Blogging different from print? Not according to this poll…of bloggers
The Wine Bloggers Conference is slated to be held Oct. 24-26 in Sonoma, and I’ll be going. It’s my first participation in group blogdom since I launched this site last May and I value the experience.
Ever since I started paying attention to the wine blogosphere, I’ve noticed a current of feeling that blogging is somehow different in essence from traditional print — purer, more honest, less driven by concerns for advertising, profit and similar nasty pecuniary obsessions. This feeling is best expressed, of course, by bloggers themselves, as you’d expect from revolutionaries who operate outside the MSM box.
As one who straddles both worlds, I think that the similarities between blogging and print are more apparent than this view permits. Check out this “Feedback Forum” on the Wine Bloggers Conference website. It polled participants as to which among a list of possible breakout session topics they wanted most to attend.
Their choices reveal, not anything outstandingly radical or different about the wine blogosphere, but how its concerns are precisely those of print journalism. As of this date, here are the readers’ top 2 choices, with my commentary in italics.
- Increasing visitors to your blog. This is the same thing wine magazines want. Just substitute the word “subscribers” for “visitors” and “magazine” for “blog.”
- Making money from your blog. Duh.
I point these things out not to disparage blogging, although I do wonder if the Conference will address the topic of the ethics and practices of blogging, which I have recently called into question. I happen to believe blogging represents a wave of the future (although it’s unclear where that wave is taking us). But I don’t think blogging’s essence is fundamentally different from print journalism’s. It’s just a new medium, and if blogging is indeed something new, bloggers need to develop a set of ethics not only as stringent, but more so, than those under which print journalism operates.