Social Networks: Blog Killers or Blog Saviors?

Filed as Editorial on March 21, 2009 11:05 pm

wheel-spokes-hubTwitter. Facebook. MySpace. Flickr. YouTube.

Are these and other social media hangouts hurting or helping your blog?

No matter what your answer is, you must admit that blogs no longer dominate the social media landscape as they did in, say, 2006. While blogs still form the center of many companies’ social media marketing efforts, they’re now joined by a wide variety of other platforms and services.

2009: A Crossroads of Social Confluence

We stand at a crossroads of sorts. The online world is undergoing so much convergence that blogs and other so-called “social media” tools are becoming quite difficult to distinguish from each other.

We used to publish and discuss material at our blogs, reaching out on fledgling online social networks to find readers and approval. We still do that, but we now have more options and more reasons for holding substantial conversations outside of our blogs.

For so many individuals and companies, the blog used to be the hub of online social identity. There was YourWebsite.whatever to hold the static fort. Then YourBlog set up someplace as the social headquarters. And of course a variety of social media accounts as spokes emerging from the blogging wheel.

Now identity is becoming its own hub to an ever-increasing extent. The brand is the hub and the blog has been relegated in many instances to be just another spoke among dozens.

But if social media use is hindering your blog’s progress as an attention hub, is that necessarily a bad thing?

The Blossoming Collective Power of Non-Blog Social Media

Social networking, media sharing, community-based content creation and voting – all of these  have grown in intensity and popularity to the point where they may collectively, if not individually, influence a person’s or organization’s online presence more than single-channel modes of communication such as blogs.

A business that uses the social Web to plant seeds of goodwill or connect with customers no longer needs just a blog in order to do that effectively. In fact, it may need to not just have a blog. It may need to have a presence across several popular online social destinations in addition to (or even instead of) a blogging presence. Saviors for what otherwise would be a lonely blog.

Which is why The Blog Herald cares about and covers Twitter and Facebook and many other entities that don’t use “blog” or “blogging” in their elevator pitches, and why we constantly try to wrap our minds around this ever-evolving, hundred-headed beast called social media.

And why maybe you need to lock yourself in a closet for a few minutes this week and ponder how your blog should really fit into what you do online. Whether it’s being killed or saved by what you do outside of it. And whether each hour you spend on any social media tool, blog or not, is actually saving or killing time for you and for those with whom you converse.

Are your social networks taking away from or adding to what goes on at your blog? How do you strike the right balance?

photo by russelljsmith

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  1. By Rob O. posted on March 21, 2009 at 11:34 pm
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    It seems as though many people are social network users if for no other reason than to drive traffic to their blogs. And I guess I do feel as though some of the social network dabbling I’ve done has stolen time away from my blogging, although I’ll admit that a couple of times, social networking stuff has inspired some of the blog posts I’ve done or content elsewhere on my site. With some social networking tools, it’s increasingly difficult to determine whether they truly offer any net value at all.

    With Twitter, for example, I have a love/hate kind of relationship – I like the immediacy of it, I’ve managed to bring in a little more traffic to my site, and it’s allowed me to connect with a few more bloggers in my area than I knew of previously. But at the same time, I get very frustrated by the limitations that 140 characters places on you and Twitter is so linear and swift-moving that it’s nearly impossible to have real conversations – kinda like dropping a leaf in a swiftly-flowing river. Twitter seems to be essentially a spam service by its very nature – most of the posts are cross-promotional efforts, metaTweeting, ReTweets of said, or just frivolous chit chat.

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  2. By Hans posted on March 22, 2009 at 1:22 am
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    To me my blog is the ID behind my doings in the different social spheres. Talking to new contacts in Twitter I am always interested in their ID behind their tweets, and quite often I learned, was astonished and had a (unexpected) real value of visiting these sites. I talk to somebody not only because its nice to talk with him but to talk about content. There can be no communication without creation of content in the long run, at least to me.

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  3. By zooped posted on March 22, 2009 at 10:41 pm
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    I think they are all working together nicely just have to find a common medium between them all.

    As for twitter I believe it should be nothing more than an app or plugin to enhance other sites..

    Forrest Gump “That’s all I have to say about that”

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