Ad Age’s article, “A Blogger is Just a Writer With a Cooler Name”, echoes an earlier post on this site about the differences, and similarities, between writers and bloggers, but sums it up by admitting:
And it occurred to me that there is no such thing as blogging. There is no such thing as a blogger. Blogging is just writing — writing using a particularly efficient type of publishing technology. Even though I tend to first use Microsoft Word on the way to being published, I am not, say, a Worder or Wordder.
It’s just software, people! The underlying creative/media function remains exactly the same.
The author, Simon Dumenco, goes on to say that while there are plenty of arguments that blogs are set up to be distinctive from other published written sources, by admitting that the “lines between blog and non-blog content are rapidly dissolving” as news sources can come from blogs as well as traditional media sources. Therefore, aren’t blogs just another news avenue?
Dumenco asks a good question in his article. “Why does the idea of the blogger as The Other continue to persist?”
Are bloggers really that different from writers? I think that bloggers are a huge group of people who write online. What makes them distinctive from other writing groups is their tendency to be totally inclusive of all types and styles of writing rather than just a journalist, reporter, or factual style common to traditional media outlets. Bloggers aren’t required to spell, have good grammar, or even be truthful, though it does help if they want to keep their audience. A blogger can be a 12 year old ranting on about school, parents, and the latest movie they watched, or a 70 year old telling tales of wisdom and lessons learned over a life lived. A blogger can be anyone, writing about anything, for any reason.
I think Dumenco sums it up the difference between a blogger and traditional media outlets for news very well:
Ultimately, it comes down to this: In the very near future, there are only going to be two types of media people: those who can reliably work and publish (or broadcast) incredibly fast, and those … who can’t.
Unfortunately, that leaves out 90% of the bloggers out there who don’t care if they are the first out of the block with breaking news. Maybe we need a special name for bloggers who want to be news sources. Maybe we can call them news bloggers or newzbloggers, giving them recogniztion as a special group. I could see someone saying, “Did you check out Frank’s Newzblog this morning?”
What do you think?