Blogging is normal – let’s move on

By Nick Holmes on November 7, 2008
4 comments
Filed under Blogging

An article in this week’s Economist concludes:

Gone, in other words, is any sense that blogging as a technology is revolutionary, subversive or otherwise exalted, and this upsets some of its pioneers. Confirmed, however, is the idea that blogging is useful and versatile. In essence, it is a straightforward content-management system that posts updates in reverse-chronological order and allows comments and other social interactions. Viewed as such, blogging may “die” in much the same way that personal-digital assistants (PDAs) have died. A decade ago, PDAs were the preserve of digerati who liked using electronic address books and calendars. Now they are gone, but they are also ubiquitous, as features of almost every mobile phone.

That blogging has gone mainstream may disappoint some early adopters who might have wished their turf to have remained unsullied. However, it was hardly unexpected. Put a useful technology out there and all sorts of people will find all sorts of uses for it. Remember the web itself circa 1995?

(Hat tip: John Naughton)

4 comments

The point in the Economist article about “companies far outside the media industry have embraced blogging as just another business tool” is an interesting if somewhat optimistic view of current business realities.
Of the vast array of technologies available hosted blogging platforms and tools, such as TypePad and WordPress, are undoubtedly amongst the most powerful, easy to use, and cost effective. Although the thrust of the article is about an increasing ubiquity of the technology I don’t yet see the kind of integrated use of it I was expecting to see, particularly amongst law firms. The vast majority of companies still ghettoise their use, or their staff’s use, of blogging and blogging tools, with a view of the technology set in the past. This vision of blogging and blogging tools fixed in the past provides an increasingly poor map of current realities and potential, and is an even less useful map for the future.
I contrast to this I would humbly present the website of my wife’s law firm SpainWilliams llp and its integral family law blog: Family Law Matters. Since day one, in November 2005, the entire website has been built on the hosted blogging platform TypePad from the company Six Apart. The blogging aspects of the website may even be invisible to most visitors. I am not saying that it represents a perfect use of the current potential of blogging tools but at least it is making continual incremental and experiential steps towards gaining the maximum benefits from this technology and platform. Three years on I am still not seeing many firms fully engaging this “useful and versatile” technology as I was expecting; it’s often still very arms-length.
I disagree with the Economist article when it claims “Gone… is any sense that blogging as a technology is revolutionary, subversive…”, for many company managers and leaders this outdated and sadly limiting view is still current. I entirely agree that: “Confirmed, however, is the idea that blogging is useful and versatile.” and that “In essence, it is a straightforward content-management system that posts updates in reverse-chronological order and allows comments and other social interactions.” Yes one limited view of blogging is gradually fading – rumours of the death of this view are premature – but there are many who can hardly “move on” from somewhere they have never really been.

by Diccon Spain on 7 November 2008 at 2:32 pm. #

Diccon – Those you are describing are Geoffrey Moore’s “late majority” and “laggards”, but there’s no doubt blogs have crossed the chasm and are a normal business tool.

by Nick Holmes on 7 November 2008 at 7:05 pm. #

Nick – I suppose what I am trying to say is that the majority of businesses are completely missing the current potential of blogging technology because:

They don’t know they don’t know, or know that they don’t know but don’t care (possibly in both cases believing blogging technology is entirely irrelevant to their business).

Yes it might be regarded as a potential normal business tool, but one that is often ignored, and rarely utilised to its full potential (outside media companies). A notable exception to this, although not a business as such, is Number 10’s website: http://www.number10.gov.uk.

by Diccon Spain on 11 November 2008 at 7:04 pm. #

[…] John Bolch asks Has blawging become “establishment”? Well, yes, John, everyone’s at it now – blogging is normal. […]

by Binary Law · Too many #LawBlogs ? on 17 May 2011 at 6:10 pm. #