Thursday, June 17, 2004

A "Private" blog -- part 2

verlaine commented on my post below. i tried to post my own comment but haloscan wouldn't accept it 'cause it exceeded 1000 characters or something. anyway, here's my post:

i have to disagree. Blogger, big B or any blog host/provider for that matter, merely gives the blogger, small b, or the writer, the option to have his blog listed (public) or not (private). the listing kinda works like a directory or perhaps an advertisement/notice that such a blog exists. even if that blog is private or not listed, any stranger could still have a look at it either by serendipity or coming across the blog's address by other means.

my point is that the option the blog host gives making a blog "public" is not the same as blogs' public nature that i am referring to. Blogger, big B, and i differ in defining the term "public."

publishing, either on the internet or through traditional means, entails that something is brought into public consumption. the blog, being a published work on the internet, is by its very nature public. but i don't mean that everything on the internet if for public use. that's why security protocols are placed when a site is meant to be private, only those people concerned with the same will be able to access it. thus, for example, my email account is private even though i access it over the internet. the same is true for services like the yahoo briefcase and for online transactions. if your blog does not have anything that would resemble such protocols, then it is public.

it's like this. imagine that a person wrote an exceptionally beautiful poem in her diary/journal. this is obviously a private thing, nobody else but the poet/author and those to whom she reveals the poem will know of its existence. but suppose the poet/author decided to send it to a bi-monthly magazine that doesn't exactly have a wide audience (like a school paper for example), hoping that the editor would love the poem and have it published, whilst also hoping that the poem will only be enjoyed by the few remaining subscribers of the ailing magazine, all just for the sake of satisfying some urge to have it published without making waves or bringing attention to herself. is the poem then in the public domain even if the circulation of the magazine would be less than a hundred? yes, it would be. the same is true for a blog. if the poet, having a copy of that magazine in which her poem is published, decided not to share that copy with anyone else, would that make her poem private again? no, it doesn't, it is still public. the same is true for a blog.

when a blogger updates his blog, he re-publishes it. the word publish here is not an empty word. the word published denotes an act which makes something available to the public. in the case of the blog, the bloggers thoughts and writings are published and made available for the public. thus, a blog, by its very nature, is public.

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