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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Bad Writing About Blogs

It seems like there’s an article in a newspaper or magazine every day about blogs. The thing is, they all seem to contain the exact same ideas. What’s worse is that they all do these stupid little things that bug me every time I read them (which is often). So, in the hopes that maybe some journalist who writes about blogs will read this, here’s the list: (And, just as a note, I have done some of the things I have written about here. Just wanted to get that out in the open.)

1. Explaining that blog is short for weblog: Alright, there are two things that bug me on this one: First, I think everyone knows at this point that blog is short for weblog and second, who cares what it’s short for? Does weblog really do that much of a better job of explaining what a blog is? Has anyone ever wondered what a blog was and miraculously understood when informed for weblog? No. It’s stupid and I’m sick of reading it.

2. Discussing the ethics of blog writers versus journalists: Stop! Stop! Stop! It’s just dumb. It totally misses the point. It doesn’t matter what the ethics of blog authors are. It’s not the same as traditional journalism and it never will be. That’s not to say that bloggers aren’t “journalists,” just to say that making the comparison is dumb. You can’t always trust the media and you can’t always trust blogs. What the hell is the difference?

3. Hearing about how blogs will “rock” the business world: Blogs as a whole will not rock the business world. Certainly a (single) blog will rock a (single) business, but it’s pretty serious to make a broad pronunciation about business as a whole. Yes, some of the lessons of blogging will change the business world, but “rock” implies some immediate impact and that’s not what happens. Blogs reinforce Cluetrain ideas. They help push conversations and make companies start to realize that in the future they’re going to have to speak to customers as equals. But “rock” the business world? Enron rocked the business world. Maybe it’s only semantics, but there’s a big difference.

I’m sure I’ll think of more in the future, but this seems like a good start. What do you think? What have you read that bugs you?

June 28, 2005