I find it rather funny, but this question (or bold statement, I should say) gets repeated all the time on the Internet. In fact, I just came across a story from Wired which states that Twitter, Flickr and Facebook Make Blogs Look so 2004. Here we go again with the whole “blogging is dead” argument.
The Wired story even starts out this proof of the author’s idiocy:
Thinking about launching your own blog? Here’s some friendly advice: Don’t. And if you’ve already got one, pull the plug.
He says your time is better spent expressing yourself on Flickr, Facebook or Twitter.
The author talks about Jason Calacanis who so publicly “retired” from blogging and has, instead, taken his thoughts to a semi-private mailing list. Jason said that the blogosphere had become too impersonal and “lacks the intimacy” that drew him to it. That is fine, and probably a valid opinion, but it is also a statement of his personal taste.
Instead of telling people not to start a blog, the Wired author would have been better to simply state that the decision to start a blog depends on your intentions and that, yes, it is a lot more competitive than it used to be. He laments that popular sites show up in the search engines before your blog post. Well, how dare those evil search engines deliver the content most likely to be relevant to the searcher!
If your only purpose to being online is to occasionally publish random pieces of your life, then social media is great. If you don’t ever want to offer anything of any length to the Internet, then social media sites are fine. If your purpose is to make “friends”, then great. Get going on Facebook.
Social media sites are great, and they should be used by anybody with any form of Internet presence. The blogosphere is not dying because of these things. On the contrary, it is evolving and, in some ways, getting better. No longer does a blog have to be a little island that you have to market to get anybody to it. A blogger can put their digital tentacles our across the Internet so much easier today – because of social media.
In fact, a blogger who is actively engaged in social media often has an advantage over some of the larger media conglomerates. The importance of social media and social proof is increasing every day online.
The Wired author is dead wrong. If you want an Internet presence, DO start a blog. It can act as a hub of your digital world. A place where you can post long-form content as you see fit. A place which can act as a hub to your activities on all social media. And in addition to your blog, you ALSO want to be active on sites like Facebook, Twitter, FriendFeed, Flickr and the like.
The motto is BE EVERYWHERE. And that includes your blog.