Monday, February 21, 2011

Are Social Sites Indeed Making Blogs Irrelevant?

I came across an interesting blog today courtesy of LinkedIn (linked below), that basically asks the question, are social sites indeed making blogs irrelevant? I had never really thought it about it that much, but then I began to think about my own user behavior.
Maybe Others Don’t Act Like Me
I used to read blogs all the time and still do, occasionally. But, I’m much more active on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, because the barrier to accessing and interacting seems much less painful.
For example, in one application (Tweetdeck), I can manage all three of my accounts on those sites. If I want to post something, I can enter it once and post it out to any or all of the sites. If my post exceeds a known character limit, the program is smart enough to let me know. Plus, just about anyone I interact with has access to my posts and those that don’t, can easily search and find me/my posts. Pretty easy, huh?
But I’m Reading Your Blog
Very true. Those of you reading this BLOG are likely acknowledging that I’m a HYPOCRITE, but that further lends to my point. How did you find it? Likely, you came in from one of those other sites where this blog was posted (and the blog’s analytics support this). So, the real question is, can social media replace the need for a blog or will we get to a point where 140 characters is more than enough space to share our message.
A Simple, But Possible Example
The blog I mentioned in the opening paragraph (that’s also linked below) spends almost a full page talking about how today’s youth is becoming less and less likely to blog. But, after reading the blog, couldn’t the entire thing be shortened to this: Youth less likely to blog, doesn't have attention span for it. Favoring FB, LinkedIn, Twitter and other channels. I mean, when is the last time you were recapping an article or blog to a friend and it took longer than a sentence or two tell them what it’s about?
The Future, in 140 Characters or Less
In the late 90’s, many sites had message boards and discussion forums. But, in the early 00’s, many of those disappeared in favor of blogs and chat technologies. Why? Because forums can be difficult to navigate, cumbersome to moderate, and nightmarish from a UI perspective. Aren’t some of these complaints being made about blogs nowadays?
Perhaps it’s time to seriously consider the idea that social media could be the one replacing blogs, the way they replaced discussion forums.
I’m not saying that we’re approaching the end of modern literature because there will always be a place for that. However, I am beginning to think that maybe the usefulness of blogs is starting to wind down. What do you think?

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