Wednesday, August 17, 2005


Blogger, many more people now have some understanding of that awkward word.

I'm a blogger, one of 14 million, is that significant? In a recent article Paul Graham said something simple but profound:
... Millions of people are publishing online, and the average level of what they're writing, as you might expect, is not very good. This has led some in the media to conclude that blogs don't present much of a threat-- that blogs are just a fad.

Actually, the fad is the word "blog," at least the way the print media now use it. What they mean by "blogger" is not someone who publishes in a weblog format, but anyone who publishes online. That's going to become a problem as the Web becomes the default medium for publication. So I'd like to suggest an alternative word for someone who publishes online. How about "writer?"

Those in the print media who dismiss the writing online because of its low average quality are missing an important point: no one reads the average blog. In the old world of channels, it meant something to talk about average quality, because that's what you were getting whether you liked it or not. But now you can read any writer you want. So the average quality of writing online isn't what the print media are competing against. They're competing against the best writing online. And, like Microsoft, they're losing.
Simple but deep. Bloggers are just writers who are using the new default medium. Makes more sense to put it here than in a notebook. At least 14 million people have embraced the paradigm shift and our numbers are doubling every 5 months.


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