In October, blogger Mario Asselin asked his readers to evaluate what makes a good journalist blog. He was researching an article that has just been published in Le Trente about Quebec’s journalist-bloggers. In it, he concludes there are only two who fit the proper definition: TVA’s Dominic Arpin (ironic since he’s since stopped blogging) and freelancer Nicolas Langelier.
Now, I’m not upset that he didn’t include yours truly in his über exclusive list (especially now since Michel Leblanc has my back). I’m used to being left out of the Quebec blogosphere as an anglophone (mostly because there’s an assumption that “Quebec” and “francophone Canadian” are one and the same). What bothers me more is the criteria used to distinguish a good blogger from a bad one.
It’s something I see a lot of. Because “blog” doesn’t have a very clear definition other than “website with entries displayed in reverse-chronological order,” people are making up their own definitions, putting additional restrictions on the term.
Among the restrictions Asselin and his readers seem poised to apply:
- Must have comments enabled for each post (and respond to those comments)
- Must be personal and talk about personal, behind-the-scenes issues
- Must produce original content (instead of aggregating the content of others)
- Must comment on other people’s blogs and otherwise have a presence outside their blog, like going to YULblog meetings
- Must update at regular intervals (at least one post a week)
- Must write about other bloggers (and especially competing bloggers)
Though all of these things sound great, are they all absolutely required in order to produce a good blog?
The Kate McDonnell’s Montreal City Weblog doesn’t have comments. Craig Silverman’s Regret the Error doesn’t discuss personal issues. Pierre-Léon Lalonde’s Un Taxi La Nuit has sometimes gone weeks without updates. The Gazette’s Habs Inside/Out is mostly aggregation of other people’s content (including that of The Gazette), and Stony Curtis is almost entirely just reposting stuff he’s found online.
Are these not blogs? Are their authors not bloggers?
Where do you draw the line between a “real” blogger and “fake” one?