If you run a blog, do you consider yourself a blogger? Or, do you feel like the term is too limiting when describing what you do?
Last week, Dave Allen and I got into a discussion about the term ‘blogger’ (a contraction of the words web and log). I wondered, is it still considered cool and relevant? Or, has it lost some of its appeal now that everyone’s doing it?
Even though there are over 110 million blogs in existence, Dave mentioned that since many people still don’t know the difference between a blog and a website, the label ‘blogger’ can be confusing. Many times, if you ask someone if they read blogs, they’ll reply no. But, after some quizzing, they’ll admit that they do read blogs…they just didn’t realize what these sites were called.
During the time my site has been live, I’ve used the term blogger to describe what I do without much thought. My main career is in graphic design and I simply use my blog as a way share my work and thoughts with others. My frequent postings about design, style and marketing could get tricky and convoluted in another format, but a blog with categories and tags makes finding related subject matter a cinch. Blogging is simply my chosen medium of communication.
Some people like Problogger’s Darren Rowse are inching away using the term blogger because they claim that it can be too limiting.
Sometimes, writers are especially sensitive to being categorized as just bloggers and it’s easy to see why. Since bloggers are a dime a dozen, the term can be viewed as downplaying a writer’s talent and craft.
Though, as Mark Glaser points out, some formerly separate worlds have started merging over the last few years:
The time-worn debate of Bloggers vs. Journalists has finally run its course. For years, traditional journalists scoffed at bloggers as pajama-wearing screamers, while bloggers have pointed to MSM (mainstream media) as secretly biased and obsolete. While the extremists in this argument have had the stage shouting at each other loudly, what has happened quietly in the background has received less attention: Mainstream media reporters have started blogging in droves, while larger blog operations have hired seasoned reporters and focused on doing traditional journalism.
On the other side of the argument, categorizing oneself squarely in the blogger camp can make the discussion of what you do for a living less taxing. Entrepreneur Kevin Muldoon relays a common experience:
One of the things I have found about working through the web is my inability to correctly give myself a title, ie. a name which explains what I do for a living. Lots of people online seem to be using the term ‘Entrepreneur’ but I really hate it, it’s kinda pompous in my opinion. With blogging taking up most of my time now I am more than happy to use the title ‘Blogger.’
The blogger label is hip and cool now, but where will it be in five years? Will it still have any merit? Will using a different term really make a difference in how you’re perceived by your audience?
Blogging will probably always exist in one form or another. It’s not surprising that there are over 175,000 new blogs popping up every day. Blogging is an easy way to connect with a much larger audience while investing very little upfront. And, because of this, the number of blogs will continue to grow, whether a niche is already saturated or not. The appeal of sharing your views with the world and receiving instantaneous feedback is highly seductive.
In reality, the people reading your blog probably don’t care what your title is. They are visiting your site regularly because it offers a perceived value. Whether you’re a writer, an information architect, a web publisher, a content developer or just a plain old blogger, what really matters is that your readers love what you’re doing.
Do you consider yourself a blogger?