Grated Cheese

Sometimes its Brie, sometimes its Kraft, either way its still cheese.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Three kinds of bloggers

Quite a while ago I read a blog post by Greg Knauss who had been a guest blogger for two weeks on
Around the same time several people had written their own articles on why and how we blog but this was the most concise.

“The theory: There are two kinds of bloggers, referential and experiential. Kottke is one. I, now two weeks too late in realizing this, am another.

The referential blogger uses the link as his fundamental unit of currency, building posts around ideas and experiences spawned elsewhere: Look at this. Referential bloggers are reporters, delivering pointers to and snippets of information, insight or entertainment happening out there, on the Intraweb. They can, and do, add their own information, insight and entertainment to the links they unearth -- extrapolations, juxtapositions, even lengthy and personal anecdotes -- but the outward direction of their focus remains their distinguishing feature.

The experiential blogger is inwardly directed, drawing entries from personal experience and opinion: How about this. They are storytellers (and/or bores), drawing whatever they have to offer from their own perspective. They can, and do, add links to supporting or explanatory information, even unique and undercited external sources. But their motivation, their impetus, comes from a desire to supply narrative, not reference it.

There's nothing here to imply that one type of blogger is better than the other. There are literally thousands -- OK, hundreds... OK, at least a dozen -- of both kinds that are valuable additions to the on-going conversation/food-fight/furry-cuddle that is the Internet. My point is that Jason Kottke is a very, very good referential blogger and I am a very, very bad one.”

While I very much agree with the above comments, I put it to you that there is a 3rd type of blogger, the newscast blogger. “Just so you know.” They are the people who have started up a blog without anything to blog about and so just inform people about their lives. Their posts are few and far between, often forgetting to post anything for months on end before doing a massive blog dump. Their friends check it occasionally to find out what is happening in the bloggers life. Very quickly these blogs get checked only by those who use feed burners and so check about a billion sites with one click. Usually the newscast blogger has referential and experiential blogger traits but primarily they tell the world what is happening to them one huge monthly blog dump at a time.

Self-reflection time: Looking back through my archives, I would say that I am the newscaster type, and when I can be bothered a referential blogger. Recently most of my posts are either B.dumps or posts linking to websites, programs or articles that I find and want to share. (For example this post!)

The problem is that most of my referential posts are quite boring to practically everyone else even if I find them really interesting. This then causes people to stop reading my boring and geeky post, and then they never see all the newscast posts.

In my opinion, the most interesting blogs are the experiential ones and I would like to be one myself. Its just my writing skills are a bit poor at the best of times (just ask my mum) which makes it a little tough. I will however try to blog a bit more regularly.

What kind of blogger are you?


At 5:46 am, Blogger Pet Geek said...

There are two types of people in the world: Those that constantly divide the world into two groups and those that don't.

At 12:10 pm, Blogger Harriet said...

I like the irony of that statement Si.

At 8:22 am, Blogger Mark said...

I think I'm what you call a "bore". But the good thing about the internet is that you find that the world contains at least two or three equally boring people who actually want to read what you have written.


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