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Enough of the Blog Pessimism!

Several people have pointed me to the Guardian piece about blogs by Victor Keegan. Sorry guys but you won’t find me getting hot under the collar, I don’t jump up and down defending blogs any more (I got that out of my system years ago). Here, since people asked, is my (hopefully calm) thoughts.

If you read the article the points seem to be that blogging is mostly a spectator sport and that if you want to communicate with a peer group you might be better off with social networking. I agree.

Some people are just never going to be publishers of any sort. Others feel compelled to. The world takes all sorts. Every blog reader does not necessarily also need to be a blog writer. Blogs are an ideal medium for some things, not so ideal for others.

It seems some people need to see blogs commanding every possible facet of the web in order for blogs to not be deemed a failure. Comparing blogs against flickr, youtube, Second Life. Or mistake one type of blog as being all blogs can be. The people who are stuck in the mentality that blogs are diaries (as in the author of the article misleading people into thinking blogging is “the writing of online journals”), or that all bloggers want to be journalists.

Blogs are simply a means to publish. They are a type of content management system. Just like with a desktop publishing package you can create a newsletter or an invitation to your childs party, the tool is not what is important but what you create with it, and what you produce is entirely down to you. Most people who visit blogs do not even make a distinction between one type of website or another, and nor do they need to. What matters is that they get what they came for, entertainment, information, saucy pictures, etc.

Right now blogs are an excellent means to an end but of course one day something better will come along. Long after blogs, and the journalists who bashed it, are a faded memory people will still publish.

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Comments

  1. Amen!

  2. Amen!

  3. “Most people who visit blogs do not even make a distinction between one type of website or another…”

    Exactly! A blog? A content management system? What’s in a name… It’s just a website…

  4. “Most people who visit blogs do not even make a distinction between one type of website or another…”

    Exactly! A blog? A content management system? What’s in a name… It’s just a website…

  5. Yup, it could be written in your own blood for all readers care, they just want what they came for 🙂

  6. Yup, it could be written in your own blood for all readers care, they just want what they came for 🙂

  7. I still have doubts about blogs. They certainly are a form of self publishing, and presumably, if people think your writing is interesting enough, they would seek to publish it, so having to resort to self publishing suggests that your writing isn’t quite up to snuff. It’s time consuming to run a blog and perhaps more time consuming to keep up with other people’s blogs, so I think the current fashion for blogs will fade away in time. For now, they are the “in” thing, and are harmless and just may bring exposure to some people who are out of the spotlight.

  8. I still have doubts about blogs. They certainly are a form of self publishing, and presumably, if people think your writing is interesting enough, they would seek to publish it, so having to resort to self publishing suggests that your writing isn’t quite up to snuff. It’s time consuming to run a blog and perhaps more time consuming to keep up with other people’s blogs, so I think the current fashion for blogs will fade away in time. For now, they are the “in” thing, and are harmless and just may bring exposure to some people who are out of the spotlight.

  9. Depends what your goals are. Not everyone wants to be in print. Many blogs are for fun, sales leads, “just because”.

    By “they would seek to publish it” I take it you mean book publishers? I was approached on several occasions by book publishers on the strength of my online articles, I took the offer up three times and turned more down. Yes I had been published in print before but it was my online work that drew attention.

    Blogs might go away but the need to put our thoughts out there or attract business prospects will never disappear.

  10. Depends what your goals are. Not everyone wants to be in print. Many blogs are for fun, sales leads, “just because”.

    By “they would seek to publish it” I take it you mean book publishers? I was approached on several occasions by book publishers on the strength of my online articles, I took the offer up three times and turned more down. Yes I had been published in print before but it was my online work that drew attention.

    Blogs might go away but the need to put our thoughts out there or attract business prospects will never disappear.

  11. You are correct by saying that blogs are a means of people to publish. I guess blogs are just people ways to get their thoughts out and we still have a long way to go. Like people and I know like to say about our blogs. Just a place to put our thoughts and opinions and we are glad when people read them. And my blog has become my psychiatrist. Sorry I can’t write for anything today.

  12. You are correct by saying that blogs are a means of people to publish. I guess blogs are just people ways to get their thoughts out and we still have a long way to go. Like people and I know like to say about our blogs. Just a place to put our thoughts and opinions and we are glad when people read them. And my blog has become my psychiatrist. Sorry I can’t write for anything today.

  13. I agree with you 100%. A blog is just a publishing and interaction platform, like any other tool its very good for some things, OK at others and bad at the rest.

    While it is possible to use blogs for just about anything, in a lot of cases there are other media/tools which can get the same job done much better.

  14. I agree with you 100%. A blog is just a publishing and interaction platform, like any other tool its very good for some things, OK at others and bad at the rest.

    While it is possible to use blogs for just about anything, in a lot of cases there are other media/tools which can get the same job done much better.

  15. I just logged into my RSS reader after a rare 36 hours away from it, I’ve already been hit with 6 separate posts that paint blogging as a fad or an ineffective means to do this, or to do that.

    Chris, you are right on the money. People come to blogs to get what they came for, and even if the blogging platform itself changes or goes away, it will simply be replaced by another.

    Humans are social creatures, and blogging allows people who aren’t techno-geeks to express that socialistic nature.

    When someone comes out with a “blogging will be replaced by the following…” type of post, I’ll keep an eye on whatever systems are mentioned.

    In fact, I’ll probably blog about it! 😉

  16. I just logged into my RSS reader after a rare 36 hours away from it, I’ve already been hit with 6 separate posts that paint blogging as a fad or an ineffective means to do this, or to do that.

    Chris, you are right on the money. People come to blogs to get what they came for, and even if the blogging platform itself changes or goes away, it will simply be replaced by another.

    Humans are social creatures, and blogging allows people who aren’t techno-geeks to express that socialistic nature.

    When someone comes out with a “blogging will be replaced by the following…” type of post, I’ll keep an eye on whatever systems are mentioned.

    In fact, I’ll probably blog about it! 😉