It always irks me a little when someone throws out a generalisation about blogging, or bloggers, or turns their nose up at the term “blogging” because they feel it somehow demeans their writing.
While I take John Gruber’s point that “the entire… ‘pro blogging’ industry… is predicated on the notion that blogging is a meaningful verb. It is not. The verb is writing. The format and medium are new, but the craft is ancient,” I still wonder at the snobbery some seem to have towards the medium even when they’re publishing using it.
On the Blog Herald today I reported on authors using blogging to promote books and engage with readers. Award-winning author Patrick Ness has decided that he prefers to call his blog a diary because “blogging… to my mind always implies ‘sloppily written'”.
Now, Patrick can call his blog whatever he likes, but I take issue with the notion that any collection of writings assembled together as a blog must by nature be poorly written.
Good and bad writing exists in every medium, be that printed books and magazines, online web sites, forums or blogs.
Perhaps it’s the ability to instantly publish on most blogs, plus the sheer number of them in comparison to other formats, that leads to the overarching perception of low quality. Yet it’s the immediacy and sometimes untidy nature of blogging that should be its greatest charm. Of course there are some highly professional blogs, but there are also many unpolished but passionate sites. They might not win a Pulitzer prize but they’re essentially what blogging’s all about.