While searching the net this afternoon and looking at various blogs of PR professionals and friends of mine, I came across the term glog.  I am new to the blogosphere, and have just recently begun to really utilize my blog and come to an understanding of what they are for and what they can do.

Also during my search, the term flog caught my eye as well.  Flogs, for those newbies like me, are, in essence,  fake blogs: a marketing tool used to promote a product by pretending to write a blog out of genuine interest and pure enjoyment for the product or company, when in reality, the whole thing is created and written by the company itself rather than a real blogger.  It is meant to inspire viral marketing and create traffic and interest online.  The ethics behind flogging have created quite a contentious debate in the online world.  A great case to look at is the Wal-Mart flog and all the controversy surrounding it.  OPEN (minds, finds, conversations) does a great job of giving you a sense of the whole ordeal. 

Although flogs are fascinating in themselves and I could probably talk at lengths about them and their ethical consequences, I wish to focus this post on this new (or at least new to me) phenomenon, THE GLOG! <insert dramatic music here> 

So, what the heck is a glog, you ask? Well, from my oh-so in-depth research <insert sarcasm here>, I will attempt to clearly and concisely present my findings.

What started out as CYBORG LOGS, a GLOG stems from the theory of Humanistic Intelligence (HI), wherein a cyborg, by way of synergy between human and machine, function as both human and machine simultaneously.  A glog is simply a walking, talking blog. 

In comparison to blogs, which are usually created on a desktop, glogs can be created anywhere, while doing anything.  Glogs often use portable cameras and as a result, are easier and easier to develop and manipulate.  An interesting cyborg log, aka GLOG, to check out is Steve Mann’s wearcam.org as roving reporter where you can get a better sense of just exactly what a glog is, or can be.

Steve Mann, in the early nineties wore what looked like a large bike helmet, ten pounds of cables and a visor with blinking boxes over his eyes.  This device functioned as a camera.  Mann would then take the images and put them on the internet.  This, as you could imagine, sparked debate and some felt that his undertaking was compromising people’s privacy.  Anders Hove, the executive editor of The Tech, MIT’s newspaper, wrote the article, Wearable Web Camera Goes Too Far, and in it, comments on Mann’s project.

Mann, however, goes too far. I respect Mann’s right to experiment with the Web camera in his office, or at home, or in the rooms of consenting colleagues and friends. But must he continue to subject us to the ongoing culture of seeing him in his ugly apparatus roaming the street freely?

I would place the Web camera phenomenon somewhere in between garish clothing and rollerblades. Garish clothing may be ugly and annoying, but it’s not so annoying to warrant collective action. Fashion violations are given out at Charm School, maybe, but otherwise we should be content to let the fashionally-challenged pass among us with minimal social sanction.

Rollerblading, on the other hand, poses a danger to fellow humans. That’s why it’s not allowed in MIT buildings. In addition, however, the vast majority of people find rollerblading so annoying that it warrants additional social sanction. It would be impolite, for example, for someone to rollerblade in my room.

The Web camera, then, falls between the two. It poses no danger to us, but it is so extraordinarily annoying and disconcerting to look at that every social pressure ought to be applied to get its (currently only one) wearer to come to his senses.

Interestingly though, this doesn’t seem to be the only usage of the word. Upon further digging, I came across

  • Mark’s Glog, a blog on game design and game development – apparently, a glog is a games logabout designing and creating computer games
  • GLOG: A Genevan Log, the narrative of an Englishman, living and working in Geneva
  • Glog, the life in Blog of Gregory Alan Jeffery Clarke

From the looks of it, these three examples of glogs which are really blogs.  The creators have reappropriated the term glog to fit in with a word that starts with G, which is clever and enjoyable, but does not meet the criteria of a traditional glog (if there is such a thing). 

This whole idea of the glog has developed quite dramatically since its creation as it seems that Steve Mann’s research has now entered the mainstream.  You can read more about Mann’s latest project in the online article, Cyborg research hits mainstream.