) Web site of personal or non-commercial origin that (WHAT)
2) uses a dated log format (WI), reversed-chronological format (RB), ordered chronologically from newest to oldest (ROOTS)
3) that is updated on a daily or very frequent basis (WHAT) are often-updated sites (DW)
4) which contains periodic posts in a common webspace (WIKI) of personal observations, excerpts from other sources, etc (OED), that point to articles elsewhere on the web, often with comments, and to on-site articles (DW)
5) an online journal or diary (OED), (DRUPAL).

Now, I think that http://www.aldaily.com follows points 2, 3 and 5, but not points 1 and 4.
Probably if a presumptive blog does not respect all the consolidated characteristics of a blog, it can not be considered a blog, but something else. But it is also true that the concept of blog is a recent one and that its form is still in evolutionary phase.

Daniele.



4 comments:

Lamericaana said...

Dear Daniele,
Though your first blog has the continuous update characteristic of a blog, it's layout is not like a blogs and, more importantly, it, as you say, does not allow for comments. I wonder, then, if we can really consider this to be a blog? Why don't you find some definitions of blogs and let us know what you think.

Thanks,
Sarah

Magicesca said...

Hi Daniele,
Among the blogs you selected I was particularly interested in the second one:
Worldfilm.about.com.
I think that I will often visit it because I enjoyed the way it is organized, especially the numerous links.
With a click you can easily go the Coming soon to know something more about the film’s appearance and then check their plots. I appreciated also the download of the classics and the funny reviews concerning actors attitudes.
I believe that, apart from personal author’s opinions, this blog could be considered as a guide for people who love going to cinema but that are not experts on this subject.

danielina82 said...

Hi Daniele!
The second blog you found is really rich in news about movies. I liked especially the page concerning foreign films because it gives us the opportunity to explore cinema from all over the world thanks to the presence of reviews, filmographies and essays about foreign movies.
The only aspect I didn't like is the home page layout: in my opinion it is a bit dispersive, probably because of the use of too many colors and the lack of simmetry between the left and the right part of the page.

Daniela

gioia-volley said...

Hiya!
I got a bit lost looking at the 2nd blog you'd suggested :-( a lot of images, movies' titles, reviews coming from quite different sources... I guess one should know how to properly surf in this ocean of information. I'm very fond of cinema so I will try to learn how to get helpful information from this blog. The number of links is very interesting too.
Thanks Daniele!
Alice