{at this moment: keep calm & blog on...}

[i always get a little nervous when i write these posts because i want to make sure i set the right tone…this is all just food for thought.] i've been thinking about the future of blogging. i've heard whisperings of the idea that blogging is d-e-a-d (i can't even say the word) in various online conversations.  i started thinking about all of this a few weeks ago when i read and shared with you a comment from uncle beefy's blog by little brown pen (first comment in the post).  did you get a chance to read it? well, i can't stop thinking about it and iterations of the same idea keep popping up.

in essence the comment said: with the myriad of ways we now have to keep up, keep in touch, and share inspiration with each other, what is the ROI on blogging? where does blogging fit into this picture? let's be honest, blogging takes hard work…plenty of hours, sweat, and tears go into a blog. whereas the other platforms are much easier on a person's time, both on the creator and viewer. want to know what's inspiring your favorite blogger, just go to their pinterest boards and in less than a minute you will have a screen full of images that are inspiring them. want to know how their day is going, just visit their instagram feed and you can see what they had for lunch. you get the picture (no pun intended).

here are some numbers: there are now over 10 million users on pinterest, 30 million users on instagram (which facebook recently purchased for $1 billion), 140 million users on twitter, and over 901 million users on facebook (fb forecasts hitting the one billion mark by this august). that's an audience whose time and attention is spread thin.

HOWEVER, before anyone starts to think otherwise, i am firmly and squarely on TEAM BLOG. for me, a blog is where the heart and soul of the blogger lives. it's homebase. i think it's safe to assume that if a person is investing time to create content for their blog, they're interested in cultivating a community. and, vice versa. when a reader invests their time in reading a blogger's content, they're interested in cultivating a relationship with that author. a beautiful, two-way exchange that i don't think can properly be fostered and nurtured in the quickness and ease of the other platforms.*

i bring ALL of this up because i would love to hear your thoughts. do you see these other platforms as enhancements and extensions to your blog or do you see them quietly taking over? what is the future of blogging? in the end, all any of us can do is keep calm and blog on, especially if doing so still brings you and your community joy.

well, folks, we successfully reached the end of another week together. as always, thank you for investing your time here. it's always and forever appreciated.

oh, wanted to also leave you with something i was loving this week:
ana of blogmilk started a great blogging series called blog talk, where she tackles her reader's frequently asked questions about blogging. here is week 1, week 2, and week 3. there is some really great information in these talks.

have a great weekend everyone!


update: thank you to the bedlam of beefy and little brown pen for getting such an interesting conversation started. 

 


*some may argue that FB can equal the effectiveness of a blog, but i'm no expert and clearly haven't tapped it's potential. so, i'll leave that argument for the experts.

12 Send Me Your Thoughts:

  1. Thank God blogging's dead. Now I can get my life back!

    I was REALLY worried you were going to pull the plug then T, so glad your hanging around.

    To me, all those social media outlets serve totally different purposes. Here's how I used them, and why I need all of them.

    instagram: snapshots or where I am and what I'm doing. they're either something I don't want to blog about or a precurser to a blog post (Lauren's very good at this). It's a way for me to stay in touch with you guys throughout the day and over the weekend, withouth having to wait for you/me to hit 'publish'. Kinda like texting with a friend before they get home from work so you can call them and chat properly.

    twitter:
    this is the one that drops off for me. I mainly at the moment use it to stay in touch with you guys, in text form, no pictures required. kinda like a confrence text message i suppose.

    Facebook I loathe, and I HATE that they've both my beloved instagram. I only use it to keep up with my family and friends really and it's useful for sharing photos.

    Tumblr. I use this for inspiring images from any discipline. Nothing literal here. Just colours and shapes and fonts etc.

    Pinterest. Literal inspiring images of interiors and clothes etc. Sort of my shopping list and how I want my house to look. Majorly useful with coursework.

    The blog. You've hit the nail on the head. It's the motherboard. It's the laptop vs the iphone and ipad. It's central to everything and most importantly it's where are words and thoughts are. I picture of something is fine, but it doesn't explain how that picture made you feel and why its' important. My blog is for where I have something to say rather than something to do.

    Sorry for the long comment!

    Great post T! xxx

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  2. I'm happy (and relieved!) to hear you're squarely on Team Blog! The team would have been a member short if you'd jumped ship.

    Here's my thoughts on it? You know when you were a kid and you talked on the phone to your friends? Or you knocked on their door and played outside with them? Or you wrote your friends letters over the summer? Or sent chain mail? For me, we all got cell phones in high school, but the texting thing hadn't taken off (not everyone even had a texting plan!), so we still talked on the phone to make plans. But for the most part, our group of friends got together every Friday and Saturday night. When we got to college, we texted, and then Facebook came out, so we wrote on each other's walls. And as the years have gone by, the methods of communication have gotten less and less personal. What's the point of picking up the phone to ask how someone's doing if you can see their latest status update or Instagram picture? You're already caught up! And they probably feel the same way about me. Oh, Erin checked in at a bar with these 3 people, she must be having fun! Oh, she pinned a picture of a dining room, cool. This hyper-connected world of social media is replacing actual, honest person-to-person communication. And I hate it, even though I am so, so guilty of it myself. There will never be a replacement for meeting someone for lunch, not even seeing what they ate for lunch on Twitter.

    Blogging is a lot like writing letters to people. Writing letters lost popularity to phone calls, which lost popularity to cell phones, which lost popularity to texting, which lost popularity to Myspace, to Facebook, to Twitter, to Instagram. Soon we won't even need to communicate with other humans. It's a sad thought! I'm sort of old school and still send cards in the mail so I guess that's why I prefer blogging. It feels way more personal and interactive and REAL than any of the other platforms of social-media. Blogging doesn't exist in a vacuum the way things like Facebook and Twitter do. You're right in that blogging is very much a two-way street, whereas I can write a 140 character tweet and never be validated by getting a response, or even have to worry about it. Blogging is personal and intimate and I'd hate to see it die out due to generational laziness. Sure, it's easier to write 140 characters instead of a thoughtful blog post, but somebody has to do it. Because it's sort of noble in a way, I think. I mean, think about it, the last time you got a hand-written letter in the mail, wasn't that just the best feeling ever? Wasn't it preferable to a text message?

    Sorry. I think I just rambled incoherently! Have a great weekend and thank you for always having such thoughtful and thought-provoking posts, Theresa! What are you up to this weekend? xoxo

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  3. Here is what I think:

    As long as people are curious about a person's back story, process, interests and opinions then there will always be blogging. I've noticed that a lot of companies are adding blogs to their site because I think they realize the benefits of connecting with their customers on a more intimate level.

    Magazine editors LOVE bloggers! They're always spotlighting a new blogger, inviting bloggers to do a guest column, and I truly believe that they value the opinions of a bloggers.

    In the fashion world, have you noticed that bloggers are now being invited to shows and events? Before, it was all about grabbing the attention of magazine editors but now it's all about grabbing the attention of bloggers and editors because they know and understand the impact of a blogger who reports back to his/her followers.

    Several collaborations are happening between bloggers and companies i.e. bluebird, glamourai, & what I wore just to name a few. And let's not talk about the book deals going on. It seems like Publishers are always on the hunt for the next book deal from bloggers.

    I will say that blogging seems like it's more about striking business deals than it is more about online journaling now a days. The blogging world has become the golf course of internet it's where business deals are made.

    I said all of that to say this. I don't think blogging is going anywhere I simply think it's shifting into more of an industry. I do think that we are lucky that we started blogging when we did because for us we truly enjoy the art of blogging which will make for a great blog of quality and substance. and if we keep on keeping on who knows what will happen to us in a couple of years?

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  4. Well said! This is a great post. I, myself find all those other avenues (maybe with the exception of facebook) to be more superficial than blogging. I think with blogging you get to know the real person and it's much more than just what they had for lunch. Which, frankly I don't care. Unless there are some amazing professional quality photos.

    I think blogs are much more of a community and a learning experience. Bloggers share the things they know, not just what they think is pretty. I love blogs and I think they far surpass all those other social media outlets and I don't think they'll die. They may simmer down a bit, but I think they'll make a comeback as well.

    However, I think people'e attention spans are getting shorter. So, who knows. But, everyone tires of certain social media venues. Remember, MySpace? I don't think blogging will go that way. Blogs can be beautiful and they have meaning. Not just for booty calls!

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  5. However, I did get to this post from my Twitter. :-)

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  6. T, you already no my views on this, right?

    Yes, exactly, I am of the 'slow' movement so find all this throw away stuff fun but not satisfying enough.

    Blogging allows us to create, evolve and share. Like the printing books vs online debate. One without the other....

    #teamblogging all the way. Have a good weekend x

    Ps. Thanks for your lovely comment!

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  7. i read somewhere that blogging is like dinner with friends, while fb is a big crowd at a noisy party. that makes sense to me.

    blogging IS work, but worthwhile.

    joy to you, and a very happy weekend!
    n

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  8. Just as a postscript, because I didn't write NEARLY enough earlier, I read earlier that it's not true that blogging is dead. The figures dropped off massively but experts think it's because all the new social media sites such as pinterest and instagram provided a platform for people who were using blogs to post just photos or images for example, or write really short blog posts for which they can now use twitter. So basically a lot of bloggers weren't really bloggers, they just didn't have anywhere else to do their thing at the time.

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  9. Blogging here in Australia seems to be changing - there are starting to be some "superstars" developing who are drawing the attention of bigger organisations and traditional media.

    Since I began blogging it has concerned me just how time consuming it is and how even the really popular bloggers here are struggling to find a way to make a living from it. I suppose it worries me that women are devaluing themselves and creating another industry where because it is female dominated (think teaching, nursing, childcare) it will pay less.

    Another reason why blogging is so time consuming is because of all the "add on" social media Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook you mention. I haven't yet worked out how to use them all and incorporate them in a way that will ultimately benefit my blog. But I think that it is important to try to figure it out and use them to our advantage (without letting them dominate our life).

    To me the blog is the key, it showcases me and my writing and I try to think of ways to get more people reading it in the hope it may lead to other opportunities.

    I think we will start to see more higher quality blogs appearing and like Annie said, those who really weren't into blogging will find their outlet on the other social media forms.

    Rather than the blog is dead/dying I think it is evolving. It offers different opportunities and reach than traditional media.

    Recently World Vision sent an Australian blogger, Eden Riley (Edenland)to Africa to report on the food crisis. Eden has a raw and unique voice in her writing and her posts were very personal and completely lacking any of the objectivity of the traditional media. It got me thinking about how blogging is a very different medium. The response to Eden's posts has been huge and perhaps shows how blogging is developing and demonstrates one way it can be used to link the world.

    Yet again, I used your comment section to write a post-length response. Sorry.

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  10. @ANNIE - I didn't even stop to think that the beginning of my post kind of sounded like a Dear John letter. Ha-ha! No way, I'm Team Blog and totally see its merits for all the points you mention. This post was a great exercise in laying all the platforms out there and seeing how everyone utilizes them.

    @ERIN - Yes, I would agree. I mean, I would have never been able to write a post like this on any of the other platforms. OK, maybe Facebook. However, besides linking the post there, I wouldn't know how to start a conversation like we have here.
    PS~I still very much love snail mail and a handwritten note, as well.

    @TORI - I have noticed the budding relationships of bloggers and editors. I think it's really great. In the past, you almost always had to know someone to break into that industry. Now, if an 'everyday' person has talent and true grit, they can get an editor's attention.

    @MICHELLE - Totally agree - Blogging is community and a learning more about each other. Well said.
    Ha, I think that's funny that you added the bit about Twitter. You're funny.

    @TINA - I do, I do know your views. But, I want everyone to benefit from them, as well. ;) You're are so right, blogging is part of the slow movement - Taking the time to slow down and read someone's honest thoughts/ideas on a topic and get to know them in the process is really invaluable. I'm a much better writer than I am a speaker as I can properly organize my thoughts better. So, thank goodness for blogging. Otherwise, I might be in a corner talking to myself. ;)

    @NOREEN - Oh, Noreen, perfectly said. I like that analogy. It does feel a bit chaotic on Facebook, where over here (on blogs) its much quieter and intimate.

    @ANNIE - Ah, very good point. I know, it nearly killed me to even write that sentence about the death of blogs. I almost want to go back in and rephrase it. But, I won't.

    @JANINE - I appreciate your long comments! I want to read all your thoughts that you have to write. I have never heard of the blogger you mention in your post. I am now very intrigued to check out her writing. I think its great that she acquired sponsorship for a trip to Africa. A great example of how blogging is helping to do good in the world. That's inspiring.
    I do agree that blogging is going to evolve. You can see it taking shape. I can't put my finger on the form, but it will be interesting to see how it evolves and grows. I'm very interested in its next level, for sure.

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  11. Interesting conversation here Theresa!

    Of course, I am on #teamblogging. twitter, facebook, instagram, pinterest ... all add ons in my eyes. The blog is the soul, it's where you get the real info - the rest serve as fun glimpses and blast of info.

    Blogging is a strange and interesting world. Always discovering something about it everyday. Sometimes I'm overwhelmed, but most of the time it's fun :)

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  12. What a great post! I don't think blogging is dead - like someone else said, I think each of the things you mentioned (twitter, fb, etc.) all serve a different purpose. I know I go to blogs to get the personal side of things as well as to learn something. Yes, I can do that on pinterest (with pictures) but it's not the same and with all the copyright issues on pinterest, it makes me kind of crazy when I'm trying to find a DIY or the original source of something but cannot! Twitter also makes me crazy. Too many things. Too many people. I get it but I just am not twitter-crazy. I just think blogging is a great outlet for bloggers but also great sources of learning and inspiration for readers. I am all about blogging.

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