“The blog is dead.” At least that’s what an article from “Fast Company” proclaimed. A quick Google search will reveal articles with similar sentiments. Is blogging dead? Could it be?
When I started my first blog back in 2004, blogging was the only game in town. If you had a message and wanted to tell the world, creating a blog was your answer.
Newer social media platforms have been catering to our ever-shortening attention spans. Why read 500 words when you can get your content in 100 characters?
The rise of the “microblog”
Facebook brought us an incredibly easy way to share our thoughts online with hundreds of “friends.” It also gave us an easy way to read what our friends had written. Go to your Facebook news feed and you could see it all.
If you were a business, you could create a “fan” page, as we called them. Get people to “like” your page and your message showed up in their news feeds. Schools and civic organizations turned to Facebook as the easy way to communicate with stakeholders.
Twitter and Instagram followed suit with easy ways to bring short messages to anyone who “followed” you.
But things change
On January 11th, Mark Zuckerberg announced changes coming to the Facebook algorithm. The announcement tells us we will see “less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media.”
That means, if you “like” the Facebook page from your child’s school, you’ll be less likely to see any of its content show up in your news feed. You’ll have to go to that page. Ditto for your favorite business pages.
Times were when you “liked” various pages, their content appeared in one place…your news feed. You didn’t have to go a hundred places to stay informed. That was sort of the whole point behind “liking” pages.
For some time, businesses, schools, and other organizations began to see their content reach ever-decreasing percentages of people. All those people had clicked “Like” on their pages. A 2015 article pegged that number at a mere 6%.
What gives? It’s a move to encourage brands to buy advertising. Pay to “boost” your post, and Facebook will serve it up to people who have never heard of you. It been happening, and it’s about to get to get bigger. Blogging dead? Not a chance.
Renter or owner?
Renting provides flexibility. It’s easy to get into and easy to leave. The responsibility for maintenance lies with someone else.
But renting also has its drawbacks. You get the carpet and paint the landlord wants you to have. Its price is subject to change. The building may be sold out from under you tomorrow.
Whether the medium is Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, many other platforms, you’re posting on rented land. And renting is associated with that which is temporary.
Your blog is the place you own
Your blog is the one place on the Internet that is yours. That point was true in 2004. It’s true today. You own it. You choose the colors, what you will place in the sidebar, the length of your content, and as many links as you like. Include pictures, audio, and video to your heart’s desire. Gone is the limit on character count. Gone are the ads in the sidebar. You have a home that’s not subject to the latest changes in an algorithm.
Adding an email sign-up in the sidebar allows others to “subscribe” to your blog. Every time you post something new, it lands in their email. Some people have Facebook; some don’t. Some have Twitter; most don’t. Virtually everyone has email and checks it.
Everything old is new again
In 2009, I created a blog whose purpose was to show people how easily they could create content. I called it, “Your Own Blog in 10 Minutes or Less.” After the latest Facebook announcement, I decided it was time to dust it off, update links, and reintroduce it.
Oh, and the article I mentioned at the beginning of this piece? The one that proclaimed blogging dead. It’s from back in 2012. Six years later, blogs are still alive and kicking. Is blogging dead? Hardly.
In this writer’s experience, if you’ve got ideas worth sharing, a blog is the way to do it.
If you enjoyed this post and are thinking about starting a blog or reviving an old one, I have written some other posts you might enjoy: