You’re a writer and content creator, and you publish your work on your site. Are you blogging or online publishing?
For the lack of a better word, and by habit, you probably use the term blogging to describe your work.
But while blog, blogging, and blogger have been popular terms for many years, they are becoming stale and may not be the best terms to use today.
You write and publish your work online. Wouldn’t it be more appropriate to call yourself an online publisher?
The origins of the word blog
The term blog comes from the combination of the words web and log.
The first weblog, links.net, appeared in 1994. That was before the Wayback Machine launched, but here is the first saved page from 1996.
It was a basic online journal or diary to share thoughts, experiences, and links with others on the Internet. At the time, the word blog was still to come, and owners of similar early sites called them Online Diaries or Personal Pages.
The term blogging originally referred to writing and maintaining a chronological journal. Two words changed the history of blogging.
In 1997, Jorn Barger coined the term weblog.
But it wasn’t until 1999 that Peter Morholz shortened the word to blog.
The same year saw the launch of Blogger, which is still today a popular blogging platform owned now by Google.
In 2003, WordPress changed and improved blog publishing with the advent of its integrated content management system (CMS).
Today, the differences between simplistic blogging, content creation and management, and online publishing are moving what we used to call blogs in new and vastly different directions.
The word blog is outdated
The term blogging was perfectly apt for the early days of the Internet.
But does it accurately reflect the current state of online content creation today?
As the Internet evolved, so did the nature of online content.
Today, writers and content creators publish a wide range of media formats beyond traditional blog posts.
Some include audio podcasts, videos, online tools, or games, along with articles, opinion pieces, and essays.
For writers, it’s possible to create, publish and share online content in so many ways.
It’s easy to build interactive tools or offer downloadable content.
But blogging as we know it now is not only for independent writers.
Almost all major companies, businesses, and newspapers use CMS platforms to publish content.
It seems illogical to call these types of sites blogs.
The term blogging has an informal sense that simply doesn’t seem appropriate any longer.
If a site is personal, informal, and more like a daily diary, it’s probably still best called a blog.
But most online publishers create informational, commercial, and professional content.
Online publishing is a better term
What’s another word for blogging?
It’s not easy to find one word to replace it, and as far as I can tell, no one has found one yet.
The most appropriate term to replace it for me is online publishing.
One of the main reasons why it is a better term for blogging is that it’s far more inclusive.
Blogging often refers to personal or informal content.
But online publishing can encompass a broader range of media content types, including more professional or business-oriented content and digital marketing.
The term online publishing better conveys the diversity and scope of the content you publish on a site.
Another reason why online publishing is a better term for blogging is that it sounds more professional.
If you create content for a business or professional purpose, using the term blogging doesn’t accurately reflect the professionalism you apply to your work.
Online publishing is also a more descriptive term that defines the process of creating and publishing content on the Internet.
Blogging focuses on the act of writing and publishing personal posts.
But online publishing encompasses various activities, including coding, formatting, design, maintenance, security, promotion, and distribution.
Calling yourself an online publisher is a better way to describe your profession.
You could take the extra step and drop the word online. You publish content, so you are a publisher.
Is blogging self-publishing?
The lines can get blurred when you try to attach a label to something.
Yes, we all immediately think of self-publishing as the process of writing and publishing an ebook with services like Amazon KDP.
Within 24 hours, you’re a published author.
But if you publish the same content on your site, it’s blogging.
Then again, you could grab a bunch of related articles from your site, bundle them together in an epub file, and publish them as an ebook with KDP.
Or you could offer the ebook from your site as a free download.
The common denominator here is the control you have over the content you write. You choose how you publish, distribute and promote your work.
You are free to use any means available to publish your writing.
The only significant difference between the two is communication with readers.
With a website or blog, interaction with readers is easy using article comments and contact forms, and you control what gets approved on your site.
But self-publishing a book doesn’t offer much in the way of reader feedback other than book reviews.
Or in the case of Amazon, customer reviews that can’t be moderated or deleted by the author.
In either case, though, it’s still about using online tools or services to publish your writing.
So is self-publishing merely online publishing with a different label?
We’re still using words from the 1990s to define today’s technology and publishing processes.
Language constantly evolves and changes, but no matter how hard we might try, we seem to be stuck with the word blog.
I doubt that my annoyance with the word blogger to describe my online writing and publishing will change the world.
But I’ll make a start and try to reduce the use of the word from my active vocabulary.
As for the many advice articles I have written over the years, perhaps I’ll get around to updating and editing some of them someday.
Calling yourself a writer hasn’t changed. But how you publish your writing has.
So are you a blogger, an online publisher, a digital publisher, or a self-publisher?
Or you could forget all about the adjectives and labels and call yourself what you are, which is a writer and publisher.
Related Reading: 10 Different Ways You Can Publish Your Writing