Pedro de Andrade
Diário vídeo-poético (plog)
Início: 25.12.2005
Sociology of the blogosphere : what is a PVILOG
Pedro Andrade, the 2nd and 7th January 2006

On this contradictory era, when mass media convergence co-inhabits with publics' divergence, ‘pure’ blogs just can’t exist. These days, the blog phenomenon engendered a multitude of descendents, for instance the vlogs and the plogs, some of them more interesting than others.

How is that?

* Recently, video-diaries or vlogs have emerged inside cyberspace, as blogs transmitting periodically messages essentially through video clips instead of written words.

* Furthermore, the term 'plog' is another ‘new kid on the block’.

* Sometimes it means a 'personal blog', as it happens in one of Amazon’s services. Nevertheless, this seems to be a pleonasm, because blogs are often personal diaries diffused in the Internet.

* Other times, the word 'plog' is used in the sense of a 'project blog'. A project blog is a blog made by a collective author. But isn’t this connotation as well a pleonasm, at least partly? In fact, many blogs are already written in a collective style by several people.

So, let’s try to clarify this matter deeplier.

* First of all, the central issue is not whether blogs are personal or collective, but when they are private or public.

* Blogs (‘classical’ blogs, vlogs or plogs or other types of blogs) are private mainly when they are produced by an individual in a personal computer. Nevertheless, at the very moment blogs enter the cyberspace, all of them become public, at least in this sense: they are distributed through a public media like the Internet.

* Secondly, in my perspective, the term ‘plog’ means principally a 'poetry blog', that is to say, a virtual poetic diary.

* Thirdly, what has been happening in the last two centuries, in regard to the mentioned questions, is partly this: the handwritten personal diary, common in the XIX century, was one of the ancestors of the contemporary blog.

* An handwritten personal diary has a private nature, at least until it is published, say, in a book. Blogs are diaries that blend these frontiers in some way. In fact, they are done on the same media vehicle that diffuse them to a wide audience, that is, the computer connected with the internet. Thus, each digital writer is, almost at the same time, its own reader and, potentially, the reader of all the other cyberwriters.

* Fourthly, Habermas circumscribed the constitution of the public sphere to the late XVIII century and the beginning of XIX century. A public opinion emerged at that time, originated from a former popular opinion.

* This public opinion co-exists with a private sphere (and the corresponding private opinion) and with a semi-private sphere/semi-private opinion. The semi-private opinion is deployed for instance in some institutions, organizations and associations.

* Nowadays, blogs are inhabiting a special kind of public sphere, the cyberspace, where they engender a ciber-opinion. The cyber-opinion is a global opinion, distinct from the former main types of public opinion, which are the national public opinion and the local public opinion.

* Fifthly, Mikhail Bakhtine forged the concept 'hybridization’. Applying this notion to cyberspace, we can note that hybrid things are the most genuine entities we find in the internet.

* These mixed media things can be better thought through medianting concepts, like ‘vlog’ or ‘plog’ and not only ‘weblog’ (or blog), this last term being already itself an hybrid idea.

* Medianting and hybrid concepts construct new meanings, different from ‘pure’ meanings associated with ‘denotative concepts’ that populate the modernity arena.

So, what can we draw as a (provisory) conclusion of the anterior discussion?

* My poetic-video-diary, being a diary diffused in the internet, is a blog.

* As I use digital video, the diary becomes equally a vlog.

* And when I communicate poetry inside it, I transform it in a plog.

* Synthetically, this poetic-video-diary results from a mixed media combination of the previous diaries. And it derives from a multicultural dialog, as it uses English and Portuguese, two of the more worldwide spoken languages.

* Thus, its more genuine name should be ' poetry-video-blog ' or, briefly, pvilog.

Furthermore, as a central consequence of what has been said above, we have to stop thinking of the blogosphere separated from the real virtual world.

Definitively, we must begin constructing the pvilogosphere, or other hybrid public spheres or hybridospheres inside the Internet. You name it!