Blogs as a publishing platform

Dave Winer, pioneer of blogging, RSS and other publishing standards, recently posted about the importance of blogs as a publishing platform:

Publishing keeps getting cheaper. That’s been the constant push, the practical application of Moore’s Law in my neck of the woods. I’ve always been a publishing guy, and that’s always been how I viewed computers, and it’s why I got into them in the first place. Most people don’t get this, the real story of blogging is just the continuation of the process. … Blogging is the leading edge in publishing in the first decade of this century.

I too am a “publishing guy” and continue to promote here the merits of the blog as a publishing platform for the legal world , as does Kevin O’Keefe – most recently:

Whether you’re Thomson West publishing legal treatises, ALM publishing legal periodicals, a law firm publishing newsletters, or a law professor publishing law review articles, you ought to be looking at blogging as a very cost effective means of publishing. In addition to reduced costs, blogs offer a means of distributing content. Content that is also more timely than that published in traditional fashion.

Dave and Kevin link to supporting comments from Clay Shirky (of Here Comes Everybody fame). Clay’s argument was that the concept of blogging would become less important as the range of publishing activity enabled by the blog platform expanded.

The word blog itself is going to fade into the middle distance, in the same way words like home page and portal did. Those words used to mean something relatively crisp and specific, but became so overloaded as to be meaningless.

But it’s interesting to note that Clay’s comments are actually from an interview in April 2004. So, in the context of that time, he was clearly wrong: “blogs” and “blogging” exploded thereafter. His assertion makes more sense today – now that blogging has become “normal”. But while it’s true we’re less likely to talk of newsletters, collections of articles etc as blogs just because they use blog technology, to my mind “blogging” will live on as the term used to define the “naked conversations” which have popularised the medium.

One thought on “Blogs as a publishing platform”

  1. Blogs are indeed here to stay and as was suggested, the Westlaw and Martindale Hubbells and the FindLaws of the world actually have to publish on blogs now. Not only because it is keeping up with the Joneses, but to attract new customers they have to get out there and blog for visibility. And it is cheap. Law publishing created mountains of fresh content daily and not all of it is cost effective to sell in printed form. The whole world needs to understand this concept.

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