“You are a blogger when you do things just to blog about them later.” MeRu’s World
A few weeks ago I argued that the blogosphere has come out of age. I discussed the latest research that shows a significant increase in blogging in the last few years. “This just means that blogs have become indispensable, they are not just a new kid in town anymore,” I wrote. After the post was published another blogger asked me who I thought a blogger is. His question was the revival of blogger/journalist/columnist discussion that has been going on for years. There is still no definite answer to this trilemma and I don’t think there ever will be. However, he made me think, and you know as a philosopher I live to think.
Our discussion went on for a while. His main argument was that he’s a journalist, a brand journalist, and he also writes his own blog: “When I think of a post and the way I approach it it’s the same I do it when I write an article for a magazine or newspaper. So what’s the difference?” He reminded me of that little HBO show Sex and the City rarely any of us guys would admit watching it at the time. If the show were made today, would Carrie be a newspaper columnist or a blogger?
The lines are increasingly blurring between blogging and journalism. Do you remember the debate at the end of last year when Montana blogger Crystal Cox lost a federal case focusing on an Oregon law that protects journalists from having to reveal sources? A federal judge ruled that under Oregon law, she did not qualify as a journalist. However, many bloggers now contribute to, or work full time in, traditional publications. On the other hand, many blogs today resemble traditional media online: check out TechCrunch or The Huffington Post. Are they journalists or bloggers? Or is it a personal choice? And there are some who are everything; for example, an award winning journalist Lincoln Spector also writes a blog where he identifies himself as “journalist, columnist, blogger and sometimes humorist”. He’s the whole package!
This is what I think. Utilizing WordPress doesn’t make you a blogger. Choosing a catchy name for your blog doesn’t make you a blogger. Just because you’re writing doesn’t make you a blogger. The audience, your readers make you a blogger. If you’re a columnist or a journalist, it is the publication you write for that brings you your audience. A blogger, if he/she’s not already a known columnist or journalist, has to work hard to attract readers to the blog and to keep them coming back.
In the end, what someone is called is the matter of the industry terminology. It’s more about the relationship between content and consumers. It’s about the quality of the content you are producing and sharing. Not so much about who did it. We’re all publishers. Journalism, social media and blogging mean publishing. It’s about content creation and content sharing. And that’s all it matters.
What is your take on “Who is a blogger?” debate? Share your thoughts in the comments bellow.