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Pioneering Wine Blogger Proclaims Blogging Dead

jamie_goodeJamie Goode considers himself a wine journalist. Few would argue. His writing, which is excellent, has appeared in newspapers and magazines. He has written books. He runs wineanorak.com, which he calls an online magazine. And one of the longest-lived active wine blogs on the internet is Goode’s wine anorak blog. This weekend he proclaimed, via Twitter and Facebook, “Blogging is dead!”

A true blog is an online journal with brief, sequentially-ordered entries sharing pictures, ideas or news. People who became prominent primarily through their blog were called bloggers. Now though, it’s common to refer to anyone publishing online as a blogger. Unfortunately, that label is limiting and has also taken on derisive, or at least dismissive, connotations.

Blogs themselves are rarely self-sustaining these days. In order to drive traffic, the blog publisher must utilize social media. He or she needs to leave comments on other blogs. Being published in print helps too. Some blog owners do weekly turns on radio shows. So successful “bloggers,” are also “social media posters,” “commenters,” “columnists,” and sometimes “radio personalities.”

As Goode went on to say in the same Tweet, “People now realize that a blog is just one of many communication tools. I blog, but I'm not a 'blogger'.” I agree. It’s time to get past the idea of “blogging” as either stigma or singular achievement. "Bloggers" are writers or communicators.

Marshall McLuhan’s phrase, “the medium is the message,” is oft-quoted. But, as with many catchy lines abstracted from their context, people tend to take it literally. McLuhan did not mean that a television is a message, nor a book, pamphlet or voice — or a blog. McLuhan's point was essentially that the medium alters the audience’s perception of the message. But, the medium is still a conveyance for that message.

Of course, the form of messages are often altered by their creator to better fit a particular medium. Word counts and voice change depending on the outlet. Is it a newspaper or magazine? Is it a feature, column or sidebar? This doesn’t change the core message nor the identity of the writer though. And we don’t call someone who frequently contributes sidebars a “sidebarist.”

Today, communicators have dozens of channels for publishing their messages. Labeling people based on any single medium they employ is outmoded and explains nothing. Likewise, people who rely on just one or two means of reaching an audience will wind up talking to themselves. Blogging is dead. Long live communicating!

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This article is original to NorCalWine.com. Copyright 2012 NorCal Wine. Photo of Jamie Goode snatched from his Facebook page with the assumption he owns it and won't mind. All rights reserved.