I don't hate blogs themselves, just the word. It sounds like something you would utter after eating a pepperoni Stromboli and a 20-ounce bottle of soda.
Linguistics aside, I have found much confusion among the public as to what a blog actually is. Many see it as a personal journal, much like the blog you are reading right now. And most are just that.
But blogs can also be news sources, photo or video galleries, kiosks of public opinion.
Like a web page, it can be whatever you want it to be.
Earlier this week we gathered a group of our bloggers and some potential bloggers for two very interesting meetings, one held at Saxby's in Lansdale and the other at Pizza Time Saloon in West Point. These bloggers represent a wide variety of styles and topics, from parenting and music to real estate and non-profits.
We introduced them to Mark Potts, a former journalist and current entrepreneur who is CEO of the start-up GrowthSpur.com.
Potts is among a group of heavy-hitters in the new media world who are looking ahead to what local news coverage will look like in the not-so-distant future. What he sees is greater participation by community members, both journalist and non-journalist, who can use blogs to cover the news in their own back yard using writing, photography, video, and social media.
GrowthSpur is designed to help these bloggers get some local advertising to support and hopefully encourage their efforts.
So where does a newspaper come into all this? Well, they could simply ignore this rapidly developing concept and hope readers stick around, or instead they could foster and encourage outside bloggers, who could supplement newspaper coverage, providing readers with a wider range of voices and more stories than they could ever hope to produce on their own.
Win-win? I think so.
Decide for yourself - here is a video of our meeting at Saxby's.