Wednesday March 01, 2006

Are You a Blogger?

Are you a blogger? Before you answer no, consider this:

...There has been plenty of buzz around blogging over the past two years but, as some observers have pointed out, blogging is just writing that's shared with others using software that makes it all very easy.
The only thing easier than sharing content with a blog is doing so via e-mail. And, it turns out, almost everyone does that. A report released by marketing agency Sharpe Partners says 89 percent of US adult Internet users share content by e-mail -- and 63 percent do so at least once per week.
So if you forget the buzz, hype and mystique, chances are, you're a blogger. It's just that you choose e-mail as your blogging software application.

[ Don't Look Now, But You're A Blogger, by Mike Elgan in Personal Tech Pipeline, January 30, 2006 ]

Interesting idea, that. I don't quite agree, personally, that sending email makes you a blogger. There are a few more differences, the most notable being that what you share by email isn't easy to find again. Your message may get passed on by your friends or it may languish in their inboxes. But, in any case, it's only in email.

I believe that to truly be a blogger requires putting your words on the web. A "real" blog (on the web) has a certain amount of sticking power. You or I can go back later and find an article we recall. Other people can find the entry.

More to the point, people can (often) comment on a blog. Their comments become a part of the blog. Where email is basically a one-way message from me to you, possibly forwarded on to your friends, a blog opens up many more possibilities for conversation, both today and in the future.

All that said, I really appreciated Mike Elgan's essay and I wanted to share it. I certainly agree that "blogging is just writing'; there's nothing magical about it.

Better yet, the more you write, the more your writing will improve.

...the blogger is compelled to share his world with whomever is reading. He may engage other bloggers in conversation about the interests they share. He may reflect on a book he is reading, or the behavior of someone on the bus. He might describe a flower that he saw growing between the cracks of a sidewalk on his way to work. Or he may simply jot notes about his life: what work is like, what he had for dinner, what he thought of a recent movie. These fragments, pieced together over months, can provide an unexpectedly intimate view of what it is to be a particular individual in a particular place at a particular time.

The blogger, by virtue of simply writing down whatever is on his mind, will be confronted with his own thoughts and opinions. Blogging every day, he will become a more confident writer.

[ Weblogs: a history and perspective - Rebecca Blood, 7 september 2000 ]

If you can write — if you like to write and share things with your friends — you are well on your way to becoming a blogger. Maybe it's time to take the next step!

If you're not sure how to do that, I invite you to read a set of articles I wrote on the subject. I hope you'll join us on the web.

Welcome to the Blogosphere.

Are You a Blogger? - posted at Wed, 01 Mar, 08:00 Pacific | «e»

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