The Wild West of Writing Genres

The Bl-article? An Arti-log?

Don’t believe the hype – when it comes to definitions of  “blog” and “article” on the Internet.  The #2 blog from “The 50 Best Tech Blogs” contains references that we’d usually find in an article. The #2 article listed in “The 10 Most Popular Articles in 2021” includes the casual expressions that we’d typically see in a blog.  More than an “online journal” now, the blog is “maturing”, as Tice notes in her article. Blogs and articles are crossing the bright line that had previously differentiated the genres. In this wild west of writing genres, blogs can be serious, and articles can be light.

It’s a Matter of Money. 

Companies that offered lower fees for blogs and more for articles likely prompted the mix of blogs and online “articles”. If Tice is right that “blog posts tend to pay crap, and articles tend to pay better”, calling your posts something other than “blog” might be a smart move. Choosing “opinion piece,” “op-ed,” “editorial,” or “letters-to-the-editor” instead of “blog” might add more value to the discussion. Posts that are personal in nature may fare better under the title of “advice column.” Rather than “blog,” technical writing might benefit more when poised as “reports” or “studies.”

Embrace the Chaos

The wild west of writing genres gives writers more choice over a composition’s length, breadth, and style, which can translate into more work for writers as well as more freedom. Without the parameters of a genre, writers will be asked to generate the form in addition to content. Addressing readers that have no expectations also presents challenges, but these obstacles are not without opportunity.  Writing in a genre-less writing world encourages writers to explore self-expression and to experiment with language and topics.

Moving beyond preconceived notions of “blog” and “article” and playing with style and content might enable a writer to reach a wider audience. With my discussion threads, Gripes and Grins and Slants & Storylines, I’m practicing the pairing of a conversational voice with serious content.  After reading Tice’s article, I’ll be calling my posts “critiques” and “reviews,” rather than “blogs,” and leaving it up to you to decide – whether they’re blogs, articles, bl-articles, or arti-logs. 

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