As I begin this adventure in blogging, certain questions present themselves in my mind. I question, “What honestly validates a blog?” Another part of me, let’s call him Sub Conscio, answers in a blank tone, “What is this validation of which you speak?”, and that part of me is also asking an important question. Today, the amount and types of media is morphing faster than computer processors did back in the early 2000s, and there is no shortage of names for all of these: blogs, podcasts, video podcasts, audioblogs, soundseeing podcasts, vlogs… all coming along with the obligatory podcasters, bloggers, vloggers, netcasters, and the content creators who create them.
Who validates these new media outlets? No one but the readers, listeners, and watchers who appreciate them in the first place. There isn’t a central authority on the internet deciding who gets the primetime slot and who gets Saturday morning at 3 AM. That’s the beauty of it all, media isn’t trapped in a small box with 100 (or if you’re unlucky, 999) channels anymore. The only validation the creators of this content get is response from their peers.
The word validate comes from the Latin word validus which itself comes from an older word valere which means to “be strong.” Flashing forward to the 21st century, we could certainly describe the popular new media outlets as “strong” and growing stronger because they’re now building a strong reputation for great content. Indeed, by taking a quick look at the Oxford English Dictionary, we can learn a little more about the history of the word we’re using and therefore understand it’s current context in a deeper way.
The practical upshot of all this is that great content validates a blog.
Nothing more, nothing less.