A lot of bloggers are proud of the fact that with blogs, they are finding a medium for sharing content with the rest of the world. They have become writers. Similarly, a lot of writers have found a new medium to publish their works. They have become bloggers. You often see published and famous authors starting blogs, and sometimes discussing the differences in publishing a blog post and the process of publishing a book.
Bloggers are, by definition, writers. Yes, you can even pardon the fact that a lot of bloggers write as if they need lessons in grammar, spelling and sentence construction. But are writers automatically bloggers? Well, the moment someone hits the publish button on his first ever blog post, then that person can technically be considered a blogger. But even if you’re a topnotch writer with dozens of books published, or if you have a regular newspaper column, or if you’re a literary genius, you don’t automatically become a good blogger, in the fullest sense of it.
Blogging involves more than writing. Blogging involves interaction, being part of the community, and having your blog serve as your online identity and persona. When you blog, you don’t just write a 500-word essay and publish it on a static page. You open up that essay to the world for critique right there and then. You let people talk back to you on your comment threads and on other blogs. You respond, and you talk back.
When you blog, you don’t just publish a column on a newspaper page. You join in on the conversation. You can react to other blog posts of interest. You link, you get linked to, and you link back. You create a big web of conversations and intelligible discussions.
Whe you blog, you don’t rest on your laurels the minute you publish that scathing commentary. You brace yourself for an onslaught of responses, positive and negative, and you prepare to defend your position.
When you blog, you don’t hide your face behind the written word. Rather, your written word is your face in the online world–your identity to your readers.
Simply put, blogging is not solely about writing. It’s about learning how to interact, how to establish a presence, how to make recommendations, how to be reactive and proactive. If you consider yourself a writer, then well and good. But if you want to be a good blogger, ask yourself these. How far have you gone in terms of being interactive? Have you helped a friend online? Have you added value to the ocean of commentaries out there? Are you just another nameless, faceless entity churning out words, or are you being someone–someone who matters?
Blogging is a social medium, after all. And as such, blogging goes far beyond writing.