Welcome to the home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Variance and general internet tinkerer. Most of my writing these days is happening over at Why is this interesting?, a daily email full of interesting stuff. This site has been around since 2004. Feel free to get in touch. Good places to get started are my Framework of the Day posts or my favorite books and podcasts. Get in touch.

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The Real Importance of Blogging

I’ve been working on my presentation and I got to the section of blogging. The first thing I had to do when I got there was define it. I struggled for a minute and came up with this definition:

A website that’s updated fairly constantly. Entries appear in chronological order with newest entries at the top. Can (and most often does) include comments, trackbacks and RSS.

But then I started thinking, why should it be so hard to define blogging? Can you have a website that fits those requirements that isn’t a blog? I think you can, but I’m not sure.

Anyhow, after some more thought, it dawned on me, that’s it’s not how a blog is set up, but what’s behind it that’s so important. It’s all about the software and the design. Blogging brings two important pieces to the net.

1. Blogs bring web-publishing to the masses. But the technology behind them is more important than what’s written on them. Blog software allows users to easily publish to the web without any knowledge of HTML or other code. It’s content management software that makes the internet user friendly.

2. What blogging software does for the webpages is make them about ideas, not design.

This is a truly democratic concept. Not only does blogging software take out the need for HTML knowledge, it also takes out the need for design knowledge. Blogs are about ideas. Of course, well-designed blogs are nice, but it’s the writing that sits at the core.

Things like comments only take these ideas a step further, opening up a webpage for people other than the publisher.

To me this was a huge revelation. Maybe I’m stupid and everyone knows this, but it seems like such an important distinction. Everyone talking about bloggers vs. journalists are missing the point. It doesn’t matter, it’s all about ideas.

This is a classic case of looking at the medium, not the message. I got so caught up in what bloggers were saying and the way they were saying it, that I missed what was going on behind the scenes.

What do you think?

March 15, 2005