Sunday, January 3, 2010

Is a Blog "Publishing" or "Posting" and does it matter?

Several times I have heard the reference that someone has, "...published their writing for all to see." By placing their thoughts in a digitally accessible format, others are clearly able to view, read, learn, and agree/disagree with the posting. In an even more advanced format such as a blog, they are additionally able to comment, have conversations, add input and insight, challenge the thinking, support the idea, and 100's of other options not available in traditional print and/or media based publishing such as television or radio. What a great opportunity for on-going learning on both sides of the post! Newspapers and TV news programs are using this as well to allow their print and broadcast news to get the interactive responses of their audience. Clearly the two are merging, and it appears to be for the better.
Each of these formats has a great purpose for our society and they reach both shared and separate goals, meaning that each consumer is able to use a combination of these tools to best provide for his/her individual need for news and information. So why is it that we are less comfortable with using the word "post" and are determined to be "published" when considering a blog? My simple answer is that journalism over time has created a credibility (and as a sole source for information that is good or bad) for those items that have been "published" and those of us that are blogging would like to ride that coattail of credibility for our own use.

When something is truly “published” it indicates that there has been a level of review of the material and that someone has determined that it is worthy to be placed in front of the public to represent that newspaper, radio station, magazine, or whatever the medium. Another person other than the author has reviewed the material to see that it meets a level of criteria that is acceptable to the existing standards. At the same time, these publications are limited based on time, space, etc. so there is a competitive nature of gaining access to these mediums.  Conversely a blog meets the criteria of a single person – the author, and truth be told that is probably tainted just a bit. That seems to set a different, much lower level of credibility from the start. It also is essentially limitless in content, so the battle for exposure is not at all competitive - virtually everyone's perspectives and thoughts can be posted.

Each blog can create its own level of credibility, and we have seen several that have. These sites are to be commended for doing so and should be encouraged to continue their efforts. At the same time, when any of these authors are recognized by the mainstream journalism they appear quick to note that in their blogs. This standing alone would indicate that there is a credibility and even a pride in being “published” as opposed to “posted” for even the most reliable of bloggers.

So does it really matter what term we use?  At this point in time, my decision is to differentiate the two and use the terminology of "posting" for blogs and "publishing" for the mainstream.  With that in mind, I invite all opinions to be "posted authors" on BTDH, and if you feel that you need the terminology of being a "published author" you can term it any way you want to all of your friends and colleagues.

Now I will click the little button that may be an oxymoron based on the above information.  It says, "PUBLISH POST."



dkeane said...

I wonder if much of what is published today is actually as good as most of what is posted. I have read a number of articles in newspapers recently that have little in terms of credibility and I am not sure were worthy of printing.

Marshall said...

With much of what I have read, I would agree. Your final comment regarding articles that, "...have little in terms of credibility and I am not sure were worthy of printing...." shows clearly that you also think there is a level of expectation when it comes to print. That all makes sense to me.

Kastendieck said...

Reading a few articles on publishing vs. posting and how it can pertain to doctorial work I noticed quite a few programs have a required blog as part of the publishing process. I think it is a great idea for the above mentioned reasons. Now if the universities would just make the next jump it would open up large conversations and possibilities to people whomay not go the next step in their education.

astrogalaxy said...

This is a great post.
Thank you for visiting my blog too!

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