Is APOD a blog?

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Is APOD a blog?

Poll ended at Wed Jun 23, 2010 12:53 pm

APOD is a blog.
243
40%
APOD is not a blog.
369
60%
 
Total votes: 612

dergolem
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Re: Is APOD a blog?

Post by dergolem » Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:59 pm

APOD is not a blog.
Blogs can contain science content, but are, in my mind, opinion, not fact. Consider Pharyngula. Written by a scientist but clearly opinion.
APOD is educational and contains facts, clearly documented and verifiable. No opinions, speculations or rants.
Which is why I recommend it to everyone.

JAHelg
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Re: Is APOD a blog?

Post by JAHelg » Mon Mar 15, 2010 8:44 pm

Interesting question, which never crossed what passes for my mind before. It seems that good arguments for and against APOD's "blogness" exist. From the comments posted, I get the feeling that some users think the "blog" designation would somehow denigrate APOD -- bring it down to the level of people who post foolish or fatuous blogs (flogs), devoid of intelligent opinion and not worth the time it takes to read them. For my part, IMHO APOD doesn't fit the typical blog format, but it does fit the general definition, and fits it better than the definition of a newsletter. Bottom line: if calling it a blog brings APOD needed or wanted publicity, then I don't see what difference it makes. Whatever we call it, APOD is a wonderful site that a mere label could never diminish.

Wayne
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Re: Is APOD a blog?

Post by Wayne » Tue Mar 16, 2010 1:51 am

I'd consider it a blog.

It updates regularly with new content often relating to relevant news, sometimes factual and sometimes opinion, and promotes its author's activities. It isn't in the traditional blog format but there are quite a few blogs which defy the Blogger/Wordpress standard.

The only part of the traditional definition which APOD lacks is the ability to comment on a post, though again many blogs also disable this feature. Given most of its other characteristics do fall under the category of a blog, that doesn't really count for much.

jdjensen17
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Re: Is APOD a blog?

Post by jdjensen17 » Tue Mar 16, 2010 5:42 am

Come on, people! Get off your high horse! Let's go to Delightful Dots and get some cool wall paper. Something with tan and blue, flowers, maybe a little birdie on the side. . .

acoustikid
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Re: Is APOD a blog?

Post by acoustikid » Tue Mar 16, 2010 5:57 am

a blog is web-based, commentary, reflective, with graphics, with links to other websites, and opportunities for reader posts.
apod has all that
apod is a blog
is the net cool or what?

billMe
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Re: Is APOD a blog?

Post by billMe » Tue Mar 16, 2010 4:40 pm

blog = web log.
apod has been a log of interesting photos with explainations and commentary for longer than the term blog was coined making it the vanguard of the frontier, a front-runner of the concept, with a very easy to use calendar index to the entries.
apod = web log.

thearborist
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Re: Is APOD a blog?

Post by thearborist » Tue Mar 16, 2010 5:15 pm

To blog, or not to blog, that is the questions. (Sorry, Bard)

Is it really improtant how you categorize this site? We aren’t discussing a new name, or a different format. It is only a question posed as to how the site might be promoted. For the purposes of getting exposure to more people, sure, call it a blog and add it to the list. I read only a few blogs, and those are the ones that meet my needs for information on their particular topics. And that’s what APOD does for me. Being stuck in cloudy, hazy Delaware suburbia, I appreciate the views of the cosmos I can’t easily get otherwise. APOD posts new images and new imformation each day, and whether it is opinion or not, it is still a daily log on the web.

So if you measure success by hits or subscribers, or whatever, add it to the list. If more means better, go for it. By whatever name, I’ll keep coming back.

biddie67
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Re: Is APOD a blog?

Post by biddie67 » Wed Mar 17, 2010 5:15 am

I love this APOD discussionboard because of the additional material that is discussed about the daily APOD. It certainly is much more than a mere blog - it is an educational experience that gives one more than the brief paragraph under the APOD picture can.

The Digg link that used to be included led to silly comments that used to frustrate me because I wanted to learn more - what I was learning there was how cutesy-pie the cynics could be.

I'm really glad that I finally realized what the "discuss" link at the bottom of the APOD page led to .....

ssllpp2
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Re: Is APOD a blog?

Post by ssllpp2 » Wed Mar 17, 2010 9:27 am

I hope not, I'm not into that sort of stuff :-)

Demonweed
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Re: Is APOD a blog?

Post by Demonweed » Fri Mar 19, 2010 6:58 am

When I first read this question, two issues rose to the foreground of my mind. However, in reviewing this thread I also believe the fact vs. opinion issue merits attention. I do not see blogs as necessarily limited to the realm of opinion. Perhaps some of the most popular blogs today are centered around political discussions in which facts far too rarely mingle with personal pontifications and outright deceptions. However, there is nothing about blogs and blogging that prohibits the inclusion of facts.

As it happens, many of the original blogs were nothing more than online personal journals, full of content that was largely factual even if also of no particular interest to the general public. Before there ever was a Web, the term "log" clearly did not exclude the work of diarists focused chiefly on factual content. For example, much of the available data on 19th century weather comes from logs that were almost entirely composed of empirical data with negligible personal commentary in the mix. Likewise, the FCC requires commercial transmitter operators to maintain logs that may contain dozens or even hundreds of pages of numerical tables for each plain English comment added to the paperwork (or at least, that is how it was in the 90s when I was an FM board operator.)

This takes me to my first thought, which was that APOD seems to fit the definition of a "photoblog." Regular serial publication of photographs in a timestamped online resource seems to fit the bill when it comes to photoblogging. Though many such sites feature extensive commentary, others offer very little content apart from the imagery. In many cases that imagery is in no way doctored save for resizing and compression practiced for ease of distribution.

In essence, the photographs are "factual" because they capture real sights and present images of those sights with no deliberate distortion of meaningful detail. Yet even when (as is occasionally the case with APOD,) enhancements and compositing are part of the process, those expressions of creativity do not push the project outside the bounds of blogging any more than the inclusion of poetry, hand drawn art, or political opinion would invalidate the "blog" label for other projects.

Yet there is also the matter of institutional vs. personal. Originally, blogs were distinctively personal works involving little collaboration and no institutional affiliation. However, the concept seems to have evolved in such a way as to embrace a wide range of institutional projects as of 2010. Small businesses, government agencies, coherent working groups, and vast enterprises are all categories known to produce blogs to provide regular (or highly sporadic) updates to Internet users.

Ten years ago, I might have questioned the notion that a NASA blog could exist (as opposed to a blog identified with an individual or small group of collaborators.) Today this seems non-controversial. Even if one grants the argument that early institutional projects identified as "blogs" were abusing the term, language evolves to accept mutations born of such abuse. Ain't that the truth? With all that in mind, I voted yes in this poll.

DaveMorton
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Re: Is APOD a blog?

Post by DaveMorton » Sat Mar 20, 2010 2:49 pm

RJN, in an earlier post, was kind enough to provide the definition of a blog:
RJN wrote:
A blog (a contraction of the term "web log")[1] is a type of website, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order. "Blog" can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog.
What I find interesting is that, by the definition above, APOD is most assuredly a blog. At the time I cast my vote (yes, Virginia, APOD IS a blog), 448 other folks had also cast their vote. And since it can be considered a given that the folks who read/surf/enjoy APOD are among the more intelligent folks around, one could (somewhat) safely assume that these folks know from which they "speak"; which begs the question, "Is it possible that the definition of a blog is incorrect?"

Now I'm the type of person who revels in the opportunity to quibble over fine distinctions and technicalities, so this question has made my week; :mrgreen: however, beyond my nearly mythic need to be a "friendly dissenter", the question, in and of itself, has merit. And while I'd love to sway my many "opponents" to my way of thinking, I think that this is a decision (though not an earth-shaking one) that each must arrive at in their own manner.

And BTW, there's a subsidiary question, which is: "If APOD is, indeed, a blog, how can so many otherwise intelligent and discerning individuals be wrong?" :wink:

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rstevenson
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Re: Is APOD a blog?

Post by rstevenson » Sat Mar 20, 2010 8:09 pm

I have discovered that the one sure way to be certain I am right on any issue is to find that most people don't agree with me.

Rob

PS
Of course APOD is a blog. ;-)

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alter-ego
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Re: Is APOD a blog?

Post by alter-ego » Sun Mar 21, 2010 2:43 am

This discussion is very much the pot calling the kettle black (or vice versa). I mean a pot is different than a kettle, but they share the same environment and end up looking similar after awhile.
We should take this up on Twitter.

Now I don't think of APOD as a blog, but that's a biased opinion.
A pessimist is nothing more than an experienced optimist

genatmarie
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Re: Is APOD a blog?

Post by genatmarie » Tue Mar 23, 2010 4:44 am

APOD is not a blog. The entries are informative, fun and educational so no it's not a blog. Blogs can be frustrating and down right boring to read especially when some folks get a vendetta against or for a particular topic. I have enjoyed APOD for years and years and hope it stays its great self as is.

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wonderboy
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Re: Is APOD a blog?

Post by wonderboy » Tue Mar 23, 2010 10:12 am

I clicked that it is a blog, based on the wikipedia definition of "blog." I've always been taught that wikipedia is a weapon of mass destruction (particularly in relation to essays for university) because I could go onto that same definition just now and add that apod is a blog that can be used in anything other than the batter for a yellow cake haha. I love messing with wikipedia, the guys there logged my IP at work once and threatened to tell my employers how I spent my time. I'll tell you guys I mostly spend my time wasting it :P.
"I'm so fast that last night I turned off the light switch in my hotel room and was in bed before the room was dark" Muhammad Ali, faster than the speed of light?

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wonderboy
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Re: Is APOD a blog?

Post by wonderboy » Tue Mar 23, 2010 10:18 am

alter-ego wrote:This discussion is very much the pot calling the kettle black (or vice versa). I mean a pot is different than a kettle, but they share the same environment and end up looking similar after awhile.
We should take this up on Twitter.

Now I don't think of APOD as a blog, but that's a biased opinion.


Thats a good take on it. Maybe this is so similar to a blog because we've been brainwashed into thinking that because were typing things on the internet for others to see and read, that we must be blogging. I'm beggining to wish I had hit the old "not a blog" option :(
"I'm so fast that last night I turned off the light switch in my hotel room and was in bed before the room was dark" Muhammad Ali, faster than the speed of light?