The point most miss about the blogosphere

I encourage my clients to get involved in their local blogging communities. I’ve arranged meet-ups and gotten to know some wonderful and talented people. Most observers — and especially those from the mainstream press — fail to understand the community aspect of blogging. This is a critical mistake, in my judgment, because it is the community that will outlive any other aspect of the personal media revolution.

Steve Rubel points to yet another commentary this morning that predicts the blogging bubble will burst. Steve agrees, in part, with USAToday’s Kevin Maney, who writes that blogs will become a part of the overall communications fabric.

So, yeah, blogs are cool. Anything that gives people a voice benefits society and makes us all better and smarter — and, as bloggers have proved, makes established information outlets more accountable. But blogs don’t seem to be the second coming of the printing press. They’re just another turn of the wheel in communications technology.
The problem with this perspective is that it dismisses the community that exists among bloggers, whether that community is defined by geography or common purpose. This is what makes blogging different than anything that has come before it, and it’s what will give it legs.

Think about it for a minute. Maney suggests that a/the purpose of blogging is to benefit society and make us all better and smarter. This is the assumption that “professional” journalists make of their own role, one that is rather quickly being proven false. Blogging IS community, and often at its very best. Most of the local bloggers I’ve met blog because it’s fun and a great way to meet other people. They’ll outlast — by a mile — those who are in it to benefit society and make us all better and smarter.


  1. Matt Stewart says

    You’re right, Terry, but I’m not so sure trad media types are missing the community aspect of blogging entirely. I may just be what they fear most. When everybody ends up communicating and responding more directly with one another, reliance on the heavily gated, one-way information flow becomes less vital. The more I think about it, the closer I get to concluding that blogging and e‑mail define what the Internet is about.

  2. Matt Stewart says

    Correction: Not “I might be what they fear most,” but “It (the community aspect of blogging) must might be what they fear most.” Sorry.

  3. I think that the Big Blog Company’s email strapline ‘the network is stronger than the node’ is spot on.

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