Say No—To Pulling the Blog Plug

It’s taken me a few days to think about how to respond to Wired’s piece, “Twitter, Flickr, Facebook Make Blogs Look So 2004 Paul Boutin’s call to action not to launch a blog, or to pull one you may already have up and running.  I’ve read the essay several times, put it down, and haven’t stopped thinking about it.

A week ago,  I was praising Andrew Sullivan’s piece “Why I Blog.” If you haven’t read it yet, do yourself a favor and check it out.  Many blogs out there contain vital voices which shouldn’t be eliminated or retired; and so what troubles me about Wired’s advice to “pull the plug” is that its a big sweeping statement, and one which should be qualified.

I agree that blogging shouldn’t be done just for the sake of blogging, mindlessly checking-it off on your marketing to-do list.  Blogs should have clearly defined goals and purposes, with an intended audience in mind.  They can be educational and inspirational, and can help you connect to like-minded individuals, businesses and organizations of all shapes and sizes.  And if you’re so inclined, you can still follow the people you’d like on Twitter, Flickr and Facebook no one says you can’t!  It doesn’t have to be an either or situation.

To live in a complex world as we do today, good communication is needed now more then ever.  Newspapers are continuing to report a decline in circulation, many are eliminating and combining sections trying to get the most bang for their buck.  The Audit Bureau of Circulations, reports that readers are migrating to the Internet, where news is typically free.

CMS Watch Analyst, Tony Byrne, has a great piece “In Defense of Blogging” in response to Wired’s essay where he writes, “… if you want to seriously develop an idea rather than share what your pet cat just did or pass along a single hyperlink… this requires a narrative… blogging in the business context has more relevance than ever, in a world where customers want to be able to understand and connect with the firms they patronize.”

Writers Bryan Alexander and Alan Levine describe the advances in “telling of stories using web 2.0 tools, technologies and strategies” in their piece “Web 2.0 Storytelling: Emergence of a New Genre.

I beg to differ with the “pulling the plug on blogs” frame of mind.  I think, if you have a niche audience, are providing valuable content, and joining in the conversation, by all means don’t stop now. The convergence of these great web 2.0 tools are making the user/reader experience that much more worthwhile and are so 2008.

The Blog as a New Literary Form

Andrew Sullivan has published a wonderful new essay, “Why I Blog” in the November 2008 issue of The Atlantic. Sullivan a seasoned online writer for Slate, print editor for The New Republic, columnist for The Atlantic, and blogger for The Daily Dish, describes bloggings evolution as a literary form.  Sullivan writes, “Unlike any single piece of print journalism, its borders are extremely porous and its truth inherently transitory.  The consequences of this for the act of writing are still sinking in.”

Sullivan relates the “log” part of the word “blog” to a ship’s log, which tracked the progression of the ship’s voyage before radio, radar, satellites or sonar. “As you read a log, you have the curious sense of moving backward in time as you move forward in pages–the opposite of a book…it is [blogging], in many ways, writing out loud.”

Sullivan says, “Blogging is about brevity and immediacy.” He reminds us, “the key to understanding a blog is to realize that it’s a broadcast, not a publication.  If it stops moving, it dies. If it stops paddling, it sinks.”

I LOVE this essay.  What I love probably more then anything else is seeing blogs given recognition and respect as a literary form.   Personally, I’ve become attached to writing weekly posts.  The discipline of blogging have also had the extra perk of being great narrative calisthenics for writing creative nonfiction essays and poetry.  I love how Andrew Sullivan validates and gives shape and meaning to the blog, which at times feels like a forgotten step-child.

“The blogosphere has added a whole new idiom to the act of writing and has introduced an entirely new generation to nonfiction.  It has enabled writers to write out loud in ways never seen or understood before.”

Sullivan’s essay makes the reasons why I blog, easier to explain.

Impressions through Media Blog Celebrates 1st Birthday

Our first blog post appeared a year ago this week. Even though we started with a mission, objectives and a carefully crafted plan—like many new endeavors, sometimes you don’t know what to expect.

Years back I’d been a fan of old Bette Davis movies, and to this day I can still hear her say (in All About Eve), “Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.”

Blogging is a GREAT ride, and here at Impressions through Media, we’ve become passionate bloggers.

Thank you to our loyal readers, new visitors, guest bloggers—and to the vast blogosphere where we continue to learn and exchange information, and stumbleupon new blogs (literally and figurately.)

If you’re on the fence about starting a business blog, believe me, take the leap—it’s a great way to be part of the conversation, and well worth your time and energy!

If you’re already a blogger, we’d love to hear about your experiences!

Another Book For Your Social Media Reading List

To follow-up on last week’s post about good reads on Social Media, there’s an advance review of Paul Gillin’s new book, Secrets of Social Media Marketing, due out on November 1st, on OnlineMarketerBlog.  I’m always happy to hear about new titles to pass along.  I read Paul Gillin’s blog and articles regularly, and recommend his book The New Influencers:A Marketer’s Guide to the New Social Media. I’m looking forward to reading his new book.

Last week I mentioned the book Planet Google: One Company’s Audacious Plan to Organize Everything We Know by Randall Stross which is extremely interesting and gives you an idea about how fast everything is moving; and how far we’ve come, even in the past few years.  One thing which immediately becomes evident while reading this book, is why “google” has become synonymous for “search”. Think about it. How many times a day do you hear yourself or someone else say, “google it.”

Are there other books you can recommend for our Social Media reading list?

The Social Media Reader

If you’re looking for books to help you stay up-to-date on social media, and on top of the learning curve, we have some suggestions. Below is a list of books which have recently come out in new and revised editions, as well as some new titles of interest.

Revised & Updated Books

The Google Story: For Google’s 10th Birthday
by David Vise
Updated edition (September 23, 2008)

There are some very useful Search Tips at the end of the book, They can also be found online: 23 Google Search Tips

Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything
by Taps Don , Anthony D. Williams
Expanded edition (April 17, 2008)

Long Tail, The, Revised and Updated Edition: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More
by Chris Anderson
Revised edition (July 8, 2008)

New Books

Planet Google: One Company’s Audacious Plan to Organize Everything We know
by Randall Stross
Sep 23, 2008

Crowdsourcing: Why the Power of the Crowd Is Driving the Future of Business
by Jeff Howe
August 26, 2008

The Myth of Multitasking: “How Doing it All Gets” Nothing Done
Dave Crenshaw
August 18, 2008

What books on Social Media are you reading?  Let us know in the comments section.

The Value of Reading Blog Posts

Tech tips for the Basic Computer User on Pogue’s Post, The Latest in Technology from David Pogue has some excellent tips.  Well worth the time to read through the post and all of the comments people have been posting with their own user tips.

Check this out– at the time of this writing, there were 883 comments since post was published three days ago! (**Addendum, as of 10/6/08, 1049 comments…way to go!)

Who says people don’t read blogs?