When Is a Blog Not a Blog?
The Sprocket Report
More than one client recently turned up their nose when we suggested a blog page on their website. Turns out, what we’ve got here is a failure to communicate. Which is pretty ironic since blogs are all about communication.
At first, we were taken aback. Why wouldn’t you want to provide consistent new information to your website visitors? But it was really our fault for using the term “blog” without explanation. “Blog” is a shorthand term for us with a wide definition, but it means something very specific to others.
Originally “web logs,” tech experts were the first to start recording updates online to share with each other, but before long, people started personal blogs, basically writing “Dear Diary” entries to a worldwide audience. Which is why today, people still think of blog posts as inane comments about what you – or your favorite celebrity – had for lunch.
Since writing about private thoughts and individual experiences became so hugely popular with online sharers, the number of blogging tools proliferated. (Remember LiveJournal?) Today, about 75 million websites are built using WordPress, but WP was originally launched strictly as a blogging tool. Only later did it evolve into a website platform.
Our terminology obviously needs to evolve as well. Because your business doesn’t need a blog. Your business needs a news feed, a content platform, an event repository, an information file, a broadcast channel, a communication vehicle – call it what you will.
So when we asked the blog-averse client if they wanted a news platform, it was a whole different story. Yes! Of course they wanted to write and post news, articles and events to their website. Now we were communicating on the best way to communicate!
Because of the interest in personal blogging, the development of blog tools has been extensive and it’s never been easier for the average person to add new articles. Long gone are the days when Marketing had to ask IT to make updates. The work of posting content can be shared by several editors and permission levels establish how much access each editor has to keep mistakes to a minimum.
Every website should offer fresh content on a regular basis and a news page is a terrific way to do it. We’ll try not to call it “blog,” but you can still write about your lunch if you want. If you don’t currently have a news page on your site, give us a call. We’d be happy to help you get one started.