Monday, 28 November 2005

Are Outsell and Gartner’s blogs real blogs?

As blogs move out from the early adopters community into mainstream, what had to happen is is happening. The spirit of blog is being perverted from the ideal of a participative forum enabled by tools into something which is in fact just a "diarised web" page as as "pseudo-bloggers" do not enable comments on their "blogs". We’ve posted on this before at Gartner’s expense (see Symposium Blog and Gartner Ombudsman Strives for Control) but discovered today another example: Outsell Now does not allow comments either. Shame.

We thought James Governor may have an idea on the question, now that he’s back into action…


catherine helzerman said...

This is one of my favorite rants.

If you do not have
- comments
- trackbacks
- serial entries
- rss
you're not a blog.

David Rossiter said...

I'm with you. Comments are a core component of blogs. Isn't it all supposed to be about the discussion? A blog without comments is just a website.

Anonymous said...

Gee, we always thought that blogging was all about no rules. We didn’t realize there was a blogging police. I guess we are guilty of...not having a blog? Which is sort of fine with us. We don’t generally refer to it as a blog anyway.

We’ve had comments open on some of our pieces, but in general we have other forums for dialogue with our clients and readers. OutsellNow has been a way for us to supplement our weekly OutsellNow – Friday Edition with other event-driven analysis that we want to get out to our readers prior to Friday. It’s worked just fine for that purpose. We didn’t realize we were playing fast and loose with the Blog Code.

David Curle
OutsellNow editor.

James Governor said...

David's comments are interesting.

"we always thought that blogging was all about no rules."

I would argue that the "rules" of blogging, many of them implicit, are what make the phenomenon interesting and useful.

People like Scoble and Shel Israel and Steve Rubel have done us all a service by articulating what some of the rules are.

The best reason to have comments is not because you might be criticised for "not being a blog", but because you're potentially not taking advantage of one of the best things about blogs, the feedback loop and potential for public engagement. but that is a business choice, and you make your position clear, which is good.

if you want to discuss the "blog code" David i would be happy to spend some time with you on that. at RedMonk we have spent a lot of time trying to understand how blogs are most effectively used, and helping clients accordingly. but as you say "we're fine with not having a blog" so its all good.

the Symposium blog - is frankly not really worthy of comment. Gartner doesn't get it and i don't expect it to any time soon.

bitblue said...

Hey James... Man! That last sentence hurt... I'm so glad to know you because you get it and everybody else doesn't. ;-)

I'd say, everybody has a right to post whatever they desire in blogs or elsewhere. That's the whole point, right? At the same time, everybody has the same right to read or ignore whatever is written in blogs or elsewhere. Fair?

In any case, what I find fascinating is the level of hypocrisy in many blogs, where the blog owner denounces others (individuals, companies, blogs, whatever) while acting in the exact same way. Case in point: Have you tried posting a comment on GartnerWatch?