blogging is dead, long live communicating

This is hardly an original sentiment (we had it from time to time at Berkman when we discussed whether or not it made sense to have meetings for blogging) but I think Jonathan puts it well:

But I’d love it if we one day eliminated the term “blogging” from the web lexicon (and that we stopped pursuing “CEO’s who blog.”). CEO’s who have cell phones aren’t “cell-phoners,” those who have email accounts arent “emailers,” those who give interviews on television aren’t “TV’ers” – they’re all leaders using technology to communicate. Communication is central to leadership – using words, written or spoken, to articulate strategy, guide organizations, engage in dialog, and… lead. Leading two or 200,000, you can’t do it without communicating. Using technology just leaves more time for everything else (I’m not saying stone tablets can’t be effective, they just take way longer to distribute).

This isn’t to say that blogging isn’t different from email (and stone tablets), but most discussions about blogging would be much better off if we analyzed ‘communication that is public, searchable and persistent’ instead of ‘blogging’, a term which (bizarrely) has picked up almost mystical connotations amongst some people.

8 thoughts on “blogging is dead, long live communicating”

  1. James’s blog pops up as one of the most authoritative pointing to them. Office 2.0 Conference Website Now Live – The upcoming Office 2.0 Conference is now live, attendee registration are open by now. blogging is dead, long live communicating – Luis Villa says that most discussions about blogging would be much better off if we analyzed ‘communication that is public, searchable and persistent’ instead of ‘blogging’. I totally agree.

  2. Well, we do need “calling”, “emailing” and so on; why would “blogging” be the only communication form not to have its own descriptive terms? The only single exception is possibly the actor designation of “blogger”, which could be subsumed under “writer”. Possibly. On the other hand, we do have, and use, not only “writer”, but “journalist”, “essayist”, “editorialist/editorial writer”, “columnist”, “correspondent” and so on, so “blogger” would certainly not be in bad company if kept around.

    Fifteen years from now all terminology around blogging (if any is left) will feel a completely natural part of the language, and the pattern it will settle into will depend not one single bit on what language busybodies are arguing about it today. In general, people seem to worry too much about the superficialities of language. It will sort itself out, without anybody’s “help”. It always has.

  3. i think i am going to have to agree with janne and disagree with your position in this regard. further elaboration reveals that not only are their essayists but there parodists and satirists, which almost begs for a satirical blogger term to get mashed up.

  4. Jon downplays the fact that blogging is a fundamentally different way of communicating than these other methods.

    Absent conference calls, a cell phone lets you talk 1:1 with somebody else. Nothing’s recorded or discoverable without a lot of effort. I can’t call his cell phone back and tell him that releasing OpenSolaris under the GPL3 is a good/bad idea. Phone calls are private communications between 2 parties.

    Email might get archived. But then again, it might just sit in 1 person’s inbox. And unless it’s email to a list, the medium doesn’t foster responses from the public. Most corporate emails tend to be private communications between a limited number of parties.

    TV interviews might have a transcript or something that’s discoverable, but that’s not likely. More likely, you’d see a news recap of the conference somewhere. If you’re lucky, somebody posted the interview to YouTube. But I can’t post a follow-up to his TV interview that Jon’s likely to see. TV interviews are 1:many broadcast.

    Then there’s blogs. They tend to be public. Discoverable (via Google or whatnot). They can be responded to via comments or trackbacks.

    Sure, it’s still just “communicating”. But it’s communicating in a way that fosters discussion. It ain’t broadcast, and it ain’t private. And that’s worth distinguishing from those old-school communications mediums.

  5. I don’t remember where I saw it, but one person’s blog said this:

    “Blogging isn’t the revolution. The revolution is conversation.”

    (Or something like that.)

    Amen to that.

  6. The thing is that cell phones, for example, are a common thing. Blogging is more like a hobby. So “Blogger” tells something about the person who blog; it is a characteristic. I think that that’s why we still have “blogging” in our lexicon.

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