I’m no longer a blogger

I’ve had it. I’m done. Don’t want to deal with it any longer.

As of this day, I am no longer a blogger.

I’m tired of the hassles of “coming up with something for the blog.”

I’m tired of explaining to people what a “blog” is.

I’m tired of others jumping to conclusions about what I write, or how it should be written, or whether I should have comments, or a list of pretty blogroll links.

So today forward, I’m no longer blogging.

I am Isaac Pigott, but you can call me Ike. Lots of people do.

I am a communicator who likes to figure things out, and share what I’ve learned. Sometimes, that involves “writing.” But I am not a professional writer.

I will continue writing for a website called “Occam’s RazR”. Just for fun, I will also be the site administrator. But I will not be a “blogger.” Not sure what that word means anymore, because it either has no relevant context or too much baggage. I will also continue contributing regular essays over at a website called “Now Is Gone,” at least as long as they will have me. I may write about blogging sometimes, but I’m not a blogger. (I spend more of my day sending e-mails, but that doesn’t make me an eMailer now, does it?)

Because I am open to ideas and opinions, I will allow some of you to contribute to this website. You can comment on the various essays I write here. I will be happy to facilitate the publishing of most of them.

What I won’t do is continue using the word “blogger” as a noun. A “blogger” is a writer. Well, some are. The standard isn’t necessarily a high one. I also won’t use the word “blogger” as an adjective. “Blogger” ethics, “blogger” relations; most of the time, it is a useless modifier that either demeans, demotes, or lowers the expectations thereof. Like people with websites are somehow in need of a different set of ethics than anyone else. It’s a little condescending, if you ask me.

There. I feel better. I hope that clears away any lingering expectations you might have as to what this website is, who I am, or why I write.

[tags]Ike Pigott, Occam’s RazR, blogging, writing, communication, language[/tags]

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Comments

  1. If you’re tired of the word, tell me why…

  2. Oh goodness, the manifesto is spreading. I gave up thinking of myself as a blogger too. I’m just a writer, thinker, dreamer guy who writes all of it down. Welcome to the freedom of knowing no one really cares expect you. (You were always there). It’s a great comfort in knowing you no longer need to impress anyone but yourself. And if you allow, I’ll continue to join in your game. 😉

  3. This is no game, Michael. I really want to get rid of the word. It’s a useless term that has scattered meaning and poor connotations.

    Freedom’s just another word for “no one was reading you anyway.” It’s Dr. Johnny Fever all over again. Thanks for being one of my 12 listeners…

  4. I enjoy your reality checks.

  5. I’ve never liked the word “blog.” It sounds so very sudden, harsh, almost mean. It’s like the word “puke.” You just can’t say it softly.

    It reminds me of the old Texas Instruments Speak and Spell. The computer voice would say it’s A-B-C’s, but “B” scared the hell out of you. a- BEE-c-d-e-f … It’s like they pumped in the voice of evil for that one letter.

    So I congratulate you on shedding the burden of that word. I’ve always considered myself a writer. I use a blogging software/mechanism to share my thoughts in writing. I try to refer to Social Media Explorer as my website, not my blog. But most people follow that with, “Oh, what’s on your site?” like I’m supposed to be selling something.

    So I’ll be a writer and you be an e-mailer and the world will be a happier place. Heh.

  6. Ike — I like your take here. It is a condescending word — very much so, in fact, and implies that what a “blogger” does is somehow lesser than what, say, a “writer” does.

    In solidarity with you!

  7. When I first heard the word blog, I really didn’t understand the hype. You see, at that point, I had been writing and publishing to the web for 10 years. I had been a ‘blogger’ the whole time, just didn’t know it had a denotation.

    When people would ask me how to get a blog, or be a blogger, I would look at them like they were the stupidest people. Of course, they didn’t know I had toiled to learn HTML, XML and was well-versed in how to publish a website using Notepad. You didn’t need to have suddenly woke up and found WordPress to be a blogger, but most of the folks who suddenly arrived thought I didn’t know what I was talking about. I was suddenly unhip.

    When the instant publishing software arrived, everyone became a blogger and somewhat elitist. I agree with you that it’s a term that means nothing and sort of comes at you like a small child handing you a crusty nose wipe.

    I’m a communicator, web geek and Dad. Maybe some of those things come out on my blog, or as us old timers call it, my website.

  8. PS: Glad to be a member of the Legion of 12. And I like your Supersuit.

  9. Mike Driehorst says

    Semantics.
    To some/many, a b-l-o-g is not a four-letter word in the bad way. To some, yeah, it covers a wide, nasty blanket over those that do not deserve it.

    So, essentially, it’s all about marketing and public perception.

    You can either give up, or work to educate, educate, educate, set high standards, point out those doing it right, and show up those not doing it right. And, educate the same.

    Ultimately, it’s all the same, no matter what you call the action of writing to a website that allows others to share your work and comment on it.

    Mike

  10. Ike, I feel liberated. I shall no longer berate myself for not “blogging” more frequently, when it’s often a matter of … well, I just don’t have anything to say at that moment, and I don’t want to publish something just for the sake of publishing.

    Now, I’m not sure I’m ready to don the beret (Twitter joke, in case one of your other 11 readers is not on Twitter). But I am tired of the pejorative term “blogger” and its associated baggage. I’ve been a professional writer and communicator for three decades. That didn’t change just because I learned WordPress.

  11. Mike, I respectfully disagree.

    Why tie yourself to a word that most people at best don’t know, and at worst misunderstand? Once the word rolls out of your mouth, there are many who will shrink and recoil from fear and uncertainty. Too many “blogs” are associated with partisan politics, and that’s the only context some have to understand.

    So why not just ask people if they are interested in interactive websites? Why try to introduce them through a word that is nothing more than a description of a software engine?

    Are accountants “spreadsheeters?” Are writers “word processors?” Are architects “CADders?” Are artists “photoshoppers?” It cheapens the human expression. If you hire a Photoshopper, you get a tradesman. If you hire an Artist, you get an artist.

    Well, I am a writer who happens to work with many forms of media. And the more I can ingrain that in my brain (and others) the happier I think we all will be. “Blogger” is too limiting a word — and when you define me you negate me. (Nietzsche).

  12. From someone who spent most of her career trying to explain why a trailer is really a manufactured home (for one it doesn’t have wheels), I have one thing to say…

    Keep spinning.

  13. I agree that I don’t like the term blogger, and I’ve even tried to call myself a writer or at most a managing editor since the “main” site is more of a community blog than anything else. I do see the need to always have to explain what I do and how I do it.

    Now something else that I’ll say though is the fact that as you know, a blogger can also use audio, video and photos to tell their stories. I think that’s why we still use the word. It allows you to cover all the bases without alienating those that don’t necessarily feel that comfortable writing primarily.

  14. Does “blog” still serve as useful shorthand at work for a specific type of Web site, or do you find yourself having to explain the term there as well? (“I propose that we deploy a Web site containing dynamic content presented chronologically with the most recent content at the top, consumed by readers either at the site or through a subscription to a feed.”)

    Funny – I have no problem using “blog” and “blogging” to describe the type of Web publishing I’ve done for the past seven years, but I have never, EVER thought of myself as a “blogger”. It strikes me as incredibly self-limiting, and (as you pointed out) demeaning when it comes from others.

  15. Hey Dre — good to see you here, and hope you get back to Birmingham safely.

    I actually want to go a step farther in that regard. We’re all communicators. I use Venn Diagrams and Demotivational posters from time to time. It’s all an effort to reach people in a way that undermines preconceived notions. Catch ’em sideways, and let the peripheral vision reveal the truth that the blind spot obscures. If you use video, great. Just don’t limit your skills to just one tool.

    @Kami — Spinning? There’s no spinning here. I’ve written before about the crossing of communications disciplines. Someone wise once wrote, “it’s human nature to categorize then push.” Well, I’m just trying to unbundle some unnecessary categorization.

    @Wade — I don’t mind the shorthand when it’s used in the right context. If I’m talking to a bunch of Red Cross people, I can throw terms like ERVs and Mass Care around without worrying about being misunderstood. If you want to use the word “blog” to describe a software engine with others who know what it is, then great. I’m just getting away from it as a descriptor of a person, because as you say it is too limiting.

  16. Ike (et al),
    I only consider you a blogger when you use your weblog software. Not you as a professional writer, communicator, crisis manager, and overall (assumingly) good person.

    None of us (I think) are professional bloggers. I’ve done many marketing and PR-type activities in my career, and I started blogging to grow and expand my knowledge and sort things out by forcing me to think and write things down. (Okay, type them.)

    So, while I know Ike, Kami, Michael and others mostly by their blog, if I would call any of you bloggers, I know it’s not all inclusive of what you do. (Heck, Kami sings, too!)

    Any time one tries to categorize people, events, etc. — as is human nature — it’s never all-inclusive. Though forgotten, it is a given. Just like, as limiting as writing is, people will often take one snippet of a post, for example, and turn it against you.

    That’s when we turn on our other communication and strategic abilities.
    –Mike

  17. You know the garbageman is now a sanitary technician but his job is still the same.

  18. Personally, I could take it or leave it. Some words get me crazy where I feel expected to live up to their definition, but I’m okay with blogger if people need a label for things.

    I’m more about the expression of the idea itself anyway. Call it being media agnostic. The concept that it’s the idea or message that counts, not the method of delivery, be it blog, letter to the editor, photograph, etc.

  19. Oh well… late to the party as usual!
    Now I get the Twitter reference.

    I don’t refer to myself as a blogger – but because I don’t make a living that way – any more than I refer to myself as an artist, a philosopher, a writer, or any other ‘descriptor’ – because at the moment, that’s not how I earn my bread and butter.

    If someone pays me to blog? I’ll accept the term blogger. Not in the limiting sense – but in the ‘she’s currently making money doing X’ sense.

    It’s kind of like being labeled a “children’s author” or “sci-fi author” or any other descriptor – shorthand for those who want to know how one makes one’s living.

    But I do understand your offense at the term.

    I didn’t exactly think of you as a Blogger – so much as a Twitter friend who happens to write really well.

  20. I’m happy to join this train. I’m not a blogger either. At one time I was a freshman in college who called herself Alice and wrote stuff at “Wonderland or Not”. Some time passed, and all of a sudden I was called a blogger.

    It a relief to shed that skin, I’m sick of all those blogging rules anyway.

  21. You can stop calling yourself a blogger, but others will annoyingly persist in labelling you as such. It’s like the debate between linguists who take a prescriptive approach (telling others how they think the language should be used) vs those who take the descriptive approach (analyzing the language as it exists). To my mind the prescriptives never win – language has a life of its own.

    That said, I totally agree with your point about “blogger relations” and “blogger ethics” being icky terms.

  22. The other day, my six-year-old son and I were playing the dozens…coming up with funny ways of insulting each other…whereas I would call him a “lampshade terrorist” and he would call me a “double decker tacohead”…just playfully stretching our imaginations before he went to bed. Towards the end of the game, I called him a “potato farmer” and he hurled at me, “You blog!” I laughed a nice, hearty laugh and realized he had totally just won the game.

  23. Randy Steinman says

    Ike,

    I am going to apologize to you in advance. I signed off on my book early this week… and have this for your bio (note the FINAL word):

    “Isaac Pigott’s 16-year broadcast career included several awards for reporting and an Emmy for news writing. He is the Director of
    Communications for the American Red Cross in the southeastern U.S. A graduate of the University of Alabama, he authors Occam’s RazR, a renowned Corporate Communications Blog.”

    Had I only seen your post five days earlier, I would have gladly edited it. Sorry about that.

    RPS

  24. Randy, for some reason it sounds a lot more respectable when you say it. Maybe it’s that rich Canadian accent…

  25. It’s the stupid and those that cannot think beyond their noses and see the bigger picture that label themselves blogger (or even social media specialists).

    I had this issue at a PR firm: they siloed me into blogger boy. It was stupid, as it ignored my media relationships and talents.

    Blogger or social media is a single bullet point in a bigger job description. That’s all it is.

  26. Personally, I liked the Dr. Johnny Fever reference best… but does it really matter? It would be nice to say that the forum is beside the point, but if it was, we wouldn’t be here. Ike — and most of you here — you think, you make connections, you communicate, you write. Sometimes the words glide across the page and screen and seem like they could have been written no other way, they make so much sense. I have a sense of your personality that I wouldn’t otherwise have. So I’m glad — whether it’s a blog or an epistle or whatever you want to call it. I’m too tired to debate much.

    I’ll respect anyone’s wishes. If you don’t want to be a blogger any longer, or called one, that’s fine (and I have no accent to ameliorate the title).