FriendFeed And Twitter Have *Not* Killed Blogging


Image Credit:  David Armano

This topic keeps coming up around the blogosphere, on Twitter, on FriendFeed, even in Wired and The Economist.  Let me bring a dose of reality to the situation: microblogging won’t “kill” blogging:  they are not the same tools nor are they even in competition.

In fact, I refuse to link you to any of the articles talking about the death of blogging because they merely are great examples of linkbait.  The people writing the articles on the death of blogging know perfectly well that blogging is thriving and use that to their advantage.  They know merely by writing that blogging is dead, they’ll cause an uproar of attention for themselves.

The trendy thing to do is talk about how Twitter has replaced blogging.  There was even a discussion on Daily Blog Tips arguing what was worth more:  a Twitter follower or an RSS subscriber to a blog.  Those two things are simply not comparable.  Why not compare a Facebook friend to an RSS subsriber, or a FriendFeed follower to an RSS subscriber?  It makes zero sense to start comparing subscribers in different services to each other.

In reality, microblogging services and blogging have a symbiotic relationship and complement each other.

Why microblogging has not killed blogging (nor will it):

Signal-to-noise ratio

Twitter, FriendFeed, even Facebook have a terrible signal to noise ratio.  There is a lot of noise in those networks, even if you follow smart people.  Twitter, for example moves so fast that I miss far more than I see – but that’s kind of the point.  Twitter is about what is happening right now.

Search

Your updates in Twitter, FriendFeed and Facebook, while searchable on those networks, don’t show up in Google.  So if no one reads what your recent updates are as they happen, you’re forever lost in archive purgatory.

Archives

Speaking of archives, blog archives are incredibly useful and when discovering a new blog, it’s great to read through someone’s previous detailed thoughts.  Again, people don’t go through microblogging archives, the archives on those networks are great for marketers to peruse and get free data, but other than that there’s not much function other than posterity.

Half of microblogging is actually linking to blogs

I pose this question:  If people stopped blogging and creating content on unique, independent sites and we all purely used microblogging platforms what would everyone link to?  Exactly.

Snack-sized content

Yes, we all know many people on the web have short attention spans.  But, blog readers are actually smarter than the average bear and have a deep enough attention span for content in greater detail.

When you create content in a blog, it’s yours

When you create content in microblogging, lifestreaming platforms, or monolithic social networks – you are building material for someone else (read the terms pages when you agree to sign up for someone else’s network).  When you put material into a blog, you own it and are contributing to something that you can build upon over time in a media brand all your own.

Consistency

Popular blogs are popular for that reason:  consistency of compelling, useful and top-quality content on a niche.  I fill my RSS reader with blogs and web publications that have proven themselves and eventually read almost everything published.  I know before I click any of it I am getting well-thought out content that is worth reading.

Just to sum up:

  • The apples to oranges discussions on the social web about different services on the social web competing with each other (that aren’t) are purely meta linkbait.
  • Blogging is alive and well, people writing stories that Twitter has killed blogs are sensational nonsense (can we please stop linking to them).
  • Microblogging/lifestreaming is not the same thing as blogging, they are not in competition and in fact the two complement each other.
  • If you are a blogger, don’t link to negative or sensationalist articles and perhaps people will stop writing them…only pass link-love when it’s something positive and we will inspire more worthwhile content to be created.

Related posts from around the web

Twitter For Business (Duct Tape Marketing)

Are RSS Subscribers Worthwhile If They Don’t Visit Your Blog? (ProBlogger)

Twitter As A Business Tool (Information Week)

Related posts from The Future Buzz

Geeks:  The New Influencers

The Social Web:  More Than Just A Way To Build Buzz

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