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Plogging - Stupid Name, Significant Concept

I've never been particularly keen on the term 'blog', it sounds more like a poorly conceived alien creature from some long-forgotten kids TV show than a mode of DIY online journalism. Bearing that in mind, altering the phrase to make it sound even more silly isn't exactly a confidence booster. If a 'blog' sounds like a weird alien, 'plogging' sounds like some gross' laborious activity that sewer workers have to do from time to time. Stupid name aside though, it's actually a fairly significant movement.

Blogs started out as a means for anyone and everyone to keep and promote an online journal, but now they are big business and casual, personal blogs are nowhere near the standard any more. These days, most casual writers use social media to keep track of their musings, and the platforms are paying attention. Facebook has expanded the 'Notes' feature to make it more prominent and rumour has it that Twitter might soon be doing away with the 140-character limit, or at least extending it (terrible idea).

Plogging, if you hadn't already guessed, stands for 'platform blogging'. It's kind of a no-brainer, why create a blog which you will then go on to promote through social media, when you could just cut out the middle man? It will likely have far greater appeal to those who have no interest in writing as a career path, but like to express their thoughts in long form posts. My Facebook is brimming with such people.

It might seem insignificant, but it's something I'm very glad of. One of the worst aspects of online culture is the wilful destruction of language. Acronyms are fine if you're working within a stringent character limit or are pushed for time but they've become such a big part of common parlance that nobody would bat an eyelid if I threw an imo or tbh in here. Not that I would ever commit such an atrocity. Then you have TL;DR, one of the worst things ever to be inflicted upon the written word. Fair enough, you shouldn't waffle, but the idea that you have to create a fail-safe mechanism for the people who will get bored of your post before they get to the end is so defeatist and derivative it makes me want to weep.

Plogging (eurgh) is not any kind of direct solution to this, but it will hopefully encourage people to express their thoughts in more detail, which is certainly no bad thing. More long-form chatter in comment sections is becoming more common, especially on Facebook, just a shame that most of it is little more than hollow vitriol. It also means that posts will be more aesthetically pleasing, as it's now easier than ever to format a post, without needing any knowledge of HTML, hell, Squarespace allows you to build an entire website without any, which is a huge leap forward. Social media posting is pretty hideous in format terms at present, it'll be nice that particular niggle un-niggled.

What this might end up yeilding is a new era of longer attention spans, which is an insane idea. The entire of online culture is predicated on short attention spans, everything has to be bitesized, the most information with the smallest possible surface area. This will be particularly true if, as Facebook are likely hoping, serious writers start using Notes as a weapon of choice. The upshot of all this is that you're going to see more detailed content delivered directly to you rather than having to seek it out, which in the end can only be a good thing. Still can't get past the name though. If 'blog' came from 'weblog', surely it should be 'mlog'. No, that's so much worse, never mind. Plogging it is.

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

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Plogging - Stupid Name, Significant Concept Reviewed by Unknown on Friday, October 09, 2015 Rating: 5

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