> > Charles,
> > I was rather hoping you'd respond to:
>I'll come back to the specific case of "blog" after I've proven that
>most definitions are fuzzy and prototypical.

Isn't that what this discussion is really about? The definition -- or lack
thereof -- of a blog. Why wait? If we are in agreement that there is no
definition of blog, how can there be requirements to be a blog?

As I said in a previous post: "I do find it interesting that at the same
time you claim there can not be a definition, you are adamant that it has to
have RSS and trackbacks."

> > This isn't about majority. This is about definition.
>Words are defined by their usage. Usage is determined by observation
>of human beings; it is inescapably statistical.

Some would say words are defined by the dictionary ;) And their usage is
defined by their definition and the communicator's intent, but let's get
back on point: what is unique and exclusive to a blog that makes it by
definition different than a website?

> > The exception disproves
> > the rule. If any blogs do not have RSS, then "blog" by definition
>cannot [snip]
> > It is like saying that the Toyota Camry is the most prevalent
> > car, therefore a "car" by definition is required to be a Toyota

Again, statistical superiority does not equal a requirement for definition.
In fact, any factor that varies cannot be part of a set definition (unless
the part is saying that the variable exists), unless you are defining a more
specific item: If more Toyota Camrys are sold than any car and more red
Toyota Camrys are sold than any other color, that does not mean that a car
is only defined as a red Toyota Camry or that all Toyota Camrys are red.

>If I rip the rear view mirror off a car, it's still a car. But how
>many parts can I remove until it ceases to be a car?

One: the engine ;)

What is being lost here is that definitions are not as fuzzy as you would
like us to believe. Definitions -- by definition -- define something in
specific terms. What is a car? We could define it as a vehicle with a metal
frame, wheels, and a steering mechanism. But that could also describe a
bicycle, so it isn't a useful definition. We need something that
specifically describes a car so that we can differentiate it from a Radio
Flyer wagon, or a van, or a tank. And that is what I haven't yet seen: a
definition of blog. What is unique about it that makes it a blog? If there
isn't anything definitive, then perhaps it is just another name for website.

>Is there a
>well-defined threshold? If it were well-defined, wouldn't all people
>who know "what" a car is have to agree on it?
>Rather, as you remove pieces, it gradually becomes less and less of a
>car. There is no precise threshold, and there are states at which
>reasonable people would disagree. Same with Techno, and adolescent
>dogs, and websites with some blog-like features.

That's great, but you're talking deconstruction from a point you haven't yet
constructed. I still haven't heard a minimum level or maximum level
definition from you that isn't leaving out what are widely considered blogs
or including what is widely believed to not be blogs.

As I said in a previous post: "If you have a list of characteristics,
shouldn't you end up with a clearcut
answer? If you cannot, then I would suggest that the list isn't good enough.
Or there is no differentiation to be found."


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