The Huffington Post Complete Guide To Blogging book just hit the bookshelves, and the foreword by Kenneth Lerer and the introduction by Arianna Huffington make it worth the price of the book alone. It’s heartwarming to hear about why they started The Huffington Post, and it also illustrates what makes these new media channels so beautiful and why Blogging still matters (and will continue on into the future).
"We had to figure out a way to create a competitive media company without any of the pre-existing resources. Our lack of a legacy was both an obstacle and a boon. On the one hand, we had no infrastructure, no team of reporters, no brand. On the other hand, we had no baggage – unlike a television network, or a print newspaper, or a magazine that has to reconfigure and translate itself into a new online medium. We were under no burden of a long-standing business model – we were free to create a brand new one… So while we had to overcome the fact that we were starting from nothing, we also had the benefit of starting from nothing." – Kenneth Lerer from the foreword of The Huffington Post Complete Guide To Blogging.
Innovation and Entrepreneurship defined. It’s pretty amazing when you realize that The Huffington Post first started publishing on May 9th, 2005. That was not too long ago, and in that short period of time, it has managed to become the #1 ranked Blog on Technorati.
Arianna Huffington talks about the change in media in her introduction for the book:
"I am frequently asked if the rise of New Media is the death knell for Old Media. My answer is that Old Media isn’t dead; it’s critically ill but will actually be saved by the transfusion of passion and immediacy the New Media revolution has inspired. Blogging and the new media are transforming the way news and information are disseminated – serving as a wake-up call. A wake-up call the traditional media – after years of hitting the snooze button – has finally heeded. But it took a while."
Here’s Arianna’s take on why Blogging matters:
"Then there is the open nature of the form – the links, the research made visible, the democratic back and forth, the open archives, the big professorial messiness of it all. It reminds me of my schoolgirl days when providing the right answer wasn’t enough for our teachers – they demanded that we ‘show our work.’ Bloggers definitely show their work. It’s why you don’t just read Blogs – you experience them."
"As someone who had spent her adult life toiling in the world of books and syndicated newspaper column-writing, where the eternal verities of beginning/middle/end are the Rosetta stone of structure, it was utterly liberating to find a place where the random thought is honored. Where a zippy one-off is enough to spark a flurry of impassioned replies. And where reaching the climax too quickly is okay."
"Blogs are by nature very personal – an intimate, often ferocious expression of the blogger’s passions. You’re much more intimate when you’re writing a blog than when you’re writing a column, let alone a book – it’s the conversational nature of it, the way that it draws people in and includes them in the dialogue. You may set out to write about politics, but in the end, you write about yourself, about the things you care about beyond politics. And this creates a close bond between blogger and audience. It really does become a conversation."
Arianna’s introduction for The Huffington Post Complete Guide To Blogging really resonates with the passion and power of Blogging. Why do you think Blogging still matters?
One BIG reason blogging still matters to me is that I just started blogging six months ago. So come on world — don’t tell me blogging is dead. But honestly, the main reason I blog has little to do with whether the genre is dead, dying or still in its ascendancy. I blog because it’s the best way to get myself to sit down regularly and think about something, and work through those thoughts, before applying them to — funny, I was going to say paper. But you know what I mean. I blog because I think. Indeed I’m off to do that right now at http://socialmediasoapbox.wordpress.com
It matters because it is connecting smart people that once operated in a vacuum. Now many of us choose to share our experiences in life with each other and ultimately learn from each other.
It is bringing a group of people who may have never even met closer together and allow us to grow with each other. That in itself is pretty amazing.
I think blogging allows people the chance to synthesize and publish their ideas in creative ways. Moreoever, via comments, bloggers interact with other individuals to crystalize their ideas. Aside from this psychological benefit, I believe that the knowledge industry as a whole will benefit from blogger collaborations.
Personally, my favourite blogs are the ones that are clearly a therapeutic resource for the writer. I appreciate blogs with original content and an honest sharing complete with real questions and confusions about the topics discussed.
Is the Huffington book worth the price tag?
Blogging is relevant, and will continue to be relevant, because getting on radio, TV, or in mainstream print media, is too hard, too expensive, and too time consuming for most people. Blogging, and other forms of social media, are relatively simple and cheap with the potential to reach a large audience.
Blogging is also the best way to create highly accessible long form content on the Web outside of an article directory or content driven website.
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