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Is Facebook Killing The Blog?

June 29, 2010

People love to publish. They publish photos, images and videos… it could be on Facebook or it could be on their blog.Is Facebook Killing Blogs

Twitter allows you to write very short stories (140 characters) and MySpace is for publishing music and music videos.  LinkedIn is for publishing information about yourself and to encourge networking. The Web has become the largest publishing and photocopying machine the world has ever seen.

To put togther an article or a book 20 years ago was arduous and very few people got to see it as the web was not on public display but buried in University research labs and offices and the software tools did not exist to easily and quickly create anything much more than a text document.

When blogs emerged in the 1990’s they were very much text based but have evolved into multimedia platforms where can embed your YouTube Videos as well Slideshare and paste in your Flickr images to embelish your text and story.

Facebook the social media giant has since arrived on the scene and developed into a multi-media rich social networking portal where you can invite all your friends and share your story with minimal friction. To publish and share in 2010 is ‘dead easy’ and that is what most people want, they just want to be given a tool that doesn’t require plugins or widgets and just ‘do it’.

Creating, maintaining and developing a blog takes a lot of  research, time and  effort with determining what plugins to use, what widgets to embed or what email and RSS subscription platforms to use rather than just signing into Facebook.

Nielsen research is showing that traffic to to WordPress and Blogger the two major blogging sites is stagnating, while Facebook’s traffic grew by 66% last year and Twitters by 47%.  Morningside Analytics, an analytics market research firm has discovered a ‘vast field of dead blogs’ in Indonesia that have not been updated since May 2009 which directly corresponds with the arrival of the Indonesian version of Facebook.

So is Facebook killing the blogs?  The truth is that most people do not want to take the time and effort and pour their soul into a blog unless they are passionate about their subject. What we are seeing is the evolution of  blogging into channels and platforms for interests such as personal branding or for niche specialist publishing.

Some examples of the power blogs in the niche publishing areana are blogs on fashion such as the Satorialist, politics ( Huffington Post), technology with Engadget and social media (Mashable).

These digital power blogs are transcending countries and oceans and transforming and threatening publishing and the arrival of Apple’s iPad is also changing the way we will publish. Those who start a blog and give up doesn’t mean blogging is dying it just means that it is evolving.

So do you think Facebook is killing blogs?

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14 Comments leave one →
  1. gfsnell3 permalink
    June 29, 2010 10:20 pm

    Hi Jeff:
    It’s not Facebook that’s killing the blog – it is time and resources. Blogging is very hard work (as you know).

    I think companies are the ones that have really missed the blogging boat. They seemingly bypassed blogging in favor of social network. On the surface, Facebook and Twitter appear to be much easier to manage and create content for than a blog.

    But blogs are second behind search engines as the number one place people turn to for information about products and services. By not investing in blogging, companies are missing a huge opportunity to influence buying decisions.

    For more stats on why blogging is the way to go for business, please read this: http://bit.ly/drdQ0Y

    Great topic to explore!

  2. June 29, 2010 10:39 pm

    Concur with the first comment. Truth is, unless there is passion, folks have found that blogging – like many other things in life – is hard, time-consuming, and requires some thought. Facebook is an easy way for most folks to post thoughts, comments, observations, etc. Another platform that is likely going to take users from Blogger and WordPress is Tumblr. Easy to use and blog-esque, I suggest more folks will be migrating that way. There will always be blogging; however, it will likely become the domain of folks truly interested/passionate in their chosen subject matter and are committed to expending the time and effort into creating thoughtful content that exceeds 144 characters.

  3. June 29, 2010 11:56 pm

    I believe that blogging is not dying it is evolving as you stated. People are still confused on what is the most effective way to express themselves online , Facebook might be one of the easiest ways to do so but it is not the best way.

    My observation is that other social networks like twitter are helping people to become more aware of the significant of blogging, because a high percentage of the tweets are linked to blogs.

  4. June 30, 2010 2:30 am

    Great (and uncomfortable) question, Jeff! I definitely believe that Facebook is not killing blogs, so much as weeding the weak blogs out and making the best blogs even more visible. Facebook is yet one more way for readers to curate content and share what they consider “quality” with their network. Like Twitter, our blogs have never had such an opportunity to infiltrate new networks, niches and audiences! Thanks for posting this one, Jeff. Another great read!

    • June 30, 2010 4:48 pm

      Deana,
      Totally agree. It is weeding out the weak blogs………Facebook is my number 1 referrer after Google…….the two work really well together. They compliment each other.
      I would say though that having facebook and twitter available has forced me to write in a different way.
      Kevin

  5. June 30, 2010 3:55 am

    I have to admit that I have been very impressed with the community some people are able to generate on simple Facebook posts. They’re not long, they may not be too deep, but these nuggets can do the job and even generate business.

    I think blogs are still vital for many runique easons but have to conclude Facebook is a legitimate forum for engaged discussion too!

  6. June 30, 2010 4:29 am

    Great read! And great comments so far. I think it’s the combination of Twitter and Facebook that’s resulting to the stagnation of traffic for WordPress and Blogger. “Regular” people no longer need to really open a blog to express their thoughts. And as you pointed out, it’s much easier to manage your Twitter and Facebook accounts.

    On the other hand, though, I don’t think blogs will be killed completely. Enlightened businesses (and even individuals) should understand that blogs are a better way to manage your online brand. For me, for instance, as a future professional, I can leverage my blog to ensure that I have some control over what potential employers see when they Google me. Blogs will always have a place in the digital era — at least until a more direct substitute (other than Facebook) comes along.

    • June 30, 2010 4:48 am

      Completely agree with your point on branding. Although Facebook offers some ability to add branding, readers are still on Facebook’s site. It’s not a true “hub” of your brand’s content. Great discussion so far!

  7. June 30, 2010 6:49 am

    Jeff,

    Great post as always. Based on your comments, what would you or your readers
    suggest to someone who is looking to enhance their business brand & drive more traffic to their website – I’m describing myself of course! I am very active on LinkedIn and Twitter but only somewhat active on Facebook and my goal for Q3 is to start a blog. Should I press forward with this strategy or simply increase my Facebook posts instead?

    Thanks in advance for your feedback
    -Ken

  8. June 30, 2010 1:35 pm

    Great discussion. As a following up to Deana’s comment, I think Facebook lacks the depth and unique branding that a blog has. Developing an effective blogging strategy takes TIME and effort, however if your audience is well targeted and the content is of value the long term impact will be a lot more effective. The social networks like Twitter, Facebook and Linked In are the “glue” to your branding strategy. My feeling is that in time, businesses will see the value of having an effective blog, in fact, I think the blog could be even more important than the companies website.

    • June 30, 2010 1:55 pm

      Well put, Todd! I think that blogs will become more important than companies’ websites, as well–at least for holding on to visitors from social media sites. The site can hold the marketing content to tell visitors what they do. The blog can house the “meat and potatoes” and allow the company to *show* what they do…and, frankly, how they’ll interact with customers. I like to think of the blog as the social media “hub” of content: http://bit.ly/dqMw0j

      Wow, Jeff, I’ve always loved your blog…but now I find that I’m liking the commenters, too. A smart bunch! I gotta hang our here, more often!

  9. July 3, 2010 12:39 am

    Why didn’t you credit your source?

    http://www.economist.com/node/16432794

    I found the Nielsen data for Facebook and Twiiter referenced in The Economist article last week, but not the data for “Nielsen research is showing that traffic to to WordPress and Blogger the two major blogging sites is stagnating.”

Trackbacks

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