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Cuban on the Name "Blog"

I was checking out Mark Cuban's blog the other day and ran into a recent entry that ended with this interesting thought:

One of the biggest all time product branding blunders in any business is newspaper columnists and reporters calling what they write on the web a blog. When you have a reporter in the field offering online updates and you call it a blog, you define them as peers of the many unwashed masses who post on a blog, myself included. Suzy and Don on myspace have a blog, and so does your intrepid reporter. Its not too late to come up with a name to brand what professionals call their timely infield updates. Its the only way you are going to differentiate your news organization from user generated content.

While I've already said my piece on the name "blog" and its evolution, I thought Mark's insight was very interesting. In many ways it encapsulates the problems newspapers have online.

New mediums require new brands and new products. In the past there was no need to differentiate between branded and unbranded journalism. Only the former had the distribution and thus was relevant. But with Google making all sorts of info readily accessible to all quickly, that's changed. But there's still a difference between branded and unbranded journalism which would and should be called out. How better to do that than with a good name...

Every company in the world knows that a new product with new features and new functions needs a new name to distinguish it from the competition. Why don't newspapers do this too?


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Comments (1)

You make an excellent point and as a Web developer for a newspaper (Idaho Statesman), this is probably something we should be brainstorming. Although oddly enough, many of our reporters are really clamoring for their own blogs and don't mind calling them that.

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