Nov 20, 2008

What Is A Blog? (And Why It May Not Matter)


This started off as a Twitter conversation between Marketing Profs Ann Handley, Digitas’ Jon Burg, Ad Age’s Todd Andrlik and myself. But I thought it was worthy of a blog post.

When is a blog not a blog? When does it start being an online magazine?

That’s a question we’re going to have to ask ourselves more and more both as blogging changes and as the online versions of newspapers and magazines adopt blog-like features, commenting in particular.

Take the Huffington Post. I’m not quite sure how the site, which became one of the most listened-to voices during the last election, still qualifies as a blog. I mean it's at a point where she could easily publish it as a glossy monthly, should she so choose, given the all-star cast of writers and breadth and depth of content. Even online, I’m not sure what distinguishes it from other well-done magazine or newspaper websites (New York magazine and The New York Times come to mind), all of which seem to have commenting features of one sort or another along with video and other multimedia (remember when that was a buzzword) content.

And while perhaps we need a new term for sites like HuffPo (“magablog” and “blogazine” were both suggested during the Twitter conversation) I don't think that's what's important.

Rather, what’s important here is how the lines are constantly blurring. How technology is letting us take the best features from one medium and employ them in another.

That’s the future of journalism and indeed all media. And it's an exciting one.

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