Bloggers aren’t journalists. Bloggers are people who use blogging software.
There are journalists who blog. There are bloggers who aspire to journalistic standards.
Chris Brogan

Between some recent experiences at Podcamp Toronto and the blog post linked above, I’ve been thinking about what it means to blog. Now, this is something about I’ve written about extensively, but to tell you the truth, I’m not even sure that I believe my own hyperbole.

The truth is, a blogger is someone who writes on a blog.

A blog is an online content portal powered by a certain kind of publishing platform.

A blogging platform is a CMS that features content from the most recent item, organizes items by category, offers an RSS feed, and has an option to let readers comment on content items.

In fact, since blogs became wildly popular common, mainstream news publications such as newspapers have started to feature comment sections and offer RSS feeds. Where a newspaper really differs from a blogs is that feature the most “newsworthy” content at the forefront of their index page; after all, even newspaper RSS feeds pretty much feature the most recent items at the top, regardless of how newsworthy they are.

And when you consider how people are hacking premium wordpress themes to resemble publications, even blogging platforms aren’t differing that much from the more proprietary CMSs that mainstream publications such as newspapers use to power their content portals. In fact, if they differ in a major way, it’s probably that they’re easier to install, are more user-friendly, and more vulnerable to attacks from hackers (if they are powered by an open-source platform, that is).

Come to think of it, then, a blog is simply an online publication of some form or another that is powered by a blogging platform and does not necessarily adhere any rigid editorial mandate. To reflexively compare bloggers to journalists as though the two trades are somehow intertwined, then, makes about much sense as comparing a bounty hunter to a lawyer.

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