Bloggers Just Writers with a Cooler Name
Simon Dumenco has had an epiphany shared by many:
IÃ¢€™ve been thinking of what I am — about what any media person in the digital age is — since having coffee last week with a 30-something newspaper editor who bemoaned the fact that newspapers keep on setting up blogs as these separate, exotic add-ons to their Web sites, instead of integrating blogging into their usual newsgathering operations. ThereÃ¢€™s simply no good reason to segregate the functions, he insisted.
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. ItÃ¢€™s just software, people! The underlying creative/media function remains exactly the same.
No, not “blogging”. You know, “BLOGGING”. I mean the word “blogger” or “blogging”. It’s meaningless. Saying “bloggers are x or y” is equally meaningless. Someone claiming to speak for bloggers is more than meaningless it is delusional. Treating “bloggers” as a group, a species, a breed, or anything else is meaningless. As I noted previously, the word “blogger” is an empty vessel into which too many, pour too much, in order to mean too little.
So-called “bloggers” are just “writers”. I am a writer. You might think I am a bad writer, or even a terrible writer. My wife thinks I am a good writer but she may not be entirely objective. Sometimes when I write I use simplified content-management software often referred to as “blogware”. I wrote a draft of this post on a legal pad. I am now typing my draft into Microsoft Word to edit my post and spell-check it. Later I will copy and paste the text into Movable Type and publish it on my web site, TheNationalDebate.com. During this process am I also a “paperer”? or a “Worder”? If I print my Word document and fax it to Timbuktu am I a “faxer”. Why then, when my writing appears on my web site, am I a “blogger”. Since when does the tool I use to express my thoughts define me? To quote the always articulate Oliver Willis, “that’s stupid”.
Ironically, Dumenco’s piece is entitled, “A BLOGGER IS JUST A WRITER WITH A COOLER NAME.” As Cox details in his piece and many other
bloggers writers who happen to use weblogging software have noted, “blogger” is anything but a cool name.
Aside from the semantic issue, though, both Dumenco and Cox make some excellent points in their pieces about how blogging and traditional media intersect.