Sign up right now for email updates and get two free ebooks:

What is a Blog Post Really?

This post started out quite different. I was just going to tell you what I thought a Blog Post was, my definition, but then I thought it would be more interesting to open it up to you.

The thought was prompted by a thread in the forum about an article by Jakob Nielsen advising people to “write articles not blog postings“.

My comment in the thread was that I thought he doesn’t understand what a blog is.

But am I wrong? Is it me who is confused about what a blog or blog post is?

After all, in the absence of an “official” definition, these things are decided by consensus. Most people who read blogs either don’t know they are reading a blog or have discovered them in the last couple of years. The vast majority of blogs do not generate revenue.

It could be my view point is wildly skewed.

If that is the case, who am I to tell Mr Nielson he is wrong? He is obviously a smart bloke with even smarter friends. He can definitely teach me a thing or two about usability. For what it’s worth, I do agree with some of the things he says in that article :)

OK, enough of that, here is what I think …

Without going into too much detail, I believe a blog is whatever you want to make it. I think many people think a blog post has to be either “what my cat ate for breakfast” or “here is a link, isn’t it cool?”. Yes, a blog post can be that, but as you will have seen, my blog posts tend to be more like essays or tutorials. Neither is right. If I had to pin down a razor-thin difference between “article” and “blog post” it would be that a blog post is intended to be part of a conversation whereas an article is written not expecting an “answer”.

What do you think a blog post is?

Please add your comments …

Tags: , , , , ,

Sign up right now for email updates and get these
two free ebooks

"Creating Killer
Flagship Content"

"Authority Alliances"

Just enter your primary email address in the form below and hit the button!

Before commenting, please read my Comments Policy - thanks!

Comments

  1. I agree that a blog is what you make it, but I tend to like reading blogs that are “blog posts” and make me feel like you are personally talking to me, and make me want to reply like your post just did.
    The funny part is I do the opposite, I tend to blog like an “article”.

    I think blogs that talk to their readers do better. Now if I could just manage to write that way.

    Thanks for an interesting “post”.

  2. I agree that a blog is what you make it, but I tend to like reading blogs that are “blog posts” and make me feel like you are personally talking to me, and make me want to reply like your post just did.
    The funny part is I do the opposite, I tend to blog like an “article”.

    I think blogs that talk to their readers do better. Now if I could just manage to write that way.

    Thanks for an interesting “post”.

  3. I agree that a blog is what you make it, but I tend to like reading blogs that are “blog posts” and make me feel like you are personally talking to me, and make me want to reply like your post just did.
    The funny part is I do the opposite, I tend to blog like an “article”.

    I think blogs that talk to their readers do better. Now if I could just manage to write that way.

    Thanks for an interesting “post”.

  4. I do see a difference between an article and a post. A post is a short, throw away message. Be it about a Lazy Sunday, or a Panda sneezing. I see an article more as pillar content; its a long written article that helps define what your blog is known for.

  5. I do see a difference between an article and a post. A post is a short, throw away message. Be it about a Lazy Sunday, or a Panda sneezing. I see an article more as pillar content; its a long written article that helps define what your blog is known for.

  6. Hi Chris, it’s an interesting question.

    Thinking about the way I categorise blog posts vs articles:

    Article (for me) is longer – my posts tend to be shorter

    Article you’re positioning yourself as ‘expert’ – blog post as you say is part of a conversation, leaving part of the answer unsaid else how else are people going to chip in?

    Article is structured with begininng, middle and end – blog posts give you the chance to explore your ideas and thinking (in public! scary! but great for building rapport…)

    Article is more impersonal – blog posts have more of your own ‘voice’, narrative, experience

    Article a bit more formal – you can use more everyday conversational language in a blog post

    Article is kind of closed – blog posts can lead into all sorts of amazing places that you don’t envisage when you write them

    Articles work as one off (hence their value) – blog posts are more multi-storied, making connections to the work of other bloggers, comments from readers, other stuff you’ve written yourself

    It does depend on the purpose of your blog and it’s perfectly possible to include ‘how to’ posts within that medium that serve as a stand alone introduction to a topic, demonstrating your ‘expertise’.

    But the main thing with a blog is that your reader gets more of an insight into you as a person, the opportunity to engage with you, sees that you’re open to ideas, to conversation, to dialogue…

    Sorry – went on at length there, but it’s an interesting question.

    I agree with your line in the thread that ‘shoulds’ ‘musts’ etc are unhelpful limitations, but I do see distinctions between the two media. And I know which one I prefer!

    Joanna

  7. I do see a difference between an article and a post. A post is a short, throw away message. Be it about a Lazy Sunday, or a Panda sneezing. I see an article more as pillar content; its a long written article that helps define what your blog is known for.

  8. Hi Chris, it’s an interesting question.

    Thinking about the way I categorise blog posts vs articles:

    Article (for me) is longer – my posts tend to be shorter

    Article you’re positioning yourself as ‘expert’ – blog post as you say is part of a conversation, leaving part of the answer unsaid else how else are people going to chip in?

    Article is structured with begininng, middle and end – blog posts give you the chance to explore your ideas and thinking (in public! scary! but great for building rapport…)

    Article is more impersonal – blog posts have more of your own ‘voice’, narrative, experience

    Article a bit more formal – you can use more everyday conversational language in a blog post

    Article is kind of closed – blog posts can lead into all sorts of amazing places that you don’t envisage when you write them

    Articles work as one off (hence their value) – blog posts are more multi-storied, making connections to the work of other bloggers, comments from readers, other stuff you’ve written yourself

    It does depend on the purpose of your blog and it’s perfectly possible to include ‘how to’ posts within that medium that serve as a stand alone introduction to a topic, demonstrating your ‘expertise’.

    But the main thing with a blog is that your reader gets more of an insight into you as a person, the opportunity to engage with you, sees that you’re open to ideas, to conversation, to dialogue…

    Sorry – went on at length there, but it’s an interesting question.

    I agree with your line in the thread that ‘shoulds’ ‘musts’ etc are unhelpful limitations, but I do see distinctions between the two media. And I know which one I prefer!

    Joanna

  9. Well, let us remember what is blog… It is a “web log” – you write YOUR logs here on the net. Logs can variate from “what my cat ate for breakfast” or “here is a link, isn’t it cool?” to retelling some news.

    Now when you are providing some information which is useful not only for YOU but for your readers it is also a post but it is not-so-a-log, correct me if I’m wrong.
    Actually I like this tendency to move to one’s readers and post about what will be interesting either for you or your readers.

    And, Chris, I’m sure you don’t have to wonder if it’s alright to disagree with someone’s opinion, not depending on whose this opinion is.
    That is the blog – write, share, talk about YOUR personal opinion. :)

    P.S. Sorry for caps – just too much thoughts and emotions here in my head

  10. Well, let us remember what is blog… It is a “web log” – you write YOUR logs here on the net. Logs can variate from “what my cat ate for breakfast” or “here is a link, isn’t it cool?” to retelling some news.

    Now when you are providing some information which is useful not only for YOU but for your readers it is also a post but it is not-so-a-log, correct me if I’m wrong.
    Actually I like this tendency to move to one’s readers and post about what will be interesting either for you or your readers.

    And, Chris, I’m sure you don’t have to wonder if it’s alright to disagree with someone’s opinion, not depending on whose this opinion is.
    That is the blog – write, share, talk about YOUR personal opinion. :)

    P.S. Sorry for caps – just too much thoughts and emotions here in my head

  11. I read Jakob Nielsen article too and the first thing that popped into my mind was good link bait Jakob; you are a smart man. Aside from some good link bait though, I think he’s wrong. If you don’t like blog post showing up in the search engine then yell at the search engines to fix the problem – it’s not a blogging problem, but a search engine problem.

    Remember this is the same guy that called Flash 99% bad and then later retracted his statement.

  12. I read Jakob Nielsen article too and the first thing that popped into my mind was good link bait Jakob; you are a smart man. Aside from some good link bait though, I think he’s wrong. If you don’t like blog post showing up in the search engine then yell at the search engines to fix the problem – it’s not a blogging problem, but a search engine problem.

    Remember this is the same guy that called Flash 99% bad and then later retracted his statement.

  13. A blog post is anything you want it to be.

    I read Jakob’s piece too, and I agree and disagree. Articles and essays are great, but some of the best blog posts are pithy, useful, and funny.

    Blog posts are more conversational than traditional print articles because of commenting technology and trackbacks. But internet articles can be published on a blog platform and still become a discussion or debate across the internet.

    Look what we are doing right now… having a conversation about Jakob’s article. I wonder if Jakob is listening?

  14. A blog post is anything you want it to be.

    I read Jakob’s piece too, and I agree and disagree. Articles and essays are great, but some of the best blog posts are pithy, useful, and funny.

    Blog posts are more conversational than traditional print articles because of commenting technology and trackbacks. But internet articles can be published on a blog platform and still become a discussion or debate across the internet.

    Look what we are doing right now… having a conversation about Jakob’s article. I wonder if Jakob is listening?

  15. That is a very interesting question, Chris. Not all posts are going to generate a conversation even when they create interest and links. I’m with you on style, I tend to write more about what I’ve observed and learned in essay style.

    Sometimes it depends on the type of question I ask and if I’m able to stand back enough so that I don’t complete the thought before getting input or a conversation going.

  16. That is a very interesting question, Chris. Not all posts are going to generate a conversation even when they create interest and links. I’m with you on style, I tend to write more about what I’ve observed and learned in essay style.

    Sometimes it depends on the type of question I ask and if I’m able to stand back enough so that I don’t complete the thought before getting input or a conversation going.

  17. Amongst people I know professionally and personally, blogs tend to be seen more as “what my cat ate for breakfast”. However, like you say, chances are that some of these people read blogs without viewing what they’re reading as blog posts.

    I’m currently involved in redoing our company website, as part of it we’re taking “articles” from the existing site, putting them into WordPress and allowing comments. Now they’re “blog posts” :)

    In short I couldn’t differentiate, but when dealing with clients I’m more likely to be understood if I refer to articles.

  18. Amongst people I know professionally and personally, blogs tend to be seen more as “what my cat ate for breakfast”. However, like you say, chances are that some of these people read blogs without viewing what they’re reading as blog posts.

    I’m currently involved in redoing our company website, as part of it we’re taking “articles” from the existing site, putting them into WordPress and allowing comments. Now they’re “blog posts” :)

    In short I couldn’t differentiate, but when dealing with clients I’m more likely to be understood if I refer to articles.

  19. Nathania says:

    I agree that a blog is what you make it. The reason is there are so many different types of blogs with different types of writing and readers.

    It gets old when some bloggers try to decide that some bloggers aren’t legit and should quit blogging b/c they don’t like the content or it’s a personal blog.

    The great thing about blogs is – if you don’t like it – don’t read it!

    But trying to narrow down what a blog is – is nuts. It’s a very general term. So saying a blog is this or a blog is that is like trying to say all women should look like Pamela Anderson.

  20. Nathania says:

    I agree that a blog is what you make it. The reason is there are so many different types of blogs with different types of writing and readers.

    It gets old when some bloggers try to decide that some bloggers aren’t legit and should quit blogging b/c they don’t like the content or it’s a personal blog.

    The great thing about blogs is – if you don’t like it – don’t read it!

    But trying to narrow down what a blog is – is nuts. It’s a very general term. So saying a blog is this or a blog is that is like trying to say all women should look like Pamela Anderson.

  21. I agree, blog posts can be anything. I know that because I have a blog tool and I can scribble anything on it.

    I guess what matters is what is a ‘good’ blog post. I go back and forth on the “blogs are conversations” creed, at least in defining what that means. A blog ( I think )can have no comments – I don’t know anyone who says Seth Godin’s is not a blog. With or without comments, it has to be fairly brief and has a flourish that invites engagement. Like your post here.

  22. I agree, blog posts can be anything. I know that because I have a blog tool and I can scribble anything on it.

    I guess what matters is what is a ‘good’ blog post. I go back and forth on the “blogs are conversations” creed, at least in defining what that means. A blog ( I think )can have no comments – I don’t know anyone who says Seth Godin’s is not a blog. With or without comments, it has to be fairly brief and has a flourish that invites engagement. Like your post here.

  23. @Miss_MoneyMaker – I like the “talking to me” aspect also. I tend to read bloggers with personality more than “just the facts” types

    @Desty – Would you say my posts tend to be articles then?

    @Joanna – Don’t apologise for length, it’s a great comment :) I wonder though, my posts/articles tend towards the longer end of the word count spectrum, and are in the most part quite chatty, with a call for comments at the end … do I write posts or articles? I Would say they are essay-style blog posts?

    @Helen – I know the feeling, I sometimes wonder if my thoughts will leak out my ears :) Yes I think we are all allowed our opinions, it’s one of the cool things about blogging :)

    @mark – Good point, and the blogosphere has long been a target of linkbait because we fall for it every time :)

    @Steve – Agreed, the ability to “talk back” is very powerful and must have a big influence on how we write. That said there are as many bloggers who either turn off comments or at least don’t answer them …

    @Valeria – Oh yeah, there are niches where it is very difficult to spark conversation, whereas there are others where you are going to get a reply regardless of if you asked for them :)

    @Colin – Yes and writing articles for clients marketing purposes has a longer history than blogs have been around. For the most part for past non-blog clients I called it a site and publishing articles/content, I don’t tend to use the b-word unless I sense they are open to that. That said, my clients come through my blog now or at least because of it.

    @Nathania – Good point, in the end it is just a tool, and a very flexible one at that :)

    @John – I have had the argument with Seth about comments and lack of, neither of us will back down but I can see his reasoning even if I don’t entirely agree with it. It’s a shame to me when a blog doesn’t allow comments, or allows them but ignores them. I think it is evidence of thinking only the authors opinion matters. Of course it doesn’t stop me reading Seths blog, but if it was anyone else would I be so forgiving? Probably not.

  24. @Miss_MoneyMaker – I like the “talking to me” aspect also. I tend to read bloggers with personality more than “just the facts” types

    @Desty – Would you say my posts tend to be articles then?

    @Joanna – Don’t apologise for length, it’s a great comment :) I wonder though, my posts/articles tend towards the longer end of the word count spectrum, and are in the most part quite chatty, with a call for comments at the end … do I write posts or articles? I Would say they are essay-style blog posts?

    @Helen – I know the feeling, I sometimes wonder if my thoughts will leak out my ears :) Yes I think we are all allowed our opinions, it’s one of the cool things about blogging :)

    @mark – Good point, and the blogosphere has long been a target of linkbait because we fall for it every time :)

    @Steve – Agreed, the ability to “talk back” is very powerful and must have a big influence on how we write. That said there are as many bloggers who either turn off comments or at least don’t answer them …

    @Valeria – Oh yeah, there are niches where it is very difficult to spark conversation, whereas there are others where you are going to get a reply regardless of if you asked for them :)

    @Colin – Yes and writing articles for clients marketing purposes has a longer history than blogs have been around. For the most part for past non-blog clients I called it a site and publishing articles/content, I don’t tend to use the b-word unless I sense they are open to that. That said, my clients come through my blog now or at least because of it.

    @Nathania – Good point, in the end it is just a tool, and a very flexible one at that :)

    @John – I have had the argument with Seth about comments and lack of, neither of us will back down but I can see his reasoning even if I don’t entirely agree with it. It’s a shame to me when a blog doesn’t allow comments, or allows them but ignores them. I think it is evidence of thinking only the authors opinion matters. Of course it doesn’t stop me reading Seths blog, but if it was anyone else would I be so forgiving? Probably not.

  25. If we gave a stack of blank paper to Shakespeare, he might use it write a play; I might use the same stack of paper for grocery lists or sketching pictures…
    I think of blogs as simply the digital equivalent to a notebook or paper and pen — obviously, with amazing new capabilities…
    Blogs are tools.

  26. Successful bloggers write articles, so at least Jacob tuned into that. The fact that he doesn’t seem to realize there are lots of top bloggers writing lots of articles makes him look a bit clueless.

  27. Successful bloggers write articles, so at least Jacob tuned into that. The fact that he doesn’t seem to realize there are lots of top bloggers writing lots of articles makes him look a bit clueless.

  28. If we gave a stack of blank paper to Shakespeare, he might use it write a play; I might use the same stack of paper for grocery lists or sketching pictures…

    I think of blogs as simply the digital equivalent to a notebook or paper and pen — obviously, with amazing new capabilities…

    Blogs are tools.

  29. @Brian – Yup, either clueless or linkbaiter … not sure if he doesn’t get it or if he is poking us with a big pointy linkbait stick ;)

    @Slade – Yeah, I guess a blog is just like a fresh pad of paper and a full set of crayons, picasso or pile’o'crap, it’s down to us :)

  30. @Brian – Yup, either clueless or linkbaiter … not sure if he doesn’t get it or if he is poking us with a big pointy linkbait stick ;)

    @Slade – Yeah, I guess a blog is just like a fresh pad of paper and a full set of crayons, picasso or pile’o'crap, it’s down to us :)

  31. @Brian – Yup, either clueless or linkbaiter … not sure if he doesn’t get it or if he is poking us with a big pointy linkbait stick ;)

    @Slade – Yeah, I guess a blog is just like a fresh pad of paper and a full set of crayons, picasso or pile’o'crap, it’s down to us :)

  32. A blog is a tool, so what each blogger chooses to do in their blog is up to them. And it might change.

    I started blogging one year ago today, purely to explore the tool, to understand what communities and people are “out there” and to assemble a few ideas. Since then, I have taken my consulting business in a totally new direction and my blogging style has changed, too.

    I agree with Valeria that blogs don’t need to be the sole forum for discussion. I have discovered that many of my posts have been catalysts for valuable debate and discussion that I only learned of long after the fact.

    Kudos to Jakob Nielsen for inspiring the discussion. At the same time, blogging will be as unique as the writer, their point of view, their reasons and objectives for blogging and most important, their intended audiences.

  33. A blog is a tool, so what each blogger chooses to do in their blog is up to them. And it might change.

    I started blogging one year ago today, purely to explore the tool, to understand what communities and people are “out there” and to assemble a few ideas. Since then, I have taken my consulting business in a totally new direction and my blogging style has changed, too.

    I agree with Valeria that blogs don’t need to be the sole forum for discussion. I have discovered that many of my posts have been catalysts for valuable debate and discussion that I only learned of long after the fact.

    Kudos to Jakob Nielsen for inspiring the discussion. At the same time, blogging will be as unique as the writer, their point of view, their reasons and objectives for blogging and most important, their intended audiences.

  34. A blog post is something written using a blog interface, rather than on a static web page. Originally blogs were created for web professionals to keep track of sites they visited. But it has evolved to a major news and information sharing venue.

    Though many people still use blogs only to make notes about their daily lives, often these days writers use them to expound on one narrow topic, to appeal to those readers who need their specific type of information.

    I could not help but think Nielsen’s comments about blog posts were not well thought out. You can write articles on a blog, or on a static web page. Blogs make it more fun, interactive, and easy to post, especially for people with no HTML experience.

  35. A blog post is something written using a blog interface, rather than on a static web page. Originally blogs were created for web professionals to keep track of sites they visited. But it has evolved to a major news and information sharing venue.

    Though many people still use blogs only to make notes about their daily lives, often these days writers use them to expound on one narrow topic, to appeal to those readers who need their specific type of information.

    I could not help but think Nielsen’s comments about blog posts were not well thought out. You can write articles on a blog, or on a static web page. Blogs make it more fun, interactive, and easy to post, especially for people with no HTML experience.

  36. Brian raises a good point — I received the original Nielsen newsletter and when I first read it, before finding the discussion here, I remember thinking “he obviously hasn’t read my blogs.”

    I write infrequent, very in depth articles — and I DO refer to them as “articles” — I consider my blogs to be a platform most similar to a newspaper or magazine column.

    Nielsen’s statement would be offensive if I didn’t just assume that, as Brian said, he’s obviously clueless.

  37. Brian raises a good point — I received the original Nielsen newsletter and when I first read it, before finding the discussion here, I remember thinking “he obviously hasn’t read my blogs.”

    I write infrequent, very in depth articles — and I DO refer to them as “articles” — I consider my blogs to be a platform most similar to a newspaper or magazine column.

    Nielsen’s statement would be offensive if I didn’t just assume that, as Brian said, he’s obviously clueless.

  38. It’s very difficult to define a blog. I’ll go ahead and agree with Chris, that a lot of what a blog is about is conversation. I think that comments are what makes blogs so unique.

    Using WordPress or Typepad does not mean you have a blog.

    WordPress is just a Content Management System (CMS), used by people to create blogs and/or websites. If you set up WordPress and use it to publish a bunch of articles withouth comments, then you are using it as an easy tool to create a website. You could have done the same thing with Drupal or Joomla, but WordPress might be an easier way to create a website that only contains articles. You can even remove the post dates from the WordPress template, then you really have a website (not a blog).

    On the other hand, when you use wordpress, with comments, post dates, etc. and you encourage conversation, then you have a blog.

    When I started blogging I set up a blog for fun and turned off comments, because I didn’t want to deal with SPAM. However, a friend of mine took a look at the blog and asked how do I leave a comment? That’s when I saw the error of calling it a blog, it was really just a website.

    The term “blog” is generally used to describe any website that uses a blogging CMS (wordpress, typepad, etc), but in my opinion that definition is too loose.

  39. It’s very difficult to define a blog. I’ll go ahead and agree with Chris, that a lot of what a blog is about is conversation. I think that comments are what makes blogs so unique.

    Using WordPress or Typepad does not mean you have a blog.

    WordPress is just a Content Management System (CMS), used by people to create blogs and/or websites. If you set up WordPress and use it to publish a bunch of articles withouth comments, then you are using it as an easy tool to create a website. You could have done the same thing with Drupal or Joomla, but WordPress might be an easier way to create a website that only contains articles. You can even remove the post dates from the WordPress template, then you really have a website (not a blog).

    On the other hand, when you use wordpress, with comments, post dates, etc. and you encourage conversation, then you have a blog.

    When I started blogging I set up a blog for fun and turned off comments, because I didn’t want to deal with SPAM. However, a friend of mine took a look at the blog and asked how do I leave a comment? That’s when I saw the error of calling it a blog, it was really just a website.

    The term “blog” is generally used to describe any website that uses a blogging CMS (wordpress, typepad, etc), but in my opinion that definition is too loose.

  40. I’ve always thought of blog posts as part of a broader conversation/discussion (i.e. you link out to other bloggers and respond to their posts, you share your opinion, etc.) and articles as more of a lecture thing – you’re talking AT your readers in order to impart knowledge instead of with them.

  41. I’ve always thought of blog posts as part of a broader conversation/discussion (i.e. you link out to other bloggers and respond to their posts, you share your opinion, etc.) and articles as more of a lecture thing – you’re talking AT your readers in order to impart knowledge instead of with them.

  42. Perhaps a blog is just the tool used to post articles. :-)

  43. Perhaps a blog is just the tool used to post articles. :-)

  44. Hi, Chris

    Yeah, I read that post from Jakob too, and I’d agree with you – I don’t think he understands blogs. My guess is that he’s trying to apply his knowledge of usability on websites to “this new blog thing that everyone’s talking about”.

    Blogs started out as personal journals, and have moved and mutated to something very different now, and the transformation continues.

  45. Hi, Chris

    Yeah, I read that post from Jakob too, and I’d agree with you – I don’t think he understands blogs. My guess is that he’s trying to apply his knowledge of usability on websites to “this new blog thing that everyone’s talking about”.

    Blogs started out as personal journals, and have moved and mutated to something very different now, and the transformation continues.

  46. A blog post is an expression of thought. A piece of writing at its simplest that can be used to convey any number of things.

    With the advent of micro-blogging platforms like Twitter and Jaiku I think blog posts are expanding in their breadth. They’re now anything from in-depth articles and discussions on wheter life exists outside our planet to “I’m having a coffee” tweets.

  47. Chris,

    Since the outset I’ve always thought that a blog is whatever you make it. That will determine your readership and conversation (or lack of).

    Here’s something I’ve discovered since starting up last August: I cannot tell whether a lengthy “article” or a quick thought will generate conversation.

    Based on “conventional wisdom,” the quickies are supposed to be what blogging is all about. Yet the posts that some would call an “article” have ended up garnering the most ongoing conversation–and then lead to follow up “articles” which continue the conversation.

    I believe that what started out as a journaling tool has grown up–and grown into–a much broader communication vehicle. As a result, writers and readers are treating it according to their individual preferences. What we are seeing is web-based communication with niches.

    It’s wonderful.

  48. A blog post is an expression of thought. A piece of writing at its simplest that can be used to convey any number of things.

    With the advent of micro-blogging platforms like Twitter and Jaiku I think blog posts are expanding in their breadth. They’re now anything from in-depth articles and discussions on wheter life exists outside our planet to “I’m having a coffee” tweets.

  49. Chris,

    Since the outset I’ve always thought that a blog is whatever you make it. That will determine your readership and conversation (or lack of).

    Here’s something I’ve discovered since starting up last August: I cannot tell whether a lengthy “article” or a quick thought will generate conversation.

    Based on “conventional wisdom,” the quickies are supposed to be what blogging is all about. Yet the posts that some would call an “article” have ended up garnering the most ongoing conversation–and then lead to follow up “articles” which continue the conversation.

    I believe that what started out as a journaling tool has grown up–and grown into–a much broader communication vehicle. As a result, writers and readers are treating it according to their individual preferences. What we are seeing is web-based communication with niches.

    It’s wonderful.

  50. To me, blog post is just a unit of content on a blogging platform. A blog is a web-based content management system that displays content in reverse chronological order.

    Anything else you would want to say about it is opinion and/or personal experience. Most of the blog posts on my video blogs don’t fit Mr Nielsen’s ideas about either blog posts or articles, so where does that leave me?

    Without the content, a blog post is only a potentiality. It really is whatever you the blogger make it, and not what Mr Nielsen says it is. He is overstepping his bounds, I think, in opining on something about which he has little knowledge and virtually no experience.

  51. To me, blog post is just a unit of content on a blogging platform. A blog is a web-based content management system that displays content in reverse chronological order.

    Anything else you would want to say about it is opinion and/or personal experience. Most of the blog posts on my video blogs don’t fit Mr Nielsen’s ideas about either blog posts or articles, so where does that leave me?

    Without the content, a blog post is only a potentiality. It really is whatever you the blogger make it, and not what Mr Nielsen says it is. He is overstepping his bounds, I think, in opining on something about which he has little knowledge and virtually no experience.

  52. Well, an interesting discussion but I guess it hasn’t changed my mind about what I’m trying to do with my blog.

    I write separate, longer articles but my blog is really a series of short articles written hopefully in a conversational tone to make a point, to be informative, but also to invite comments back.

  53. Well, an interesting discussion but I guess it hasn’t changed my mind about what I’m trying to do with my blog.

    I write separate, longer articles but my blog is really a series of short articles written hopefully in a conversational tone to make a point, to be informative, but also to invite comments back.

  54. Well, an interesting discussion but I guess it hasn’t changed my mind about what I’m trying to do with my blog.

    I write separate, longer articles but my blog is really a series of short articles written hopefully in a conversational tone to make a point, to be informative, but also to invite comments back.

  55. Hi Chris.

    A blog is simply a tool to express. You can talk about the extra-terrestrial science, you can talk about existentialism, you can talk about your cat or you can talk about business. Nielson doesn’t like blogging because he is scared of it. Blogging exposes, in most cases, your true side. A blog post is an extension of your personal side. It is an interaction, a conversation, and conversation happens both ways. Conventional writers shrug conversation because then people can directly question their “authority”. I hope Nielson’s client changes his or her consultant fast ;-)

  56. Hi Chris.

    A blog is simply a tool to express. You can talk about the extra-terrestrial science, you can talk about existentialism, you can talk about your cat or you can talk about business. Nielson doesn’t like blogging because he is scared of it. Blogging exposes, in most cases, your true side. A blog post is an extension of your personal side. It is an interaction, a conversation, and conversation happens both ways. Conventional writers shrug conversation because then people can directly question their “authority”. I hope Nielson’s client changes his or her consultant fast ;-)

  57. Hi Chris.

    A blog is simply a tool to express. You can talk about the extra-terrestrial science, you can talk about existentialism, you can talk about your cat or you can talk about business. Nielson doesn’t like blogging because he is scared of it. Blogging exposes, in most cases, your true side. A blog post is an extension of your personal side. It is an interaction, a conversation, and conversation happens both ways. Conventional writers shrug conversation because then people can directly question their “authority”. I hope Nielson’s client changes his or her consultant fast ;-)

  58. Great post, great comments!

    I’m only starting, but I have to say that I think of my posts as articles – they are normally long and I think them through and make sure everything is accurate before pressing that Publish button.

    But I suffer for it – I know one of the ‘rules’ of successful blogging is that you should blog often, but I don’t have much time, so my articles come out about a week apart!

    I think maybe I need to loosen up a bit, but I just can’t seem to post if I haven’t tripled checked everything… Maybe this is a hangup of my previous jobs when I was writing things on behalf of the company.

  59. Great post, great comments!

    I’m only starting, but I have to say that I think of my posts as articles – they are normally long and I think them through and make sure everything is accurate before pressing that Publish button.

    But I suffer for it – I know one of the ‘rules’ of successful blogging is that you should blog often, but I don’t have much time, so my articles come out about a week apart!

    I think maybe I need to loosen up a bit, but I just can’t seem to post if I haven’t tripled checked everything… Maybe this is a hangup of my previous jobs when I was writing things on behalf of the company.

  60. Great post, great comments!

    I’m only starting, but I have to say that I think of my posts as articles – they are normally long and I think them through and make sure everything is accurate before pressing that Publish button.

    But I suffer for it – I know one of the ‘rules’ of successful blogging is that you should blog often, but I don’t have much time, so my articles come out about a week apart!

    I think maybe I need to loosen up a bit, but I just can’t seem to post if I haven’t tripled checked everything… Maybe this is a hangup of my previous jobs when I was writing things on behalf of the company.

  61. Chris, my mouth actually dropped open and emitted a long “aaaaaah”. I really like that definition.

    And maybe therein lies the reason many blogs don’t have conversations. They display articles passing themselves off as blog posts but don’t really stir up any questions. They tell, not ask.

  62. Chris, my mouth actually dropped open and emitted a long “aaaaaah”. I really like that definition.

    And maybe therein lies the reason many blogs don’t have conversations. They display articles passing themselves off as blog posts but don’t really stir up any questions. They tell, not ask.

  63. Chris, my mouth actually dropped open and emitted a long “aaaaaah”. I really like that definition.

    And maybe therein lies the reason many blogs don’t have conversations. They display articles passing themselves off as blog posts but don’t really stir up any questions. They tell, not ask.

  64. Maybe its just because of the articles I have posted but I do not seem to agree with much Jakob Nielson ever says.

    This looks like another rant from an old expert who is still struggling with the fact that Blogs are not just a live journal but a good business way of selling things, both big and small.

  65. Maybe its just because of the articles I have posted but I do not seem to agree with much Jakob Nielson ever says.

    This looks like another rant from an old expert who is still struggling with the fact that Blogs are not just a live journal but a good business way of selling things, both big and small.

  66. Maybe its just because of the articles I have posted but I do not seem to agree with much Jakob Nielson ever says.

    This looks like another rant from an old expert who is still struggling with the fact that Blogs are not just a live journal but a good business way of selling things, both big and small.

  67. @Greg – Happy Blogiversary, it’s nice to see someone that has stuck at it as so many people do not :) He certainly has sparked an interesting conversation, which I guess is what blogging is all about :)

    @Linda – I think one of the wonderful things about blogs is as you say, you don’t need any technical or HTML knowledge

    @Slade – It makes you wonder if he has read ANY blogs …
    @George – As I said in my dimensions of blogging post, I think there is a spectrum of blogs from “barely a blog” to the full experience. I think comments are a massive part of blogs but I don’t think I am in the majority

    @Jacqueline – Yes I agree, conversation is a large part of the appeal for me

    @Doug – Perhaps :)

    @Gerald – I’m thinking part of the transformation will be dropping the “blog” name, it doesn’t seem to help rather it confuses :)

    @mcrilf – I have difficulty seeing twitter as blogging though I know a lot of people think of it that way. To me it is more like a delayed IRC

    @Steve – On my blog the posts tend to be quite lengthy compared to the average post, I agree the content tends to determine the comments more than the length

    @Michael – I guess it is ok for him to spout off, we are all entitled to an opinion, regardless of merit. I just wish he had read more blogs before he voiced it :)

    @Adam – Me too

    @Amrit – I imagine his clients probably think the same as us

    @Stephen – I recommend people post when they have something to say, I don’t subscribe to the “filler” idea

    @raj – It’s important to write like you have someone there listening, how would you change things if it was a real world conversation?

    @Jermayn – I think he will notice discussions like this and get hit with the clue stick real soon ;)

  68. @Greg – Happy Blogiversary, it’s nice to see someone that has stuck at it as so many people do not :) He certainly has sparked an interesting conversation, which I guess is what blogging is all about :)

    @Linda – I think one of the wonderful things about blogs is as you say, you don’t need any technical or HTML knowledge

    @Slade – It makes you wonder if he has read ANY blogs …
    @George – As I said in my dimensions of blogging post, I think there is a spectrum of blogs from “barely a blog” to the full experience. I think comments are a massive part of blogs but I don’t think I am in the majority

    @Jacqueline – Yes I agree, conversation is a large part of the appeal for me

    @Doug – Perhaps :)

    @Gerald – I’m thinking part of the transformation will be dropping the “blog” name, it doesn’t seem to help rather it confuses :)

    @mcrilf – I have difficulty seeing twitter as blogging though I know a lot of people think of it that way. To me it is more like a delayed IRC

    @Steve – On my blog the posts tend to be quite lengthy compared to the average post, I agree the content tends to determine the comments more than the length

    @Michael – I guess it is ok for him to spout off, we are all entitled to an opinion, regardless of merit. I just wish he had read more blogs before he voiced it :)

    @Adam – Me too

    @Amrit – I imagine his clients probably think the same as us

    @Stephen – I recommend people post when they have something to say, I don’t subscribe to the “filler” idea

    @raj – It’s important to write like you have someone there listening, how would you change things if it was a real world conversation?

    @Jermayn – I think he will notice discussions like this and get hit with the clue stick real soon ;)

  69. @Greg – Happy Blogiversary, it’s nice to see someone that has stuck at it as so many people do not :) He certainly has sparked an interesting conversation, which I guess is what blogging is all about :)

    @Linda – I think one of the wonderful things about blogs is as you say, you don’t need any technical or HTML knowledge

    @Slade – It makes you wonder if he has read ANY blogs …
    @George – As I said in my dimensions of blogging post, I think there is a spectrum of blogs from “barely a blog” to the full experience. I think comments are a massive part of blogs but I don’t think I am in the majority

    @Jacqueline – Yes I agree, conversation is a large part of the appeal for me

    @Doug – Perhaps :)

    @Gerald – I’m thinking part of the transformation will be dropping the “blog” name, it doesn’t seem to help rather it confuses :)

    @mcrilf – I have difficulty seeing twitter as blogging though I know a lot of people think of it that way. To me it is more like a delayed IRC

    @Steve – On my blog the posts tend to be quite lengthy compared to the average post, I agree the content tends to determine the comments more than the length

    @Michael – I guess it is ok for him to spout off, we are all entitled to an opinion, regardless of merit. I just wish he had read more blogs before he voiced it :)

    @Adam – Me too

    @Amrit – I imagine his clients probably think the same as us

    @Stephen – I recommend people post when they have something to say, I don’t subscribe to the “filler” idea

    @raj – It’s important to write like you have someone there listening, how would you change things if it was a real world conversation?

    @Jermayn – I think he will notice discussions like this and get hit with the clue stick real soon ;)

  70. @Chris – Yes you would hope so but in his rant, I mean blog article he has his own dig at the people (ie me) who have a go at his rants etc

  71. @Chris – Yes you would hope so but in his rant, I mean blog article he has his own dig at the people (ie me) who have a go at his rants etc

  72. For me, the content & length of blog posts shift on demand per the purpose. Posts at 2Dolphins range from very personal, almost conversant entries to fairly formal article-like posts – and everything in-between.

    I’ve often felt that one of the greatest strengths of blogging lies in its malleability.

  73. For me, the content & length of blog posts shift on demand per the purpose. Posts at 2Dolphins range from very personal, almost conversant entries to fairly formal article-like posts – and everything in-between.

    I’ve often felt that one of the greatest strengths of blogging lies in its malleability.

  74. Kathiroly Raj says:

    It is true blog posts appears in many forms, ranging from well written articles, a well written chronicles of one’s life or just some random thoughts. Whatever one is writing about, its a personal choice, but the question is, are they useful or useless? Even random thoughts can be well written into something useful for the reader. I guess a lot more people are moving into this kind of thinking nowadays. Anyway, thanks for writing this. Thumbs up !

  75. It is true blog posts appears in many forms, ranging from well written articles, a well written chronicles of one’s life or just some random thoughts. Whatever one is writing about, its a personal choice, but the question is, are they useful or useless? Even random thoughts can be well written into something useful for the reader. I guess a lot more people are moving into this kind of thinking nowadays. Anyway, thanks for writing this. Thumbs up !

  76. Chris,
    I thought your blog was about your own thoughts. If a blogger needed a teacher to grade their blogs before posting them, then hardly anyone would be blogging. Blogging is for the sake of the author. Blogs are meant to be free and just write for yourself. You don’t pick your audience, they pick you. The point of the blog is to write for yourself and if people like it they will find you.

  77. Chris,
    I thought your blog was about your own thoughts. If a blogger needed a teacher to grade their blogs before posting them, then hardly anyone would be blogging. Blogging is for the sake of the author. Blogs are meant to be free and just write for yourself. You don’t pick your audience, they pick you. The point of the blog is to write for yourself and if people like it they will find you.

  78. @Shortshire: I definitely agree that a blog is meant to act as the author’s voice, and the author’s voice alone, but what if the author has difficulty in communicating his/her voice?

    For someone who may not be a competent writer, wouldn’t it be beneficial to have someone there to make sure the blog is a true reflection of the author?

    disclaimer: I’m thinking of bringing on a blogging ‘coach’

  79. @Shortshire: I definitely agree that a blog is meant to act as the author’s voice, and the author’s voice alone, but what if the author has difficulty in communicating his/her voice?

    For someone who may not be a competent writer, wouldn’t it be beneficial to have someone there to make sure the blog is a true reflection of the author?

    disclaimer: I’m thinking of bringing on a blogging ‘coach’

  80. As blogging becomes more prevalent, it seems more and more people want to define and categorize it. Here’s a quote from a piece I wrote a while back about the advent of the blogeratti;

    “If you are thinking about starting a blog for yourself, please do. Do not be intimidated or influenced by rules, or those that brandish them. I encourage you to be yourself in presentation and expression. Write as often, as much, about anything you want. It is your space and your freedom to do so.”

    I’m not a regular reader here, but I have to say “well done” Chris. You have done an incredible job of utilizing the medium as a profession. (It’s a nice site.) And you’ve taken a wonderfully open minded tack on this issue when it would have been very easy not to considering your position.

    Fabulous!

  81. As blogging becomes more prevalent, it seems more and more people want to define and categorize it. Here’s a quote from a piece I wrote a while back about the advent of the blogeratti;

    “If you are thinking about starting a blog for yourself, please do. Do not be intimidated or influenced by rules, or those that brandish them. I encourage you to be yourself in presentation and expression. Write as often, as much, about anything you want. It is your space and your freedom to do so.”

    I’m not a regular reader here, but I have to say “well done” Chris. You have done an incredible job of utilizing the medium as a profession. (It’s a nice site.) And you’ve taken a wonderfully open minded tack on this issue when it would have been very easy not to considering your position.

    Fabulous!