Re: Blogs replace newsletters?

Subject: Re: Blogs replace newsletters?
From: Bill Swallow <techcommdood -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 14 Oct 2005 15:03:46 -0400

> > A blog is a very basic form of CMS/web publishing tool.
> >
> I would argue that a blog represents the ABSENCE of a CMS. There is no
> filter, no purpose, no requirement, no agenda for creating a blog other
> than the desire for self-expression. It is, in its purest form, an
> online diary.

CMS is technology, not purpose. Technology has a purpose, but who's to
say a CMS can't fuel a diary? CMS doesn't mean single-sourcing. CMS is
jsut that... Content Management System. I can manage content, revisit
content, fix content, and otherwise work with it at any point in time
in my blog. My blog tools *are* a CMS.

> And certainly there can be as many reasons for keeping a blog as there
> are for keeping an online diary. But I would suggest that when a person
> (or an organization such as an STC chapter like the original kickoff
> post of this thread suggested) tries to put too much purpose and focused
> content into a blog, it ceases being a true blog and becomes more like
> an online newsletter or online column. I'll post two examples for your
> consideration, both of which I use from time to time in my work:

Well, there's that whole audience/purpose/delivery thing we as
technical writers need to be conscious of, right? I'm not advocating
blogs as a be-all, end-all form of communication, but if it turns out
it's useful, what the heck not go with it?

> I would say that this is a blog that has ceased being a true blog and
> has become a bona fide news service. Apparently among theoretical macro
> economists, Nouriel Roubini's thoughts carry about as much weight as
> Alan Greenspan's reports carry on Wall Street. The posts are dense,
> filled with facts, observations, and historical trends, and they can
> also be quite interesting (if you find economics interesting).

Is there a finite purpose for a blog? Is there a finite purpose for a
web site? How about a book? I think we need to step back from general
spitspat and think back to the original question, which was should an
STC chapter convert an online newsletter into a blog. Answer: if it
makes sense to do so, then why not?

> Anyway, I think what Milan's original post probably more envisioned was
> something closer to the Roubini blog than the Light Reading blog, and as
> I have said I think that pretty much ceases being a blog and becomes an
> online newsletter, with the added feature of allowing interactive
> discussion appended to each "feature" or article.

But is this a bad thing, given that the whole point was to reshape the
existing online newsletter?

Bill Swallow
HATT List Owner
WWP-Users List Owner


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