As I said last week, this is a new blog for me. It’s not that I haven’t tried blogging before. I have. I had the “Ask the Penguin” blog on RunnersWorld.com for several years. I blogged for a couple of years on Competitor.com. I even had a Penguin Times blog on, where else, Blogger.com.
The world is changing. The world of publishing is changing. The way we provide and receive information is changing nearly every day. In 1996 I started as a columnist for Runner’s World magazine. I felt like the guy in the old joke who says “Two weeks ago I couldn’t even spell journalist. Now I are one.” Being a print columnist meant putting down one idea per month in 750 words.
Now that I’m writing for Competitor magazine it’s about the same thing. One idea every month. To be honest, it’s not all that hard to come up with 12, 750 word ideas every year.
Blogging is different. In the early days of the internet, bloggers were journalistic outlaws. They wrote what they wanted without editorial review. Nearly overnight it seemed like everyone had a blog. It was nearly impossible to distinguish actual digital journalist from people sitting home in their bathrobe commenting on the world around them. And, in some ways, it didn’t matter.
At first all bloggers were put into the outlaw category and, frankly, they weren’t given the credit they deserved. But that’s all changed. Digital journalist, bloggers if you will, are on the front lines of contemporary journalism. There’s still a lot of noise to filter out, but, the good digital journalist will stand out.
So this is my attempt to join the ranks of the digital journalists. I’ll still write the print column and books. I like doing those. But I’m also going to try to learn the new skill of putting out more thoughts in a shorter format.
John [author, columnist, blogger]