For those of us who are involved in blogging, it can seem strange to be asked "what is a blog". But it happens almost everyday.
You see, despite the massive adoption of blogs as a tool for personal, professional or community content publishing (Technorati tracks >70 million blogs), blogging is still a rather marginal activity. A good way to gauge whether some technology has been "mainstreamed" is to do the "Five Step Grannie Test". I have used this to great effect in the past, and it requires the following steps:
- Write down the topic that you want to research in a notepad. Try to keep it to a single sentence and write it in the form of a question (for example, "what is a blog")
- Pick up the phone and call your grandmother (this research method works just as well with someone else's grandmother)
- Read the question/topic out from your notepad
- Write the answer into your notepad in CAPITAL letters
- Evaluate the response. If the answer is YES, then your brand/technology/services/product has been mainstreamed. All other answers count as a NO (especially the response, "what is a what"?)
So, if you are like me, and you are asked "what is a blog", now, rather than spending a couple of hours talking through the technology, options etc, you can send all your grannies to this video thoughtfully put together by Lee Lefever from Common Craft. How do you get to it? You just jump on the Internet (hint: you can even get it on computers now).