Well, maybe the Soylent Green reference is a bit of hyperbole, but at the very least blogs are made by people and that is what matters.
Believe it or not, there is still a lot of discussion within and throughout the blogosphere about what actually constitutes a blog. Blogging software (or a blog-like CMS [Content Management System]) isn’t enough. RSS or Atom feeds won’t do it either. Blog-like editorial? Not if you’re one of those group blogs that are part of a Calacanis or Denton blog network.
Those are misnomers anyway. It’s not about the design or the Olympic amateur status of the blogger or the network or the AdSense ads or any of that. It’s about the people that do the blogging.
So what are the naysayers missing? I’ll say it again: blogs are made by people. Sometimes one, sometimes many. Sometimes for fun, sometimes for profit. Sometimes with a large readership, sometimes with a dream, a prayer and little to no Google juice. But, throughout it all, they are people first.
Passionate people to be sure, otherwise they wouldn’t be doing what they do. Writing about their hopes and fears in personal journals. Documenting their travels and their milestones on Flickr. Sharing their knowledge of technology and gaming (and sports, politics, poker, search technology, pop culture) because they love those things and they want to share their passion and are gaining access as though they were world-renowned journalists or authors. [And those references are just the ones from my reading list, there are countless others].
My point? People are missing the point in dismissing people whom they don’t think are bloggers. We’re all bloggers now.
There is no big PR department or communications director or marketing guru (unless you’re those kinds of bloggers). We all have comments and trackbacks and technorati cosmos and “about me” pages or feedback forms. We’re all beholden to our own good names, because it’s us on the letterhead (header graphic in blog parlance). Sure, we may be the hot new thing, the “in” crowd, the “it” of the moment, but we’re still people.
Other folks can be dismissive but we just keep going. Arguing and correcting and discussing and linking and referencing and evolving and being people, having these ongoing, interlinked conversations in this new space.
Sure, if you want to defing blogging by a narrow vision of one type of activity and say something to the effect of “all bloggers use blogging software, but not all blogging software produces blogs” you’re proving the wrong proof. The vital, immutable law of blogging is that we’re all doing it and we’re all just people sitting behind glowing screens click-clacking our way onto the internet.
All of us waiting for a comment or a trackback or a link or an email congratulating us (or bitching at us) as validation and proof that other, intelligent, living life exists somewhere out there in the ether. We may connect to it in different ways and for vastly different reasons, but these are our observations and opinions and product reviews and bitchy snark and innuendo and theories and strategies and posts. If you don’t like it, don’t cancel your subscription or change the channnel – email us. Talk to us. We’re here. We’re people. We’re the blogosphere. ALL OF US.
Are blogs going to change the world? No. People will. People with blogs who have already started to change the web and the way we think about distributed discussion. People with a passion who now use their online outlets to affect the real world.
What do you know? Blogs are made of people after all.
UPDATE: You know what? It’s people that made the Stormhoek wine geek dinner events possible. Sure, they sell wine and they’ve got a marketing blogger behind them, but they’re just people. I should know. I emailed them to try and get in on the free wine.
And the people who’ll (hopefully) be drinking that wine with me? Also people. Great Atlanta people.
And my news? Gleaned almost exclusively from people linking to other people with interesting stories and perspectives all of them with fresh, unedited, honest voices. The voice of the people.
That’s blogging, my friend. That’s people. I’ve got my telephone, water cooler, email and IM all rolled up into this one, killer app: people. Bloggers.
God bless and good night!