Blogging is not a thing, it’s an attitude

After almost 20 years of writing news stories and blogs about Apple, it’s become very clear to me that large media companies do not get blogging. This isn’t new, but it’s not changing either.

Setting up a section of your Web site and giving it a different name does not make you hip and cool. You don’t all of a sudden become a blogger one day because you call something a blog.

What these organizations don’t seem to realize is that a blog is more about attitude than the real estate it takes up on your servers.

A blog isn’t about the feelings of the company, but rather a personal look at the writer. You can’t assign a blogger a story and hope the audience doesn’t get the fact that they have no idea what they’re talking about or worse yet, they don’t really care.

Readers connect with a blogger. They know things about them, they laugh together and sometimes argue over points in a story. It’s a give and take relationship that not everyone can handle.

Blogging is not about being stiff and rigid in your writing, but being flexible and flowing with ideas. It doesn’t matter if everyone agrees with your thoughts. In fact, that would be really boring — but you write it anyway.

If large media companies want their writers to be bloggers, they need to let them go. Bloggers need to feel free to express themselves and their opinions. There are plenty of great bloggers on the Internet — many of them came from these large organizations, but weren’t allowed to post their thoughts.

Blogging is also about trust. If you’re readers know that you are writing from your heart, they will listen. They will engage you, and in the process you will learn something new. That, in turn, will help shape your opinions.

Blogging doesn’t have an agenda, other than expressing your true thoughts on a subject.

  • Guest

    Well said. I liken a blog to a public diary. i.e. “This is the stuff that personally affects me that I want you all to know about.”

    Corporations aren’t personally affected. A corporate blog is “this is what we have vetted through PR and legal, but written in such a way to look informal and cool.”

    • “A corporate blog is “this is what we have vetted through PR and legal, but written in such a way to look informal and cool.”

      Exactly why 99% of “corporate blogs” can safely be ignored. They are just reworded press releases.

    • barryotoole

      “Corporations aren’t personally affected.”

      They should. According to Mitt, Corporations are people!

  • shuckster

    Nicely said.

  • Patrick Jordan

    Well said. That’s exactly how I feel about blogging.

  • Exactly right. Blogging is electronically shooting the breeze by the water cooler, with the added bonus that you can finish your sentences.

  • Randy

    Are the yachts themselves varnished?

    • Randy

      Wow. Wrong window. My apologies.

      • I hope you were reading

  • jEN

    I agree wholeheartedly.

    (And after listening to a couple of Amplified episodes, I can’t help but reading these blog posts in your voice, Jim…)

  • Could not agree more. Thank you for writing this.

    Now hoping some big online media group executives will read this…

  • Totally agree, the problem is the “people” factor of writing blogs. Sometimes it all goes to your head – “fat Head” I might say. I think there needs to be trust on both sides. I recently trusted an employee to handle all our e-commerce with full artistic freedom. Not far into the project she believed that she should be able to take the Blog, leave the company with the companies asset and run with it completely on her own, whilst continuing to check in and linki with the business. She had arranged for advertising on the blog (because I gave her full realm, although I was explicit about no advertsing!) and the adds that were running were those of our competitors. Anyway, I could go on and on. SO now I have created an “alter-ego” and this person (s) will represent the business in a free feeling way, but with the companies values and mantra in mind. I thiunk this is a win win for everyone. xxx

  • makesites

    What’s that?

    • A very nice website.

      HINT: Search for the word yacht.

  • I think there is more than one problem with big media blogs. Most of their readers are dumb. People tend to believe newspapers even if they read them online. If a blogger expresses his opinion on a newspaper’s website it becomes that newspaper’s opinion. Blogs are personal. So I don’t think large media companies and blogs are compatible at all.