And My Right Little Toe is a Weblog

A recent barking about “everything is a learning object”, including my left big toe got some interesting responses– sometimes you can slave over an important blogged item and get nary a trackback, but toss out something silly and it ends up down under somewhere.

So part two to this escapade is “Everything is a weblog” including my right little toe (equal rights to all toes).


Stephan Downes pointed his OLDaily today at what Syllabus magazine bills as a “blog”- Casey Green’s “Digital Tweed” (same name for his column in the dead tree version of Syllabus).

Now just because you call it a blog is it a blog? Does it hold up? It sure as beans looks to be pretty much a web forum very similar to phpBB, vBulletin, and sure enough you need only wade a few lines deep into the source HTML of Casey’s alleged blog and there it is:

<title>Syllabus Blogs: Digital Tweed (read only)</title><!-- Web Wiz Forums ver. 7.01 is written and produced by Bruce Corkhill ©2001-2003       If you want your own Forum then goto http://www.webwizforums.com -->

Okay, let’s dig into what we may look for as blog characteristics. Scalpel please.

(1) It is chronologically organizaed. Well yes, I guess so. But so is any web board.
(2) It represents the views of the writer. Well yes, Casey seems to be able to post, and he writes posts about things he is interested in. But ditto point above.
(3) It automatically generates archives organized by time/topic. Hardly unless you would consider an entire blog to be its own archive.
(4) It generates RSS feeds. Nope, as Stephan noted today as well as someone on the comments area at the so-called blog. No feed at all. How can you miss that technology trend?
(5) It is open to comments. A very weak, meek yes. You have to register to post comments (a major dis-incentive that I would ever return is a required registration, fuggggetaboutit). And comments are not appended to the “posts” but filed in another forum.
(6) It has lots of cat pictures and long references to grooving with friends down at the local coffee house. Not at all, not from a guy in tweed.

Trackback? Dreamin’. Blogroll. Nada. Syndication? Hah. Well, you do get blinking ads.

I could go on, but in my book it hardly fits the bill or captures any spirit of Jill’s definition. Now this is not to say there is anything wrong with what Syllabus is doing, and Casey might develop a thriving web community in this space. All the power to him.

But for Syllabus magazine, which purports to be near the cutting edge of instructional technology, to slap up a web BBS and call it a blog, well, I think it shoots any thin credibility they had out to the compost heap. With all the various free to low cost blogging systems out there, why? And people are dead on to say, where the *#^$ is the RSS? Somebody please buy them a ticket for the cluetrain.

To close with a tune…

This ain’t no blog, this ain’t no disco,
this ain’t no fooling around
No time for dancing, or lovey dovey
I ain’t got time for that now.

So now, since any BBS on the web is a blog, e-Bay is a blog, the planet Mars is a blog, Wallace and Gromit are blogs…. make way for my right little toe, a blog it is.

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Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.