Twitter. Facebook. MySpace. Flickr. YouTube.
Are these and other social media hangouts hurting or helping your blog?
No matter what your answer is, you must admit that blogs no longer dominate the social media landscape as they did in, say, 2006. While blogs still form the center of many companies’ social media marketing efforts, they’re now joined by a wide variety of other platforms and services.
2009: A Crossroads of Social Confluence
We stand at a crossroads of sorts. The online world is undergoing so much convergence that blogs and other so-called “social media” tools are becoming quite difficult to distinguish from each other.
We used to publish and discuss material at our blogs, reaching out on fledgling online social networks to find readers and approval. We still do that, but we now have more options and more reasons for holding substantial conversations outside of our blogs.
For so many individuals and companies, the blog used to be the hub of online social identity. There was YourWebsite.whatever to hold the static fort. Then YourBlog set up someplace as the social headquarters. And of course a variety of social media accounts as spokes emerging from the blogging wheel.
Now identity is becoming its own hub to an ever-increasing extent. The brand is the hub and the blog has been relegated in many instances to be just another spoke among dozens.
But if social media use is hindering your blog’s progress as an attention hub, is that necessarily a bad thing?
The Blossoming Collective Power of Non-Blog Social Media
Social networking, media sharing, community-based content creation and voting – all of these have grown in intensity and popularity to the point where they may collectively, if not individually, influence a person’s or organization’s online presence more than single-channel modes of communication such as blogs.
A business that uses the social Web to plant seeds of goodwill or connect with customers no longer needs just a blog in order to do that effectively. In fact, it may need to not just have a blog. It may need to have a presence across several popular online social destinations in addition to (or even instead of) a blogging presence. Saviors for what otherwise would be a lonely blog.
Which is why The Blog Herald cares about and covers Twitter and Facebook and many other entities that don’t use “blog” or “blogging” in their elevator pitches, and why we constantly try to wrap our minds around this ever-evolving, hundred-headed beast called social media.
And why maybe you need to lock yourself in a closet for a few minutes this week and ponder how your blog should really fit into what you do online. Whether it’s being killed or saved by what you do outside of it. And whether each hour you spend on any social media tool, blog or not, is actually saving or killing time for you and for those with whom you converse.
Are your social networks taking away from or adding to what goes on at your blog? How do you strike the right balance?
photo by russelljsmith