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For the past couple of years, people have been asking if blogging is now dead. Now, as you read this blog post, you might expect that if I took the time to write it, I probably don't agree. And I don't. But the "blogging is dead: crowd does have a point--I just don't think the situation is as extreme as they say.
Now, I could go ahead and list all the reasons that blogging is not dead, but truthfully, that misses the point. The reason that people love to declare things dead runs deeper than some analytical look at the pros and cons. What's really happening here is simple human nature's interest in finding the answer.
We all do it at one time or another. In our need to simplify, we tend to make things a bit too simple. So we veer from, "Everyone needs a blog" to "Blogging is dead" in less time that it took to put up an averaged-sized building. Our planning horizons in marketing seem so short nowadays that we don't have a minute to put things in perspective.
So, yes, Twitter and Facebook status updates have made blogging less essential than it was just a few years ago. You no longer see blog posts that riff off someone else's post, because people just link to that post on Twitter. For people for whom blogging was too long a form to stick with, Facebook status updates are more manageable.
But blogs aren't "dead" any more than TV is dead. And TV didn't kill off radio either. As each new media form comes along, it makes all the previous forms somewhat less important, because each of us has only so much time in the day to create those forms and (more importantly) to consume them. So we probably watch less TV than before the Internet came along, and yes, we probably read fewer blogs now that we monitor Twitter.
So, now that 140-character updates are all the rage, we'll actually have to have a reason to write blog posts. We'll need reasons to read them. We won't just be doing it because it is the new new thing. We'll have to figure out what they are really good for.
So, rather than blogging being dead, I think it just emerged from adolescence, where instead of being the thing that "all the kids are doing," now we need to find the true business purpose for our blogs so they are used when needed, just like every other kind of media. Here's betting that blogs do find an important place for years to come.
If you have a business that depends on providing expertise, it's hard to beat blogging as a way to show off what you know. Contrast the impact that a blog has to influence opinion over a 140-character tweet. That will certainly keep some people (including me) blogging for the foreseeable future.
What other purposes for blogging are there? That's what we all need to figure out now. Because if your business can benefit from blogging, it makes sense to keep doing it, or to start doing it, even if blogging is no longer the flavor of the month.
Mike is an expert in search marketing, search technology, social media, publishing, text analytics, and web metrics, who regularly makes speaking appearances.
Mike's previous appearances include Text Analytics World, Rutgers Business School, SEMRush webinar, ClickZ Live.
Mike also founded and writes for Biznology, is the co-author of Outside-In Marketing (with James Mathewson) and the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc. (now in its 3rd edition, and sole author of Do It Wrong Quickly, named by the Miami Herald as one of the 11 best business books of 2007.
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