October 11, 2012

Quote & Comment

In this week’s column over at WPMU.org I’m talking about the blockquote. You should go there and read it.

I’m also talking about a particular type of blog, which I tend to call Quote & Comment. This is a blog that is primarily built as a content flow consisting of quotes and links to other sources, along with a few lines of commentary. You might call it a link blog, but I’ve never been too fond of that term.

Typical Quote & Comment blogs include Daring Fireball and The Loop. They all lean towards using this sort of post format:

Is Quote & Comment The New Link Blog?
In his latest fit of madness, crazy Swedish person Thord Daniel Hedengren tries to rename link blogs “Quote & Comment”:

It is simple really. There are a type of blogs that focus on quoting other people’s work, and then offers a short personal commentary, along with a link. I call this sort of blogging Comment & Quote.

The difference from link blogging is a small one, but important nonetheless. When link blogging, you’re basically curating a list of links, which you might as well be doing on a social network; the link is the important part. With Quote & Comment blogs, the comment is the primary content, making it the important part. None would work without the other though.

Any sane person would of course argue that Thord should stick to writing books about WordPress. This is called link blogging, a form of curation that has been around for quite some time. There is just no need to call it anything else in my opinion.

You’ve seen it, I’m sure. Line it up with a snazzy headline and a short introduction, add a descriptive quote from the source, then comment on it. Either you link the title to the original source, or you add the link somewhere in the text.

I like this format when done right, not everyone can pull it off and the risk of the content getting stale is high. With the success of some Quote & Comment blogs, I see new efforts every now and then. But as most of these bloggers no doubt will tell you, building an audience is hard, and making a mark with this style of publishing isn’t exactly making it easier. After all, you’re most likely being compared to the most successful quote-commenters out there, and they are holding their ground real good.

Thoughts? Let @tdh know on Twitter, or find me elsewhere. There is also a newsletter.