Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Blogs may be obselete, but blogging isn't

Ed Batista argues, in two posts, that blogs are obsolete. His point, if I understand his two posts correctly, is that we should just get on with it. Take what's good about blogs -- the voice, frequent updates, ease of use -- and let's convince people to incorporate that into their communications and let's stop talking blogs already.

And I might be persuaded to agree with him about blogs the artifact. Not, however, about blogging the activity. Blogging, the activity, includes linking, frequent updates that center around short bits of text, permalinks to content to make it easy for other people to track. It is not just about the communication style. It is about the activities that make the communications style work.

In my recent experience presenting on this topic, nonprofits are familiar with blogs. They aren't familiar with blogging.

I also believe that this activity allows things to go on that couldn't normally. Even in the most personable, well-written, frequently updated website.

My example? What Robert Scoble just did around Microsoft's decision to not support a Washington anti-discrimination law could not have been accomplished on any company site. The ensuring conversation and Microsoft's change of heart would never have happened on a company or organization site.

A nonprofit wants to turn part of its site over to employees? Blogging becomes an easy rubric in which to do that. Encourage people to talk about the organization? Blogging. Share links, in a news service-like fashion? Blogging.

Even with that, I'd love to get to blogging 2.0. What metrics are appropriate ones to follow on a weblog? Why? What are organizations successfully employeeing this medium doing? Stop talking more about the definition and start talking more about the practice.

Bonus link: Hammer, Nail: How Blogging Software Reshaped the Online Community

(in: blogging, blogs)