Is Blogging Cooler Than Writing?

Posted on January 16, 2006

Simon Dumenco, who writes the Media Guy column for AdAge, offers a new opinion piece called "A Blogger is Just a Writer With a Cooler Name."
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.

OK, you might argue, blogging is aesthetically a different beast -- it's instantaneous media. (Well, since the dawn of the 24-hour news cycle, pretty much all media has had to learn how to be instantaneous.) It's unpolished. (The best blogs I read are as sophisticated as anything old-school media publishes.) It's voice-y. (The best old-school media I read tends to be voice-y.) It's about opinion, not reporting. (The best reporting to come out of MacWorld in San Francisco last week was published on blogs.) It's, well, often sloppy and reckless (and Judy Miller wasn't?).
We've seen the blogging is writing argument before and since blogging is a form of writing it is hard to argue against. You could say that unlike other forms of writing blogging also incorporates photographs, hyperlinks, trackbacks, video clips, etc. Unlike the title of Dumenco's column we still think writing and writers are cool too. Dumenco also made this interesting point:
But over the next few years those legacy systems will be phased out and everyone publishing online will be using some form of what's now commonly thought of as blogging software.

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.
This is true. Speed is now an essential skill for bloggers (and writers) in the new media world.