From Common Sense Journalism

Doc Searles on blogs

What is a blog? The oft-cited Doc Searles 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.

Searles’ 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.

One thought on “From Common Sense Journalism”

  1. I respect and like Doc, but I don’t understand this.

    We must divorce our opinion of what a blog should be from the technical facts of what a blog actually is.

    BLOG = a communications, connectivity, and interaction platform that enables those without HTML skills to quickly and easily post web content to a global audience.

    Blogging is the opposite of talking. In my deconstructionist slant, I see blogging as a form of writing, not talking.

    But the “conversation” metaphor is still valid, as long as we put a non-phonological, non-aural meaning on it.

    Aside from video blogs and audio blogs, a regular blog is a textual medium.

    Doc called blogs “emails to the world” which I think is pretty accurate.

    A blog represents the democratization of web content publishing.

    A blog lets the average person express his or her thoughts to a worldwide readership.

    No other medium has ever been this universal and textual in orientation.

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