Thursday, May 05, 2005

Doc Searls on blogs

What is a blog? The oft-cited Doc Searls shares his thoughts in a PowerPoint from the "Les Blogs" conference in Paris. Or, if you'd like the html version ...

Try slide 17 for the nub of things:
  • Blogs are journals
  • They are not "sites"
  • They are not "content"
  • They are not "media"
  • They are not here to "deliver an experience"
  • They are not an "emergent synchronization mode"
  • There's no argument about "who's a journalist." We all are.
Searls' basic argument is that blogs are individual writings -- speech -- that turn into conversations through the linking ability of the Web. Treat them like content, he says, and we run the risk of censorship.

This is why news media and blogs struggle to find compatibility. We in this business see such things as content. That's fine. Call them online columns, which is what most really are when we produce them.


At 5/5/05, 6:36 PM, Blogger Tom said...

I completely disagree with him on this. My blog isn't just an "online journal." Perhaps his is, and it definitely reads like one, but they all aren't just a journal.

I've already gone on the record on my site about how the writing on blogs IS content, especially if we start being sticklers for dictionary definitions.

We are all "media" in a sense, though perhaps not in the cookie cutter sense that the television station you just clicked off or newspaper you read this morning are.

I believe he truly means well with these statements, but I think that he's so stuck on trying to get people from being classified in any way, shape, or form, that he's creating his own inflexible boxes that everyone isn't going to want to be stuck in.

At 5/6/05, 12:05 PM, Blogger Doug said...

Well, yes, but ...
I think his comments have a kernel of truth for why MSM struggle with blogs. They try to force the conversation, forgetting that the essence of the blog is the writer's personality and that the conversation comes from the interlinking. Even in your blog, which even more than mine is probably more on the "content" side, your personality comes through clearly in a way that the traditional media struggle to reach, even when they give staff members blogs, because for traditional media the "voice" is that of the publication much more than the writer.

At 5/19/05, 12:27 AM, Blogger Jon Garfunkel said...

"why MSM struggle with blogs" -- but as you can see, bloggers struggle with "blogs" as well! The definitions of blogs and bloggers are so loosey-goosey that anyone is making of them what they will. Which is why I do not blog; I do something else: Constructive Media.


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