Back to Blogging?

Paul CarrThnks Fr Th Mmrs: The Rise Of Microblogging, The Death Of Posterity

by constantly micro-broadcasting everything, we’ve ended up macro-remembering almost nothing.

Leo LaporteBuzz Kill

I was shouting into a vast echo chamber where no one could hear me because they were too busy shouting themselves. All this time I’ve been pumping content into the void like some chatterbox Onan. How humiliating. How demoralizing.

Seth GodinMoving On

It took a year or so, but I finally figured out that my customer wasn’t the reader or the book buyer, it was the publisher. If the editor didn’t buy my book, it didn’t get published.

Paul Carr has pulled back on all social media outlets except his twitter feed. He writes for a living and wants to maximize the value of his writing and own a more complete, thoughtful record of his life.  Leo Laporte realized as that despite early indications that social media amplifiers such as Twitter or Google Buzz are great for building awareness, it’s not so great when everybody is too busy shouting their own message to listen to yours. And Seth Godin is giving up on traditional book publishing and will now use his blog to directly communicate his ideas.

People are re-examining the blog as a place to record your thoughts and communicate directly with an audience. In the case of Paul and Leo, the failed filter is a transient third party social network feed and the associated black box algorithm of Re-Tweets, Likes, or Favorites. In Seth’s case, failed filter is the “fundamentally broken”  architecture of the publishing industry.

Are we seeing a trend back towards the digital “long form” blog post as the happy medium (pun intended)?

14 Replies to “Back to Blogging?”

  1. I think there is something to that, as you grow your audience and the audience you grow is busy growing an audience them self you move from a social medium to a broadcaster; and as any mainstream broadcaster can tell you it is darn hard to grab peoples attention.

    I think blogging has long life ahead, and might resurface as the medium of choice for publishing, long insightful thoughts as well as short instant anecdotes.

    1. Ian, by any chance did you see Dave Winer’s recent thoughts on blog commenting? He wants to move in the opposite direction – rather than having a discussion about a blog post at the post itself, Winer’s ideal view is that the comments at the blog post are limited to initial reactions to the post itself, and any subsequent “discussion” would intentionally take place away from the blog. (Call it “let a thousand blogs bloom,” I guess.) I have some reservations about Winer’s idea – if you purposely fragment the comments, it will be hard to find the fragments.

  2. Well It becomes easier to do just that when you have these unified easy to use login systems that is open for about anybody to use 🙂

    Btw, Mitch over at twist image just posted a few thoughts on a the topics and are asking for thoughts.

    (I tried to post this as a reply to your reply, obviously disqus wanted it otherwise)

  3. You think the move back from Disqus is going to be easy?

    After using Disqus for 3 months (with lots of problems) I experimented with what it would be like to leave Disqus – it took me another 3 months trying to get things fixed before I eventualy gave up and bit the bullet.

    Maybe things have improved now, but at that time I lost all my threading as that data isn’t stored, and there is one major task I have been puting off – repairing all my historical comments with double entries plus all the spam.

    I estimate my cleanup bill for using Disqus in excess of $5K

  4. Hi Andy,

    It’s not a solved problem, that is for sure. I still have duplicate comments on my historical entries from somewhere along the line when I moved from Blogger > Typepad > WordPress > Intense Debate > Disqus.

    I suppose I could run a routine on mysql to clean it up but I can’t be bothered.

    We’re still living in a world of mechanical gears which require grease and spittle. It ain’t perfect and I doubt it will be for a long time. Wait until the next new shiny thing comes along on people start asking for a Facebook export feature.

  5. Love the post Ian. I think (and hope) you are correct.

    Outside the technical hurdles discussed in the comments above, the biggest challenge with the “distributed comments” idea is that most shares and likes have almost 0 signal. You will get the occasional “awesome” or “this sucks” along with the link; but in most cases you only get a re-sliced page title. I don’t know if distributed comments actually matter if the tools are only promoting discovery over depth of connection.

  6. Totally agree Todd, distributed comments are mostly just flashes in the pan, sometimes leading to a nugget of information but mostly just ephemera in the classic sense of the world.

    General rule of thumb which I try to keep is that any comment longer than a paragraph or two really should be on your own blog with the appropriate link back. That’s what trackbacks are for.

    Time to get back to the core.

  7. A paragraph or two is like writing a novel to the spammy beggars out there!

    The standard WP comment system is adequate but I have been thinking about getting Disqus installed instead. When using it around different sites it seems to be so simple and intuitive, plus it looks nice.

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