More Bullshit About How Weblogs Should Work

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Jimmy Guterman:

“Well, first I want to be clear that Media Unspun itself was not a Weblog. We’re big fans of the freedom and diversity of blogs, but we were not a blog. Blogs go from a single person’s mind to the Web with no intervention (team blogs work the same way). Unspun has writers and editors, all of whom collaborate to create a product we intended to be professional as well as useful and entertaining.”

It’s not the first time I read this kind of nonsense. Nothing prevents a collablog from having “writers and editors.” We have editorial guidelines at TheEndOfFree and MarketingVox. We brainstormed extensively about who was our audience, what content we wanted to provide, how we wanted to organize it, and what voice we would have. Of course individualities remain, but we do have a common purpose and operational mode. It’s not because they’re informal that they don’t exist. This is the usual “we love blogs but we’re better than them because we have our editorial process blah blah blah” from late wanna-be bloggers with a traditional media-mindset.

In the collablogs I’m part of, we run stories by each other for comments or approval (i.e. “do we want to run that kind of stories?”) and we did “collaborate to create a product.” Whether we succeed our readers get to decide, but claiming that weblogs can’t be run that way is ludicrous and uninformed. Weblog software might not embed formal workflow, but Blogger Pro and Movable Type support a draft status that you can use to edit stories before publication. Just do the collaboration through online tools such as plain e-mail, IM, discussion lists or intranet blogs.
And although that’s far from optimal, you can always edit stories after publication when mistakes are spotted after the fact. It still beats stories that stand uncorrected once they’ve been published (you know, the deadline mindset and all).

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