Fortune Magazine's David Kirkpatrick and Daniel Roth have just posted an excellent article about blogging. There are interviews with the usual suspects. A lot of the stories will be familiar to heavy blog readers but it's a great summary of what's going on and a "must send" link to people you know who still don't understand blogs. Extra credit for making the article accessible with a permalink and no registration. Minus points for not linking to the bloggers they interview. Apparently the print version has lots of cool charts so I'm going to pick up the newsstand version too.

6 Comments

What Joi? You don't have a subscription by now?

Thanks for your comments. We did aim to write the story for those who still have trouble understanding exactly what blogs are--the vast majority of our readers, I suspect. I still have trouble with the pithy one-sentence explanation of what-a-blog-is for someone who has not frequented them. I'd love to hear yours.

As for the links, it's a good idea (and probably not too late to implement) but we consider it a victory just to get the story outside of the firewall.

Shouldn't Joi have a free subscription?

I'll chime in with my usual "bah humbug":

cluetrain.com was registered in 1999 and my print copy of "The Cluetrain Manifesto" is copyrighted 2000. Here we are 4 or 5 years later chanting the same rah-rah-sis-boom-bahgo-team crap. We've added some more spit shine, but its the same old pair of brogans. All of the things that are so "new" about web journals are just another angle on whats been done on the net since the early days.

  • praising/shaming companies & products we've been doing that on Usenet since before the commercial Internet.
  • permalinks are a workaround to the good old HTML anchor tag for people too lazy or incompetant to correctly author their personal web pages.
  • comments remember guestbook perl scripts? I have an O'Reilly book from 1994 which contains a primitive example script for a guestbook.
  • blogs (I hate that word) are really nothing more than personal home pages in almost every case. So what if the software to post has disguised most of the detail from the user? From what I've seen the authoring parts are not all that different from Netscape Composer or MS Frontpage or any of the other tools which have been around for about a decade now. The server side has gotten nicer, but you still need to have a pretty good understanding of the tech to make it run, why else would you need a "blogmaster"?

  • The funniest bit of the article is on page 3:
    "If you fudge or lie on a blog, you are biting the karmic weenie," says Steve Hayden, vice chairman of advertising giant Ogilvy & Mather, which creates blogs for clients.
    5 pages telling us that "blogs" are real human voices, but we got a giant of old school advertising O&M to do it for us.

    "The negative reaction will be so great that, whatever your intention was, it will be overwhelmed and crushed like a bug. You're fighting with very powerful forces because it's real people's opinions."

    wow! "real people's opinions"! where will it end? I need a PR squab from O&M to tell me that? How much will it cost me for them to solve this problem?



    But, as always, I guess its good when big media explains things to people. Someone has to cheerlead the "revolution", or televise it anyways. Go Team! (I mean it, really I do!)



    p.s. I RTFM'd on movabletype.com but cant for the life of me figure out how to insert regular HTML tags into this comment. This ended up very different than I'd figured since list items dont indent, italics dont seem to be allowed and line breaks either double up or dont skip a line at all. Guess I wont try any formatting next time.








    Is that the sound of my grandpa yelling "hey you kids! Get off my lawn!"?

    yes, personal pages are not a new thing. But the simplicity of the blog software (particularly hosted) solutions make it much easier to maintain them once they grow. The dynamic component of interlinked blogs (via Technorati) and the content management features in software like Movable Type mean that pages are really better organized and tell a better story with a nicer design.

    I can't help look at the cluetrain site and notice that it's become "read-only." It's hardly a conversation anymore, which was, perhaps, it's main reason for being.
    Without that breath of conversation, of connection (which I note that the blogosphere has in spades), cluetrain.com reads like a cheezy and pretentious relic of the boom years. I wonder if that would be true if you were using more dynamic software to update it. Maybe it would still be relevant.

    Matthew,

    You called it right. Theis here grampa is yelling at the kids on the lawn, but only because they deserve it ^_^

    My reference to cluetrain was really motivated by their most basic premise "markets are conversations" which holds as true today as any time in history. Its a good thing to remind ourselves and others of from time to time.

    You agree with me that the server side has gotten better, but no points on the technorati thing. A link is still a link and no offence to the hard working guys at technorati, but a link farm/search engine is still just that. Their thing is great, but even after hearing one of them give a rah-rah speech, I dont see what is all that different about them. Maybe my hearing aid wasnt turned up loud enough.

    Now get the heck off my lawn you young whippersnappers!


    Great article! Hope this one is also an inspiration:

    http://www.ruggedelegantliving.com/a/003396.html

    It's called "Booming Blogs! Web Log Traffic Is Up, But Are Bloggers Making Money?"

    Thanks to Movable Type and Amazon Web Services, here's one that is.

    ~Jennifer King, Publisher, Rugged Elegance LLC

    P.S. I hope everything is o.k. with your family in Japan.

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