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Archive for October 18th, 2012

  1. stevebuttry
    What’s the difference between a columnist & a blogger? Are the differences diminishing? @tschmedding asks. I answer: http://wp.me/poqp6-2AM
  2. As I’m editing this Storify, I realize with a little bit of horror that this could have a small echo of the tired old discussion of whether bloggers are journalists. I don’t mean it that way. Bloggers certainly include a lot of journalists. I view this question as an effort to understand the differences and similarities between columnists and blogging journalists.
  3. BoraZ
    What’s the difference between a columnist and a blogger? http://bit.ly/RE4CpA by @stevebuttry I struggle with this all the time. #sci4hels
  4. BoraZ
    @jayrosen_nyu @stevebuttry that is my usual answer – posts are links in a chain (or nodes in a web), columns are stand-alone.
  5. TomLevenson
    RT @jayrosen_nyu: @BoraZ @stevebuttry Flow.<-Format too. Also, often, familiarity w. the concept of “data.”
  6. Gurdur
    @jayrosen_nyu Brevity. @BoraZ @stevebuttry
  7. BoraZ
    Yes, blog posts often go very long. No word-limit. RT @Gurdur: @jayrosen_nyu Brevity. @BoraZ @stevebuttry
  8. This point from my post drew some response: “For the best columns, the relationship with readers is what makes them most special. The relationship with readers may be the greatest strength of a good column. I know that some blogs achieve a strong relationship with readers, but I doubt many people open their computers in the morning, planning to turn to their favorite blogger first, the way that newspaper readers might turn first to a great columnist. If I’m right about this, I think that reflects the vastness of the content available and the sporadic times that blogs appear. I am an early riser and post often in the morning, but I might post in the afternoon and I don’t post every morning. I think people find my blog through Twitter, Facebook, RSS and occasional visits, rather than looking for me in the paper every Sunday and Wednesday.”
  9. rocza
    @BoraZ @stevebuttry Strongly disagree w/ #1- I don’t have a morning columnist I run to. I have several bloggers I read 1st thing every AM
  10. BoraZ
    @rocza @stevebuttry likewise, never cared about any columnist ever. Religiously read some/many bloggers.
  11. rocza
    @BoraZ @stevebuttry yep. Mornings I have to see what @edyong209 @docfreeride @FearLoathingBTX & Bora have written. Other ppl multiple x/week
  12. I stand corrected, though I will note that I said the relationship with readers was a similarity between bloggers and columnists. 
  13. johnmcquaid
    Columnists should blog, but column-writing and blogging aren’t (yet) the same thing http://bit.ly/RE4CpA by @stevebuttry
  14. notscientific
    @BoraZ @stevebuttry If it’s not online, it’s not a blog. If it’s online it is.
  15. edyong209
    The spelling. Seriously, that’s it. RT @BoraZ: What’s the difference between a columnist and a blogger? http://bit.ly/RE4CpA by @stevebuttry
  16. This is an excellent point, one which came up in the comments on my blog:
  17. rocza
    @edyong209 @boraz @stevebuttry to be fair- & speaking as someone who writes & edits- a column tends to be edited, too. It tightens things up
  18. I may have misunderstood this tweet, but it seemed to me like a gratuitous shot at bloggers. I have edited some sloppy columnists and I think many blogs are as precise and accountable as anything published by newspapers (which, I agree, prize precision and accountability).
  19. trafficstatic
    @BoraZ @stevebuttry What’s the difference between a columnist and a blogger? Precision. Accountability.
  20. stevebuttry
    .@trafficstatic @BoraZ Yes, bloggers held accountable by quick feedback from community.
  21. BoraZ
    Correct. RT @stevebuttry: .@trafficstatic @BoraZ Yes, bloggers held accountable by quick feedback from community.
  22. lindseywiebe
    @stevebuttry I think there are often differences in tone/approach, but mainly, it’s the medium that dictates those things.
  23. edyong209
    @BoraZ @stevebuttry @jayrosen_nyu To my mind, smart money has always been about fusing best of diff cultures/approaches. Blogumnists 😉
  24. BoraZ
    @edyong209 the main problem is when columnists-turn-bloggers still want to be called columnists 😉 @stevebuttry @jayrosen_nyu
  25. BrendaTNYC
    @stevebuttry “Blog” is too general a term. Wish we were at a specificity stage.Blogs as diary aren’t the same as editorial essays.
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I won’t be blogging for a few more days about Clayton Christensen‘s Nieman Reports piece Breaking News, but I want to acknowledge it and encourage reading it. (I’ve been too busy to dig into it, but plan to do so this weekend.)

Mark Potts, one of the smartest voices about digital journalism, calls it “maybe the most insightful, important article on the future of the news business since Clay Shirky’s legendary ‘Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable‘.” (I blogged about the Shirky piece when it was published in 2009.)

When I was at the American Press Institute from 2005-8, we partnered with Christensen on the Newspaper Next project. I came to respect his insights about business and disruptive innovation greatly. I wish the newspaper business had followed the Newspaper Next recommendations more aggressively. I encourage people in the business to read Christensen’s latest piece (co-authored by David Skok and James Allworth). And I’ll have more to say on it soon.

Update. I have now blogged some thoughts on Christensen’s Breaking News.

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I had an email exchange about the difference between a columnist and a blogger with Teresa Schmedding.

Teresa is Assistant Managing Editor-Content Systems for the Daily Herald in the Chicago area and president of the American Copy Editors Society. She sent me the following email (used here with her consent):

I’m having a conversation in my head about blogs v. columns.We’re getting ready to revamp our article page templates, pull our old blogs into our current CMS, which gives me an opportunity to re-train the staff on the purpose of a blog v. a column or an article. And, as I’m thinking about it, I’m thinking there really shouldn’t be much of a difference between a column and a blog. I started mapping out elements of a blog and here’s what I came up with:

Key elements of blogs: (more…)

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