Three kinds of blogs

The other day, someone was taking a look at Joi Ito’s Web and asked me what I liked about it. The subtext to her question was, “this is very different than what you’re doing… is it better? worse?”

As more and more people consider blogs for politics (cover of tomorrow’s NY Times magazine) or business or ego or as a hobby, I wonder if we need to get a little taxonomic here (Carolus Linnaeus – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia). Forgive me if others have done a better job, but here’s my best shot.

There are three important kinds of blogs:

1. News blogs. These are the original model. The idea is simple. An author (or authors–see Boing Boing: A Directory of Wonderful Things) chronicles the events of the day. This can be commentary on politics or news or dieting sites or merely pointers to interesting technology introductions.

Some of the most popular blogs are just carefully edited indices of the best of today’s Net. Others include a lot of pithy commentary on the part of the writer. News blogs are a fantastic solution to the noise filtering problem.

2. Writer’s blogs. You’re reading one. These are blogs that while they occasionally riff about today’s news, are mostly an opportunity for the writer to engage in an extended monologue. The monologue is influenced by reader feedback and new happenings, so it’s a lot more interactive than a book, but it certainly isn’t a conversation. I think this is a very new form of media (it’s a process, not a batch).

3. Our blogs. This is what Joi is at the forefront of. Our Blogs are blogs that are the tip of the community iceberg. A posting on an Our blog is nothing but a firestarter, a chance to start the conversation and see what happens.

Sometimes, it’s easy to assume that all blogs are the same, and therefore a blog isn’t the right solution for a given problem. At the same time, there are those in the blogging community who are upset when all blogs aren’t the kind of blog that they’re used to. I think it’s early days, and there are bound to be a few other types of blogs as time goes on.