Shel Holtz: Stop Defining Blogs

Posted on May 4, 2005

Blog purists insist that blogs are not media or content. Or that blogs must have comments and trackback. Or that characters blogs are bad or cannot be blogs. Meanwhile, Shel Holtz says it is time to stop defining blogs. Holtz says blogs are lightweight content-management systems capable of multiple uses.
I'm getting tired of people insisting that blogs are one thing but definitely cannot be another. Sure, I know exactly what Searls is talking about: the type of blog written by individuals (like, for example, this one). But that doesn�t mean that General Motors is abusing the blogosphere by producting Fastlane, which targets the consumer audience of automotive enthusiasts. I'll keep on saying it: Blogs are lightweight content-management systems, and as such, are applicable to any task the use of such a system accommodates. Consequently, we'll continue to see blogs branch out along several evolutionary paths. Some will be terrific, others will cause mass shrugging, and still others will be wretched. Those launched by organizations in order to help the company achieve business goals will require -- require --consideration of content targeted to audiences. That, of course, will not diminish the importance of the writing.
New forms of blogs are emerging -- the increasing popularity of blog fiction is just one example. There are also cartoon, photo, audio (podcasts) and video blogs. It is wrong to try and place restrictions on blogs while they are still developing as a medium. It is time to let blogs develop on their own without restrictions as bloggers and businesses find more and more uses for them.