Phil Sim

Web, media, PR and… footy

What’s a blogger?

Yes, I’m coming very late into this thread but I’m compelled because I think you’ve all missed the point, regarding Simon Dumenco controversial assertion that a blogger is just a writer with a cooler name.

A whole bunch of people (see round-up below) reckon Dumenco doesn’t get it.

Squash of course gets everything. Well, we pretend that we do. And as long as nobody notices the difference, we reckon it’s the same thing.

Among the rebuttals, a lot of people talked about how trackbacks and comment facilities and so forth make blogging different to other forms of writing. Can’t say I agree and I actually side with Dumenco when he says its “just software”. Give it a year and just about publisher on the web will have incorporated comments and trackbacks.

Technology is an enabler. In this instance, it enables the “conversation” the blogosphere is so famous form. Steve Rubel, MicroPersuasion says:“Blogging more closely resembles conversation, not writing. It’s dialogue, while most writing tends to be more monologue in nature.”

But if you post to Internet forums, you’re also engaging in conversations, without necessarily being a blogger.

When it gets down to it, we’re all defined by the rules we play by. I consider myself a journalist. What does that mean? It means I ply my trade by certain rules. I try and be as accurate as possible. I try and always give both sides of the story. I try and published polished pieces of work and I expect to be paid for the effort.

Bloggers have their own rules they play by. They read other blogs. They leave comments. They post as regularly as they can manage. They forgive non-perfect spelling and grammar – to a point. They’re open and honest – to a point. And in return for their efforts they generally hope for some form of affirmation, which comes from comments, trackbacks and eventually a certain level of standing within whatever community of bloggers they are a part of.

Hence, the confusion about what a blogger is. The rules are still being defined. But no, Steve, a blogger is not just a writer, just as a journalist is not just a writer.

Filed under: Blogs

One Response

  1. A guy I know is a music writer for a daily newspaper. He qualifies cos he’s been in some seminal bands for a very long time and is on first name terms with plenty of musos and industry types.
    My blog is about music, a subject I love but which I have no particuarly deep knowledge of. Nor have I ever made a study of it, either academically or as a musician.
    No way would any newspaper hire me to write about music, even though I am a journalist.
    So I’d say blogs give anyone a chance to behave like a journalist, but without the experience, knowledge and editorial rigour that all help make a journalist good.
    So yeah … when it comes to my blog, I’m just some bloke who spouts on a website. The fact I am a journo in my day job is irrelevant.

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