In a recent column, the Public Editor for the New York Times asks “Are Blogs Outdated?”
There’s just one big problem with both her question and the explanation offered by the managing editor.
“We are rethinking blogs — actually, we’re always rethinking them,” he said.
He suggested that the golden age of blogs at The Times may be over: “Blogs proliferated early on because they were seen as a way for desks and subjects to get into the Web game. They taught us a different way of writing and thinking, created a way to move fast on coverage. But I’d argue that as we’ve matured, the sections themselves now act like blogs.”
I’d argue that the Times doesn’t understand the concept of blogs.
Newspaper “blogs” were never really blogs in the first place.Â The posts may be published in the same reverse chronological format, have the same appearance, and are frequently updated. But they are not blogs.
What news media sites call blogging is nothing different from standard, editor-approved newspaper articles and columns that are published in pixels rather than on paper.
Ok, so that’s just my opinion. But that’s the point. I get to write about what I want, offer my own views, act as my own editor (and censor), and don’t have to worry about whether the material will drive traffic to advertisers.
That’s what I mean when I use the term “blog”.
And in addition, the true “blog” is a conversation starter. A place where others can join in an ongoing discussion, so all of our learning experiences can be enriched. Blogs are not static, one-sided regurgitation of “fast moving coverage”. Thank goodness educators get it!