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.