Saturday, 22 March 2008

Is blogging still "cool"?

The idea of rebranding what a blog is called is very insightful for me, and I'll share a short story that I hope lets you understand why.
I was talking to my friend about blogs, why I read them and why I continue to write one, and she was totally on the side of "why would I care to read other people's rants?"
I realized then that she associated blogging with ranting, something you see happen with many new bloggers in their attempts to generate content. This probably led as well to the creation of at least one award for "worst blog ever" at the Blogger's Choice Awards.
This doesn't qualify all blogs though. Those I choose to read, like Seth Godin's blog and the blog at Employee Evolution, tend to have very good food for thought. When blogging myself I also make a concerted effort to take the time to research a bit what I'm writing about. This I've found really helps keep me on topic, and keeps a blog post from being a rant.

When asked to describe a blog, "online journal" is a term I've often used. After reading this article I realized that I was being a very bad advocate of the craft of blogging. The term I was using is just as associated with "boring" as "blogging" was to "ranting" for my friend.

We now have to ask, are we seeing an expiry of the "cool" factor of new terms like blogging?
Will terms like "Twittering" become associated (if they aren't already) with ranting as well?
I know "Facebook" is fast becoming associated with spam among many of my friends because of its proliferation of unwanted application invitations.
One of the biggest false associations that permeates the local Trinidad industry is that "IM'ing" is associated with time-wasting, although I have personally been part of teams at leading companies where tools such as instant messaging are a critical component to daily productivity.

On the matter of rebranding blogging though, is trying to find a new name for blogging really addressing the root problem?
I think creating a new name for blogging may be the start of an approach, but the association of the word, and keeping it associated with positive things, will be the real challenge for any team taking on this challenge.

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