Paul Bradshaw just posted a blog posting the question as to whether it's possible to define blogging without mentioning technology.

Is it possible?

No, I don't think so.

As I mentioned in my previous post there are three types of technology:

Replacement technology - that which replaces a process we already have, but makes it easier.

Enabling technology - that which enables us to do things that were either not possible, or too time consuming to be worthwhile before the technology.

Ubitiquous technology - technology that becomes so widely used and pervasive that it becomes a part of the fabric of society, and is taken for granted.

Blogging, I think, has become an ubiquitous technology - not in terms of it's pervasiveness across society (though I'm sure some would argue for that claim) - but in terms of it's functionality.  Until blogging became popular, the only people who has access to a mass-audience were journalists.  Blogging has initiated a conversation between people, who are otherwise unconnected.  I don't twitter to my friends, many of whom view the technology as pointless and 'geeky' - however, I do twitter to some folk, from whom I've been able to generate business leads, ideas, and other opportunities.  It's not a pointless task.

So many things happened to allow blogging to take off as it has done.  The idea of 'planets' of bloggers give a sense of community, though not always known.  This blog has been submitted to planets with my blessing, and others have added it without my knowledge.  Pingbacks, and comments are the most powerful parts of blogging - the actual 'blog' itself is very rarely valuable in itself.  However, with links to other blogs, and a variety of opinions proposed by the readership, a blog can grow into more.

When we talk about 'things we used to blog' now appearing on twitter,, facebook, flickr .etc - we're not talking about the blog articles, but the comment and conversation generated from them.  We've removed the time-consuming layer of having to set out ones ideas before being able to discuss them.   We're conversing live, we're using sources and media - and we're enjoying it.  As bandwidth increases, people are doing videoblogs, podcasts - all of which are extensions to blogging.  Blogging is a technological marvel - to remove the technology would mean a blog would become an individual's diary.  In is the 'interconnectivity of all blogs' (Douglas Adams would love this) that gives them their value.