John Roberts notes that:
One of the oddities for me in thinking about blogs is that there is rarely a sense of someone staying On topic in the sense of traditional publications. If you read the Wall Street Journal, you know what you're going to get, and where you're going to get it, often to the column on the page. If you read CNET News.com, ditto...
With blogs, you're reading about individuals, and most of us have -- and share -- varied interests. Some folks even blog about those different interests in the same place, with or without categorization. That diversity -- all in the same blog -- is part of the appeal for me, but it sure makes it hard to categorize different voices into coherent groupings.
This that's something that a lot of people, especially those new to reading weblogs, just don't seem to get. They fail to see what's really happening. Many of us who write regularly are becoming our own micro-brands, just like magazine and newspaper columnists do. They build an audience that sometimes is loyal enough to follow them from publication to publication during their careers.
To the early adopters, among which I count myself, the names above often mean something, whether you know them as a person or not. Some of the labels stick. But the reason this still works is that the early adopters in the blogging world are still a small group, David Sifry's numbers be damned.
I don't read Jon Udell's writing because he writes for Byte, Infoworld, or any other publication. I read his stuff because I like what he writes. He's a smart guy who writes interesting stuff. While his weblog is a lot more "professional" than mine or Tim Bray's (no offense, Tim--we both talk about non-work stuff regularly), the same reasoning applies.
Amusingly, he also uses me as an exmaple:
But how do you describe why you would read, for instance, Jeremy Zawodny's blog?
I won't attempt to answer that, but it does give me an idea for a little reader survey. I do wonder, among other things, how many of my blog readers also read my columns in Linux Magazine.
His other point, made later on, is that blog classification is difficult. When the new My Yahoo launched, I told Scott Gatz (and several others internally) how I was amused by finding myself listed in the Living & Lifestyles category of our little content directory that helps users to find content.
I'm no Martha Stewart, but Wil Wheaton and Jeff Jarvis are in there too, so whatever. I guess that's where bloggers go. Notice that in the Internet & Technology category, it's exclusively Yahoo content on the first page.
Even the surfers at Yahoo aren't sure what to do with us! :-)
Posted by jzawodn at December 03, 2004 02:41 PM