Maybe Blogging is “Public Speaking”

My previous post generated a fair amount of interest, so I thought I’d follow up with some more thoughts on the nature of blogging.

Blogging is not conversation. As I said in my previous post, the permanence and the public nature of blogging places realistic inhibitions on bloggers. While you can have intelligent discourse, on blogs, it is not conversation.

Blogging is not email. I’ve recently read and heard many references about how RSS is the evolution of email, or that it might replace email. RSS is good for several things that people have used email for in the past(distribution lists, product information, news, etc.) but it is not an evolution of email, it’s just using a new tool that performs a function better than an old tool.

Blogging is Public Speaking. Take pretty much any advice you have ever heard about speaking in front of large audiences, about giving presentations, and it should apply to the way you blog. You can frame your presentation using Audience & Objectives. You should keep in mind the biases of your audience, their existing knowledge, and their motivation for listening to you. The big difference is that your intended audience may differ greatly from your true audience. Everyone on the internet from now and into the future is a potential audience member, so you need to consider your audience very carefully.

Update:

I left out any references to “journalism” in my original post, but given the recent focus on Citizen Journalism by bloggers like Robert Scoble I thought that maybe I should address this omission. Blogging is not journalism. Journalism is not a method of communication, but rather a type of message. You can use blogs as a tool for journalism, just like you can use them as a tool for humor, marketing, political influence, family communication, etc. The list goes on and on. The confusion arises when people start mixing up the message with the medium. Blogging is a unique medium that enables many types of communication. Journalism is one that it seems to be handling quite well, but pigeon-holing blogs-as-journalism, or blogs-as-marketing can confuse people who are trying to figure out what blogging is. Blogging is a tool, a medium. The message is up to you.

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