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Watching the Blogs: NYTimes v. Newsweek

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June 13, 2005

Watching the Blogs: NYTimes v. Newsweek

Heather Green

Ok, this may be an odd comment from someone taken to task for not explaining blogging enough in our recent story about how blogs will change business.

Nevertheless, I checked out Newsweek's BlogWatch this weekend. It was the June 6 edition, with the cover about hearing loss. And frankly, I found those items a little inscrutable, especially compared to the New York Times' column on blogs, that launched this four weekends ago.

I knew what Newsweek was writing about, but I found myself thinking what would my parents, who get Newsweek, make of these little ditties about the goings on at the blogs. Maybe the Newsweek briefs are too brief. Because I don't think my parents would be able to make heads or tails of it.

The reminds me. I need to call my parents.....

10:38 AM

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Good point. An older friend (a professor) called me up a week ago. His elderly father was visiting and he wanted to know what a blog was. It actually took me a few minutes to explain it to him in a way he understood really well. There's a big knowledge gap between someone who's been to a blog (and knows what it is), and someone who's never visited a blog site.

Posted by: ante_up at June 13, 2005 12:20 PM

An interesting point. My parents (who read N------k) were dismayed when I told them I'd started a blog - they automatically assumed I was writing about my personal life for anyone to stumble into and follow along. They've visited, they read, and now they support.

Of course, I still meet many, many people who tell me they've never read one. Is it because they don't know what portends a plain old site from a blog?

Posted by: PLD at June 14, 2005 04:43 PM

I think that's it, that they don't quite know what the difference is. But I also think that people might be reading blogs without ever understanding what it is they are reading. Plenty of people, after reading our story on blogs, said to me, I go to such and such a site. Is that a blog? Yup, in many cases.

Posted by: Heather Green at June 14, 2005 05:36 PM

I agree. Big lack of awareness. Part of the problem is the name. "Blog" is catchy but still not mainstream enough. Remember Yahoo and Google when they first appeared? I think the same awareness curve will apply. Since I write a business blog for a popular website I find myself having to explain the term often. I find if I tell people it's like a column in a magazine, they get it faster.

Posted by: Kevin Stirtz at June 14, 2005 11:01 PM

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