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First we had web logger, which soon became blogger, for a person who creates Web pages, blogs, that contain diary entries detailing their activities, interests or thoughts on life. The concept was extended by adding photographs to blogs (especially taken using the camera functions of mobile phones, so often called moblogging), then recorded sound (which some call audio blogging, though there doesn’t seem to be a common abbreviation for it).

In the past year or so, some bloggers have experimented with video, taking advantage of cheap digital camcorders to provide a continuing television news report on personal events. Obviously enough, this has been called video blogging or video weblogging, vlogging for short, with the person creating the vlog being the vlogger. (I’ve never heard any of these words, but I have been assuming they’re all said with a separate initial “v”, for example, “vee-logger”, mainly because an initial “vl” is unknown in modern English. However, some subscribers tell me they do say them as words.) Many observers feel that it will be slow to catch on, because the tools are relatively expensive, video demands too much bandwidth to transmit, and — above all — too few potential vloggers have the technical skills to make watchable recordings.

An extension of blogging is to collect, display and store all types of digital information about one’s life in a single place for one’s family and friends to access. Such a collection has been called a lifelog, though recently dubbed it life caching. One pundit sourly remarked that it was an excellent way of proving to everyone how boring one’s life really is.

In its most basic form, vlogging does not require very hi-tech equipment: a digital video camera, a high-speed connection and a host are all that is needed.

The Guardian, 7 Aug. 2004

Jeff Jarvis, an early champion of vlogging and founder of, a blog that deals with politics and the media, sees great potential in the phenomenon. “Vlogs are a weird, new kind of way that people can document their lives,” says Jarvis.

Time, 19 Apr. 2004

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Copyright © Michael Quinion, 1996–. All rights reserved.
Page created 4 Sep. 2004

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The English language is forever changing. New words appear; old ones fall out of use or alter their meanings. World Wide Words tries to record at least a part of this shifting wordscape by featuring new words, word histories, words in the news, and the curiosities of native English speech.

World Wide Words is copyright © Michael Quinion, 1996–. All rights reserved.
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Last modified: 4 September 2004.