Blogs defy categorization

Both Roger von Oech and David Armano added postings to their blogs last week about my taxonomy of different blogs (Thanks!). As I've read the comments both received on their posts, a dominant theme has emerged: blogs defy categorization. Nearly everyone is seeing how they experience several different motivations and blend the different value propositions. Using the taxonomy to "put their blog in a box" is not working.

I mentioned how I prefer to use taxonomies as "learning curves" which value each kind as a stage of growth and passing phase. The feedback I'm learning from suggests this is also too confining to capture what's really occurring for us active bloggers. Here's some alternative ways to appreciate the process and benefits of blogging that transcend any taxonomies, categories or learning curves:

What if blogs are better understood with chaos theory? What if another blogger's posting and the blogger's own personal experiences function as strange attractors that organize the field of diverse blogs into temporary patterns. What if one posting has a "butterfly effect" that transforms the next several postings on any number of blogs? What if the blogger's mind goes "far from equilibrium" to self-organize a new posting or comment on another's blog?

What if blog postings are emergent outcomes? What if we don't make blogs happen, they simply happen to us and through us? What if our blogs are really out of our control? What if blogs are co-created with every other blogger interdependently? What if the boundaries between blogs are illusions? What if blog postings come about synergistically: by the countless interaction effects between all the blogs we subscribe to and read (and blogs that link to those). What if blogs are fallout (side effects, unintended consequences) from intentional processes of thinking and writing?

What if blogs come about naturally? What if our blogs have a robust, healthy life of their own? What if blogging is organically ingesting and digesting other blogs to create new cells, growth and movement? What if blogs grow from seeds and ultimately flower when cross pollinated sufficiently? What if blogs have an immune response to repel toxic content and fortify their defenses against destructive influences?

What if blogs prosper amidst innocence? What if our best blogging comes out of not-knowing what blogs are? What if blogging is about the questions we are playing with, rather than the knowledge we are sharing? What if it works to be unfamiliar with blogging because it defeats the purpose to become too familiar? What if blogging is extremely sensitive to analysis paralysis (writer's block, creative constipation) and requires an empty mind for inspirations to come to mind?

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  1. Hi Tom,

    A couple of thought fragments that the reactions bring for me:

    - Individual posts are easier to classify than a blog overall and some blogs are more consistent in form than others. Although, indeed, few are pure forms.

    - To connect dots between this and your storytelling post, I see the taxonomy you offered as being archetypes. As such it can be useful as a self-check for what space am I blogging from at at this moment? What are my goals and motives with this particular post? A step towards more conscious blogging?

    Be well,

  2. Thanks for these thoughts Ray. Your emphasis on the kind of posting (instead of the entire blog) looks like a valuable upgrade to my thinking about these taxonomies.

    Your use of these categories as archetypes to make your own blogging more conscious -- gives me an idea for yet another post to help all of us be more intentional with our approaches and valuable to each other.
    Great comments!