Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Email v. blog posts

I have long been an advocate of replacing many types of email with blog posts. I still think this is the correct approach in many situations, but their does seem to be a fundamental difference in writing email and writing a blog post which has everything to do with the audience.

The smaller and more highly trusted the people on a particular email distribution list, the more likely you are to write quickly and off the cuff, with less sanitizing of the message. The broader the distribution list and the greater the potential career impact of the people on that list, the longer you are going to spend composing and polishing that email. It's a fundamentally different sort of communication than the first email.

Blog posts are much more like the latter. Even if only a few people actively read what you write, the potential for lots of people with lots of influence to do so is there. This may be a contributing factor in me writing a lot more emails than blog posts. I certainly don't want to get fired for blogging.


Blogger Guy said...

One of the aspects I most appreciate in blogging I will dub: the Ozymandias syndrome. Folks tend to write about the type of thing which they feel will stand up to the tests of time. It's like the antithesis of instant messaging - where your "presence" is your lasting commitment in context, not an unmeasured graphito.

4:25 PM  
Blogger Blind Tangerine Jones said...

Interesting! In the securities industry, firms now have to comply with Sarbanes-Oxley, which requires the archiving of all IMs and e-mails. This basically eradicates the distinction you correctly identify: You, like Nixon, have to consider the possibility that your fat-fingered, indiscreet blurts, with undeleted expletives, may someday wind up on posterboard in court or before a congressional committee. That's not entirely a bad thing, I think: the literary art of the corporate memorandum might enjoy a renaissance because of it. It also means, why not blog? The need for self-control applies equally to blogging and e-mail now, in principle.

3:44 AM  
Blogger Eric said...

For industries other than purely financial ones, SOx only applies to "key financial applications. Even where we log IM's, we still discover a fair amount of casualness. It is, after all, IM.

Some of this may be the difference between knowing you are being monitored and internalizing it. More importantly, perhaps, is that it takes effort and authority to search those logs, while searching the web is a simple thing. The potential for discovery is greater and more capricious.

4:12 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home