Thursday, November 26, 2009

Social Networks (and Twitter) have displaced the blog - NOT!

Before weblogs there were chatrooms, instant messaging and forums. Dialog, interaction in real time caught netizens' fancy. Circa the mid-2000's blogging really got cranking. I'm talking about the days when Technorati, not Google was driving traffic to blogs. The times when Xiaxue's star was ascending...

Twitter and Facebook are #1 and #2 right now: in 2009 they are what AIM and CHAT were in 1999.

As I look through blogs everyday, I notice some startling changes: AWAY from comments, AWAY from blogrolls... a lot of the "social networking" aspects of blogs - some blogs - is disappearing. The exceptions are the marketing and work-from-home blogs and the very niche bloggers who sip morning coffee while sharing their lives and ideas with their comrades.

Social media's star may be rising, but don't underestimate the importance of having a blog!

One thing I have done (a lot of "smart" bloggers have done this) is keep the comments, blogrolls, technorati and digg links while ADDING value via social networking links. Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, MyBlogLog and LiveJournal can be accessed via my blog homepage. If I haven't already done so, I'll be adding LinkedIn.
DO THIS::: DO what I do! Feed your tweets into your blog and stream your blog posts back into twitter... you'll be amazed at the increase in traffic to your blog! There are many different services that perform such tasks. I can't recommend a specific one, as it will depend on your PC, your mobile phone and your particular blogging platform, i.e. WordPress, Blog*spot, etc.
The new romance some bloggers profess to have with "Lifestreaming" is bunk: do you remember Circa 2005 all the internet buzz was about two things that were supposed to make blogging obsolete. Podcasting. And the VLOG. A few years ago, a large radio station with a huge audience prepared daily news podcasts. Guess how many people signed up and / or downloaded them? Less than 20 a day! The podcast was oversold in the beginning, and just a smidgen of bloggers use them now. The VLOG is even more elusive. This was supposed to cut the head off the blogging trend. Not too many Vlogs outthere, either... although most of us bloggers know how to incorporate video into our blogs when appropriate. "Lifestreaming" is destined to meet the same fate. String your online activities together, but don't foolishly follow the lifestream model. Stay flexible!

Stay Connected, but not ADHERED!

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