What’s more important? The process of blogging or the blog?
I’m a publishing guy. For me, it’s not just about the content. It’s about the end-result. The published entity or in the context of this discussion, the blog. The combination of layout, design and voice that all come together to create something that is far greater than the sum of its content.
That’s why I hate RSS readers. In a previous post I called RSS readers a sterile environment. Caitlin disagreed with me, I’m sure a bunch of you would, but I stick by it. You don’t create communities in RSS readers. You can’t really engage with readers. You really can’t do anything except consume raw content.
To use an old-media analogy, it’s the difference between writing for a wire service or writing for a newspaper. On a wire service, you’re story can pop up anywhere and likely will. On a newspaper, you’re a part of something. Something that hopefully stands for something and means something.
It’s probably the biggest thing I struggle with in regard to blogging. My limited ability to build something over and above the words I write. The fact that it’s difficult to create something, because of the limitations of templates, the limitations of my time and so on, to really build something.
As far as I’m concerned in the blogosphere there are only a few genuine blogs who have succeeded in becoming more than the sum of their content. TechCrunch, Scripting News, Scobleizer, etc. They all have communities. They all stand for something. Half the time the comments on those sites are more interesting than the original posts. (Which is why I find Scoble’s obsessive rants against partial feed ironic. Scoble has gained the stature he has not because he blogs but because of his blog).
Which is why it’s been so very cool, to watch the comments sprout on here over the last couple of days. If you’ve been reading this on an RSS reader, chances are you missed the real conversation, which is everything that appeared on Squash that I didn’t write.