Mini rant: Stop calling everything a blog!

Ok, I just looked up from desk and saw a segment on Sky News called Business Blog. What the hell is so bloggy about a business reporter sitting behind a desk on the telly? NOTHING! So stop calling it a blog.

Oh, but wait you say, Michael Wilson does have a blog on Typepad, buried somewhere in the sub-basement on the Sky News website right around the corner from janitor’s loo. Great! More news sushi! Just chop up what you would normally do and dump it on a blog.

What is interactive about this? Nothing. How is this engaging your audience? It’s not. Transparency? Nope. Easy for the gob on a stick (what some TV producers call the ‘talent’)? Possibly. Bottom line, what is compelling about this for the audience? Nothing. It will fail.

What I’m about to say may sound ridiculous coming from a ‘Blogs Editor’, but there is nothing magical about blog software – it’s just a really easy content-management system with comments. Just dumping content into a blog isn’t going to entice the masses to come round and participate. You actually have to engage with the audience, not just produce more flat boring content.

If you want to start a conversation with people, stop talking at them and start talking with them. Follow them sometimes, not the news agenda all the time. Link out. Link to blogs not just other news sites. Kick off a conversation. Don’t just ask: “What do you think?”

You can have the best technology and still fail because your content is stuck in the age of publishing, not the age of participation. And for chrissakes, stop calling everything a blog because you think a bit of branding is all it takes.

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