Will social media sites replace Blogs, has Facebook killed the blog? Not likely.
7th March 2011

A recent study done by Pew Research Centre titled Generations Online 2010  threw up a host of questions regarding the relevancy of the blog versus the new social mediums like Facebook and Twitter.

Here is an excerpt from the study...

Few of the activities covered in this report have decreased in popularity for any age group, with the notable exception of blogging. Only half as many online teens work on their own blog as did in 2006, and Millennial generation adults ages 18-33 have also seen a modest declined a development that may be related to the quickly-growing popularity of social network sites. At the same time, however, blogging's popularity increased among most older generations, and as a result the rate of blogging for all online adults rose slightly overall from 11% in late 2008 to 14% in 2010. Yet while the act formally known as blogging seems to have peaked, internet users are doing blog-like things in other online spaces as they post updates about their lives, musings about the world, jokes, and links on social networking sites and micro-blogging sites such as Twitter.

So does that mean the end of blogging as we know it? Far from it I think. And here's why I think so.

Blogs were anyway never a good tool for the younger generation. Young people like to have fun, not write with discipline everyday.

Although a lot of young people took to blogging when it first became cool, the blog by its very nature would never have been a sticky tool for the younger generation. Writing blogs can be fun but the discipline to write a blog can also sometimes be a drag. And the attention span of young people today would never remain on one item. As soon as a more fun alternative to Blogs came along they jumped on it. Facebook may be the flavour of the year right now but this too shall pass.

The Blogosphere has matured. Serious content and serious money are being put into blogs to provide serious value. Too much seriousness?

Like any other industry the blogosphere has matured with serious companies treating it as serious business and blogs have become a valuable tool for the businesses and professionals. But all this seriousness has killed the appeal for the young ones. But they have also created a huge ecosystem of content which is giving even traditional news media a run for their money.

Blogs allow for authority content. Facebook posts are more of hit and run.

Facebook which is much more interactive then a  blog encourages the trivial and fun posts, what I call hit and run posts. Consider this extract from the Pew Survey - 'internet users are doing blog-like things in other online spaces as they post updates about their lives.'

Although many try to promote it as such,  Facebook  cannot be taken as a serious medium of knowledge dissemination or authority information (i could be wrong though).

The social component is fun it does not excatly give weight to the information posted on it. Most users would take anyinformation posted on Facebook with a pinch of salt. Established blogs on the other hand are another story.

Facebook Owns Facebook. Blogs can be self owned.

Facebook is not public property. Its a business owned by a set of investors, which makes content posted on it legally theirs to do what they want with it within reason. Which means they can censor content, views and users under external or internal pressure. Privacy issues and hacking are also increasingly making Facebook less reliable as a means of disseminating information.

Where do you go for expert opinions Blogs or Facebook? Thats the question.

The answer to this question will decide who comes out on top, facebook or business blogs. Maybe its like comparing apples and oranges. But for me the answer would be - definitely a blog.

My Conclusions - Overall blogs are here to stay

  • Blogs are here to stay but they will no longer remain in the 'casual use' category. The blogosphere will only tolerate good content blogs.
  • As todays younger generation matures, get jobs, open businesses, they will increasingly turn to professional blogs for advice, information and also as a tool for sales and marketing.
  • Leaders in all fields will continue to rely on blogs to spread their views and messages. They will also use social media but mainly rely on their blogs to provide authority information.
  • The future of blogs depends a lot on the evolution of social media sites. Will Facebook strengthen the blog like features of Facebook or go the other way towards more informal communication.

The future will decide on the fate of blogs but I am cautiously optimistic.

For another point of view do read 'Is Blogging Dead?' by John Dvorak.

Cheers,
Ron

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About Me

He has been in the web development business for the almost two decades.He is a keen student of marketing and business development and writes regularly on web strategy and other related topics which is read and followed by many every month.


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