I am at the beginning of maybe doing what for me would be a major blog project. So, I am spending a lot of time thinking about what makes blogs different from other mediums. As best I can tell—and maybe I am missing something—the answer is: not much.
As the Catalyst Groups recent blog usability study (here in PDF form) found, new users dont understand what a blog is when they see one, and most blogs arent even labeled as such.
Further, the whole RSS/XML thing is way too confusing, and it will need to be replaced by some other nomenclature if it is to become ubiquitous. May I suggest simply changing the name of the feature now known as RSS to what it really is: “subscribe.”
And, yes, as the Catalyst participants noted, “postings” and “articles” are really the same thing. A long posting might also be called a “column,” which is how I think of them. Write 600 to 1,000 words and its a column, regardless of what someone else might call it. Make yourself happy.
“Blogging is this decades citizens band radio,” wrote reader Curt Gowan. “A fad which booms insanely then drops back to a much, much lower level of activity that is sustainable and actually useful.”
I think Curt captured the current state of blogging quite nicely, which is to say I wish Id thought of the comparison first. In the 1970s, during the height of the CB boom, I was living not far from Garland, Texas, a blue-collar Dallas suburb that had distinction of having the highest number of CB radios, per capita, of any city in the country. And, yes, my familys call sign was KZD-1744.