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How Many Bloggers Does it Take To Screw in a Light Bulb? One or More?

All full version WordPress blogs permit multiple bloggers to blog from the same blog, if you want it that way. Recently, WordPress.com announced the feature to add more than one blogger to a single WordPress.com blog.

So the question is asked by Geek News Central, “Which Author is Better: One or Many?”

Wikipedia, the popular online reference source for undergraduates and consumers, worldwide, has more than 15 times the number of articles than the well-known Encyclopedia Britannica, the self-proclaimed “world’s most indispensable and reliable reference resource?…

…Britannica uses a hired team of 4,000 authors and offers distributorships for its products—clearly a commercial enterprise; the number of contributors in this well-organized company is dwarfed by the communal and egalitarian league of Wikipedians (Wikipedia contributors and editors), over 1,000,000 of whom are registered, and an undisclosed number of whom are unregistered.

…the question is begged: Can we trust the veracity of content if the author and his or her experience is unknown?

Recent news reports have called it a toss-up between Encyclopedia Britannica and Wikipedia, in regard to the accuracy of content in articles…

Good point.

Back to your blog. If you choose to go with more than one blogger on your blog, what are you doing about monitoring the other bloggers? Is monitoring their posts and comments part of your plan for your blog, or is it a free-for-all? How do you manage more than one blogger? Is it a team effort with a plan or everyone does what they want as long as it comes under a central theme or goal?

What do you think about a blog with more than one blogger? Does it change the nature of the blog to more of a magazine (ezine) or newspaper rather than a blog? Does having more than one voice change the nature of a blog, if there is such a thing as only one kind of “blog”? Is there?

Thinking in general terms, when I hear someone talk about their blog, I think about a single person writing with a singular view. I don’t think about a blog as representative of many views and voices. Do you?

Should there be a classification for single voice blogs and multi-voice blogs? Or is a blog is a blog is a blog? When does it become a collection of columns, an ezine, or a website? Is there a point when a blog transforms into something else just because of the sheer number of voices featured?

I’d love to hear your opinion on this if you are either blogging with more than one blogger or considering a multi-blogger blog. What are your plans, how is this going to work, and do you think it’s still a blog with more than one blogger?


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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen

12 Comments

  1. Posted April 21, 2006 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

    Hi Lorelle, this is quite a good question indeed. While my personal blog and others have one writer, me, my blog http://www.humblereviews.com has more than one.

    Well, I haven’t let it out in the open, but only a few pals have joined so far. Have given them contributor access and they can only post after I approve.

    The problem I faced is regarding comments getting approved even though a few were junk (won’t say spam).
    Have now turned on Administrator moderation and hoping that it helps.

    However, I will admit, the blog still isn’t that popular, so it may become a challenge once it picks up!

  2. Posted April 23, 2006 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    A while back I put a blog on my Benjamin Bratt fan website (& have since started a couple others). I’m actually planning on moving the entire site to WordPress so that it will be easier to update & maintain. I have one friend who regularly finds news articles & other tidbits to share, and am planning to add her as an author or contributor (I don’t know how WP treats these differently yet). I trust her implicitly, so I’ll have no problem giving her free reign. Heck, I might even make her an editor (once I figure out what rights they have).

    I think it all comes down to how well you know the other people who are contributing to your website. Personally, I wouldn’t give special privledges to someone I felt I needed to edit or censor.

    You bring up an interesting point with your Britannica/Wikipedia comparison. Being as I’m a baby-boomer & reached middle age without having been weaned on the Web, I sometimes find there’s just TOO MUCH information available. I’d much rather trust the 4,000 Britannica contributors who get paid to find & organize their facts. Wikipedia scares me! LOL!

  3. ellen
    Posted April 23, 2006 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    I have a question that should be fairly simple to answer but so far I have not had
    much luck with wordpress faqs, IRC or forums. I just set up a free blog for my library
    and wanted to know if I can add authors or contributors to the account. If so, how do they
    register? It appears that users can only register for individual blogs.

    Hope I’m making sense—thanks so much

  4. One Futurist
    Posted April 23, 2006 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    There are Blogs that have more than one voice already out there, this feature in WordPress may just fall into a mere technical feature for authorizing the other contributors, just like adding moderators on a Mailing List, the only difference will be the trust the owner will give the others to keep the blog on topic along with the writting style the original author has become to be known, this will eliminate one’s need to do the moderating, editing, and subsequent posting.

    The strengh of a blog is that we all identify it as an entity in itself, an e-zine’s concept is of collaboration and also has a defined format that reinforces that idea, that a blog has not, the blog’s linear thought format reads as a continous monologue like a lecturer might give a conference, with the Q&A part as the user comments, and whether the speach was written by himself or by a team we still perceive it as a ‘he said.’

    The worst this tool might do is to dissolve a blog into a fragmented and uncoherent jumble of ideas like most mailing list tend to end up with, effectively destroying the solid opinion this medium is so famous for; the best it can happen is the evolution of the very Mailing List, moving it from the walled up gardens of _registration_ into the openness all the blogsphere has flourish in.

  5. Posted April 26, 2006 at 12:02 am | Permalink

    Ellen:

    You have to enable “Authors” and then set levels for permissions for each of the authors (contributors) you give permissions to. For more information see: WordPress.com Now Offers Users More Users and WordPress Codex – Roles and Capabilities.

  6. Posted April 27, 2006 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    I relish the idea of adding other bloggers. The trouble is: we are so darn busy. and I don’t know how to use this new feature. I need a tutorial; if you did one, point me to it. I need to understand what the different assigned roles are and how they function. I am slower at learning this stuff than you, that’s for sure. and it’s so involved. but I want to learn. I’d like lots of other contributors.

  7. Posted April 30, 2006 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

    I’m working on some articles about adding users to your blog, and the issues involved, but for now, the best articles are listed above: WordPress.com Now Offers Users More Users and WordPress Codex – Roles and Capabilities.

    The process is easy. Just add each user through your Users and Authors Panel and set their responsibilities and authorities as described in the two above articles. From there, just monitor how they do and that’s it. How much you allow them to access and how much you monitor is up to you and the time you want to put into it. Start slowly and see how it goes.

  8. Posted May 18, 2006 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    Hi Lorelle, we launched equinoXio a couple of weeks ago, powered by WordPress. We are 10 bloggers and open to fellow bloggers contributors. So far it’s a fantastic experience; what brought us together is the fact that we share common interests (or common tags? ;-)) and the response from our visitors is encouraging. We created an ezine, with an Editorial, some bloggers asked for their own columns and we opened common spaces to blog about particular themes. It’s quite a challenge to design a Front Page that can provide enough info about the content of the blog without showing any preferences (still we are not very satisfied with the current result); technically we have the problem of not being able to display photos (how to show them small on the Front page and bigger in the single post view) and some of our bloggers have difficulties managing more variables when they are going to post (which categories to select, write the excerpt, etc.). It’s a challenge but luckily the human sinergy that we enjoy at the moment is estimulating.

    Actually we couldn’t tell if ours is a collective blog or an ezine powered by WordPress as CMS… how would you define/classify this initiative?

  9. Posted May 18, 2006 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    Ps. About useful tools for working with multiple bloggers, the “User meta” & “User extra” plugins by Squish are quite handy. With them you can limit which categories are visible to post per user, not per role.

  10. Posted January 8, 2008 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    How many users are allowed in a wordpress.com blog anyway?

  11. Posted January 8, 2008 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    @ frances:

    The number of “users”, people who visit your blog and use it including registered users, are unlimited. The number of contributors, those permitted to contribute content to your blog, is capped at 30. You can pay extra to get more.

  12. Posted January 9, 2008 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    Thanks, Lorelle. :)


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