Pro versus Am.

I’ve left a comment at Gordon’s place, attached to this post, where he talks of wanting to make a clear distinction between “pro” blogs and “hobbyist” blogs. The comment makes more sense in context, but I found that while writing it, my own thoughts on the subject of pro-vs-am blogging finally clarified. So here it is:

My take on it is this: we would do better to think of a “blog” as merely a description of how a website is formatted. If a website is built around reverse-chronological dated entries, it’s a blog. End of.

The problems occur when people try to load this neutral descriptive term with their own subjective interpretations of what blogging should be “all about”. There is no such thing as “the true spirit of blogging”. A blog is the end result of a number of content management systems, and that’s all.

Pro-blogs represent one subset of blogs. Personal blogs represent another. Very occasionally (eg. Dooce), the categories might overlap. But in any case, as with genres of music or literature, the category boundaries will always be blurred around the edges. Therefore, while thinking in terms of categories can be a useful shorthand at times, it’s dangerous to let that sort of thinking take over.

The problems occur when ANY group of bloggers start thinking and acting as if their own particular paradigm is “what blogging is all about”. Personal bloggers do this; pro-bloggers do this; political bloggers do this possibly most of all.

It’s a neutral descriptive term for websites with reverse-chronological dated posts. The rest is up to the blogger. Live and let live. Peace and love.

Yeah, it’s an off-the-cuff ramble, which could use a little editing, structuring and expanding. But then what am I, some sort of professional blogger?

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