A VC in NYC likes to keep things simple. Blogging to him is about three things: Posting, Subscribing, and Tagging. And it is about far more than putting text into a blogging software and hitting a publish button.
Blogging is way bigger than that.
Podcasting is blogging.
Posting photos to flickr is blogging.
Building a link roll on del.icio.us is blogging.
Posting your cell phone videos of your cat on vimeo is blogging.
Building your personal page on MySpace.com is blogging.
Anytime a user posts their content on the web in a place they control for the world to consume, they are blogging.
This makes sense. And it is part of the growing understanding that talking about blogging in isolation, as something that ‘bloggers’ do is missing the point. Often people who haven’t really looked at blogging talk about ‘bloggers’ as if they were some alien species that invaded the online world. This is especially true for marketing and advertising types - they need to stick to their understanding of markets by demographics and their categories and by dimissing bloggers as something different from consumers, they feel they can cope with them newfangled things called blogs.
Every time I talk to a person involved in “traditional media” who wants to understand the Internet, I tell them one thing – user generated content.
Until you get user generated content, you don’t get the Internet.
And blogging is the platform for user generated content.
Subscribing is not about technology but about human behaviour… of choosing to read what you like.
...readers vote every day about what content they like and what they don’t. They do this by subscribing or unsubscribing to RSS feeds of the blogs they like.
And finally, there is tagging:
With 10 million or more bloggers posting a couple times a day, how do you keep track of all that user generated content? You can’t in an absolute sense. But you can establish a framework for user generated content and build on top of it. That’s where tagging comes in.
Everything I have seen so far (and I have been blogging for more than 3 years) leads to me agree with VC’s conclusions:
I believe that together posting, subscribing, and tagging will profoundly change the worlds of media, entertainment, commerce, and communication.
We are five years into the posting revolution, two to three years into the subscribing revolution, and maybe one year into the tagging revolution. We are just looking at the tip of the iceberg in terms of what can be done with these techniques.