Blogs ARE Social Media

Copyblogger‘s Brian Clark has noticed a distinction developing between blogs on the one hand and “social media” on the other.  He rightly notes that “blogs were the first modern form of social media” and thus the distinction is artificial.

My sense is that, blogs are indeed social media, they’re definitely of a different piece than Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, and whatnot. The “new” social media are generally more interactive but less driven by original content.

Most blogs have evolved beyond being literal logs of what we see on the Web (InstaPundit is one of the few of those that have remained wildly popular and, ironically, Glenn closed off comments years ago) and are essentially self-published magazines or columns.  Indeed, while commenting and cross-blog discussion remain part of the blog experience, it’s not always clear that they’re “social” in any sense other than ordinary folks being able to publish their ideas without clearance from gatekeepers.

Conversely, Twitter is mostly a platform for passing along links to other content — including blogs — as well as snappy observations. Facebook is about messaging people in one’s network, organizing gatherings, and finding amusements in such things as zombie wars and movie quizzes. I’m not sure what MySpace is about; as best I can gather, it’s an homage to the Web circa 1997, with garish designs, music that blares as soon as one enters the page, and other annoyances that the rest of the Internet has thankfully left behind.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. sam says:

    He rightly notes that “blogs were the first modern form of social media”

    Beg to differ. Usenet was “there”, as were BBs, long before blogs.

  2. James Joyner says:

    Usenet was “there”, as were BBs, long before blogs.

    Brian acknowledges that but considers them pre-modern in that they existed before the advent of the modern Web browser.

  3. sam says:

    considers them pre-modern in that they existed before the advent of the modern Web browser.

    Heh. I find that amusing and veering toward tautologyland.

  4. Michael says:

    And before Usenet and BBs there was email. Really, it’s just a natural evolution of the technology.