One of the biggest discussions I’ve been involved in recently between some of my closer friends and some newbies alike, is what the difference between traditional publication and blogging actually is.
SO I thought I’d sum up what I’ve had explained, what I understand and how, if anything, this changes your view on blogging.
Legally, once you’ve blogged something, it is considered published. In the case of stories, or poems, this means that if your blog is public, you’ve just given away first rights. If your blog isn’t public and it’s locked to a group of friends, your mileage may vary basically. It’s pretty safe to assume that anything over 10 sets of eyeballs is first rights, that way, you’re erring on the side of caution.
(exception – you can *self publish* something in PDF format to distribute to a tight list of friends – no matter how big that list, they are your beta readers – most publishers find this perfectly acceptable, but are a lot more picky about groups and blogs).
Legally, as in publication, you can be sued for libel, even if you’re telling the truth. So it’s important to be as careful as possible when writing.
On a personal level, most blogs are supposed to be more conversational than other forms of publication, but it’s pretty blurry. Blogs are now used to host articles from magazines, to newspapers – to teenage angst, to birth stories, to death stories, photos to diagrams and technical information. All of this leads to lots of confusion.
How about professionally?
Professionally, blogs are designed to promote something, but as blogs are supposed to bring people to a level of personal contact not possible on a website, it’s important to understand and see how you can do that, and still remain professional – yet personable. It’s difficult basically.