Is Facebook Killing the Blog? Depends.

Blogging vs. Facebook. Who's winningJeff Bullas on his blog addressed an interesting thought: Is Facebook killing the blog?

Personally I don’t think Facebook is “killing the blog” per se. I think blogging isn’t for everyone, but there will always be those who prefer blogging to any other medium and those who think the act is a waste of time and won’t partake.

To put together an article or a book 20 years ago was arduous and very few people got to see it as the web was not on public display but buried in University research labs and offices and the software tools did not exist to easily and quickly create anything much more than a text document.

When blogs emerged in the 1990′s they were very much text-based but have evolved into multimedia platforms where can embed your YouTube Videos as well Slideshare and paste in your Flickr images to embellish your text and story.

Facebook the social media giant has since arrived on the scene and developed into a multi-media rich social networking portal where you can invite all your friends and share your story with minimal friction. To publish and share in 2010 is ‘dead easy’ and that is what most people want, they just want to be given a tool that doesn’t require plugins or widgets and just ‘do it’.

Creating, maintaining and developing a blog takes a lot of  research, time and  effort with determining what plugins to use, what widgets to embed or what email and RSS subscription platforms to use rather than just signing into Facebook.

Nielsen research is showing that traffic to WordPress and Blogger the two major blogging sites is stagnating, while Facebook’s traffic grew by 66% last year and Twitters by 47%.  Morningside Analytics, an analytics market research firm has discovered a ‘vast field of dead blogs’ in Indonesia that have not been updated since May 2009 which directly corresponds with the arrival of the Indonesian version of Facebook.

Though they “analysts” claim Facebook is the new media version of the apocalypse for the blog, I don’t agree. I think Social Media adds value to blogging. Facebook, Twitter and Social Media do a great job enhancing a blog’s reach and community involvement. Social Media helps syndicate blogs across the Net and expose the blogger’s view point and thought to millions of people that it probably wouldn’t reach otherwise.

Yet for those who aren’t into blogging, but just want to share, Twitter, Facebook and for that matter Tumblr and Posterous are great options for less formal sharing.

Both Tumblr and Posterous are hosted blogging solutions. Many Netizens use them to share quips and short thoughts, pictures, images and videos. It’s a way for them to express themselves without the commitment to a blog.

Now commitment is another factor that might be making the blogosphere go stagnant. Having a blog and not keeping it relatively up-to-date is almost a sin. People won’t regularly visit a blog that isn’t updated enough. Heck I’m guilty of not updating this site as often as I should. So the commitment factor can also be another reason Facebook is the new sharing center.

What do you think? Are blogs dead? Is Facebook the killer? Post your thoughts below in the comments.

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  • Swail says:

    My prediction: As social media becomes more entrenched most wishy-washy blogs will fall by the wayside. The blogosphere will necessarily condense into a collection of more reputable pages, which people will hold in higher and higher esteem as time goes on.

    • Seth G. says:

      I agree and disagree with you. There will be a consolidation of blogs. Those who are not updating them will disappear but as far as high quality being the only ones that survive, I disagree. I feel that those who want to blog always will. But those who are really good at it and contribute great content will excel.

  • Jbdcolley says:

    I agree Seth but with a slightly different take on this.

    As Mitch Joel pointed out in his recent podcast – Facebook comprises a myriad of small networks averaging around 130 members which aggregate to 500 million people. This is not an information sharing platform or a publishing platform. Facebook groups are by their nature inwardly focused and not information seeking (other than about what their friends are doing).

    Blogging is outward looking and information sharing – it is a broadcast medium. The statistics are harder to prove but I suspect that the numbers of blogs and their audience aggregate to impressive numbers. Bloggers are normally passionate about their subjects and want to reach out and share with new audiences.

    Any how – would you want to put your content on someone else's platform?

    • Seth G. says:

      JB – That is exactly the point. There are ways to keep the main copy of your content on your Blog and syndicate to Facebook and other properties. I just don't think people get that what they put on Facebook isn't their's anymore.

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  • Dianna Conlon Helm says:

    Hi Seth.
    Nice post and some great stuff to ponder.

    I agree with you, I think blogging gets a boost from FB and Tweets, but will remain a much richer format & meatier platform for bloggers than social media sites. Those who really like to write, share their ideas and add other media will always use blogs. Unless, of course, something bigger and more robust comes along which seems unlikely.

    I see FB and Twitter posts as your blog’s appetizer or teaser trailer.

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