Is Facebook killing personal blogging?
Stuart at Tech Digest writes an interesting opinion piece entitled “Facebook is killing personal blogging” in which he argues that personal blogging services have lost favour with their target audience who now prefer to use Facebook.
He cites the seeming demise of Vox and Twitter, both decent services set up to allow anyone to blog, or micro-blog, their personal lives:
My friends and I have basically dumped personal blogging and micro-blogging in favour of posting status updates, joining groups, and sending each other virtual fish. And I don’t think we’re the only ones.
I know a number of people who still run a “proper” personal blog, but, as Stuart echoes, these are the people who have been blogging for at least couple of years, and have either signed up with the likes of Vox, Blogger, Typepad, Live Journal, or WordPress, or have gone all out with their own domain and hosting.
When it launched, Vox was all about getting your mum and less tech-savvy friends to blog without needing a certificate in geekery. It’s a great, well-designed, easy-to-use service. Yet my friends and family aren’t on Vox; they’re on Facebook. One of my aunts is on Facebook. They don’t want to blog, but they do want to be part of a social network that lets them communicate in bite-sized chunks of text or media.
It’s not so much that these other services are bad- it’s just that they’re no longer the preferred flavour of online interaction. Though, for many, the nirvana of blogging is highly interactive, it’s true that for many personal bloggers, there’s a sense of vacuum when you write something but no-one comments and it can seem as if you’re talking to yourself.
Facebook is, by nature, far more interactive, and given that many personal blogs are aimed at people the writer knows, it’s hardly surprising that the social networking site is winning.
it’s a strong sign that personal blogging is going to remain a niche in the grand scheme of things, and that Twitter faces a struggle to make good on its initial launch buzz.
Stuart isn’t saying that professional or niche blogging is dying – just personal blogging. Is that an issue or a problem? Those who want to share the minute details of their lives with those around will simply hop onto whatever services are the easiest to use and most popular. Maybe straight blogging just doesn’t cut it any more.
Andy Merrett is a London-based full-time blogger writing for several Shiny Media technology blogs and various other projects. Find him on Facebook and Twitter.
Its a wierd coincidence, Sarah Turner just started a group of articles around Facebook and others and privacy concerns on BlogSecurity. I don’t know about everyone else, but social networks freak me out.
What blogging gives its readership that Facebook doesn’t is a wealth of ways to view and subscribe to its content, as well as a much larger readership (via search engines) than someone’s friendlist or group membership.
Then again, if you’re writing a blog with very low traffic, a Facebook group is a big step upwards.
I’d agree that it’s killing ‘personal’ blogging of some forms. I think anyone who has something substantial to say about life wasn’t going to say it on Facebook or Twitter in the first place. In my opinion, the only thing Facebook’s killed are blogs that were filled with pointless, meaningless little snippets of someone’s life. If it’s truly a diary, then keep it private. Most people don’t find reading about the boring daily routine terribly exciting.
I’ll admit, my blog started off as one of those, but I’ve since moved on when I realized no one wanted to read that sort of thing, not even me. If that genre of ‘blogging’ has moved on to Facebook, so be it. I stopped going to that site months ago as well.
You know, you could always hook up your blog onto your facebook account.
That way, you get the best of both worlds!
I think there’s room for both. On Facebook you can update the world with your latest earth-shattering news (off to school, home from the doctor, etc) while those of us who like to think for at least 15 minutes before posting will keep on blogging.