Substack post vs blog post

When people used the word blog posts to refer to their Substack posts, I found it difficult to understand why. I thought of each post on Substack as an edition or as an issue. When people pushed back to ask me for the difference between a Substack post and a blog post, I felt that it was fundamentally wrong but could not articulate the reasons for the same. I was reading Venkatesh Rao’s blog, Ribbonfarm, where he has articulated the reasons much better than I have.

I don’t agree with all of his points but these are good points to begin thinking about this.

  1. Blogs are ontic media; newsletters are epistemic media
  2. Blogs encourage you to invent concepts and coin terms; newsletters encourage you to use existing concepts and terms to lay out persuasive arguments
  3. Blogs are portals; newsletters are flags. Blogs encourage you to build seductive worlds to draw people into. Newsletters mark out territory in existing shared worlds.
  4. Blogs encourage true essays in the original sense of the term — explorations; newsletters encourage explainers, sermons, speeches
  5. Blogs are promiscuously and publicly social; newsletters are clannish and tribal
  6. Blogs are stocks; newsletters are flows
  7. Blogs invite internal and external hyperlinking; newsletters fight both
  8. Blogs are relational; newsletters are transactional
2021 Ribbonfarm Extended Universe Annual Roundup, Venkatesh Rao