Brad Graham, the man who took the credit—or blame—for coining the word blogosphere, died this week at the age of 41.
Among his many online obituaries, I especially appreciated Jeff Jarvis’s thoughts about the distastefulness of the words that “blog” has birthed: blogosphere, blogariffic, blogfluence, bloggage, blogophile, and blognesia.
But Jarvis is no word purist himself:
“But now I must confess my own sins. Back in the dawn of blogging — I started in September 2001 — a fellow blogospherian, Tony Pierce, turned his online diary into a book. I made the mistake of suggesting it should be called a ‘blook.’
I’m sorry, OK? I’m very sorry. Please don’t include that in my obit. Don’t etch ‘blook’ on my tombstone.
I’m also accused by some of coining ‘Googlejuice,’ but I swear that’s not my fault. I’m searching on Google now for someone else to blame.”
In the audio version of his essay, Jarvis includes thoughts about the fact that, even if they do sometimes make us cringe, cute little names like Google, Twitter, and Blog take off for a reason. It’s because they take scary technology and make it seem less threatening to the masses.
Who, after all, will admit to being afraid of a “tweet”?
Perhaps coining of the word “blogosphere” is not the legacy Brad Graham would have chosen for himself, but it has this googling, blogging, twittering Catholic mom remembering his soul in prayer today.