The advent of Social Media has changed the face of blogging in some interesting ways. Many bloggers have actually reduced the frequency of their posting in favor of Tweeting their thoughts instead. Others have incorporated social media channels such as Twitter, Facebook and others into their blogging activities. Still others use it primarily as just another marketing tool for their blogs. Whatever the use, there is no denying that Social Media is here to stay. But how will that affect our blogging?
The blog has always been a social platform by way of the commenting system. With the addition of social media platforms the conversation has moved off the blog and out into the wild. This has forced bloggers and Web masters everywhere to change the way they are doing things. So what do we do with our blogs now that the conversation has moved to a different corner of the room?
The first thing to realize is that the conversation hasn't actually moved to a different corner of the room, it has filled the room. The conversation no longer has a central hub, only a starting point. From there it becomes a thing unto itself and moves according to its own will. All we can do is ride along and hope to influence it in some small fashion.
So what do we do with our blogs?
There is no easy answer to this question. Using social media channels as a marketing platform is certainly a viable idea, and is working well for many. Reducing the frequency of blog posts in favor of microblogging channels also has a legitimate use. I, for one, have had many thoughts pass through that, while they weren't enough to warrant a whole post, were still valuable enough to pass along. And in this new social Internet, incorporating social media channels into our blogs is virtually a must.
Perhaps our blogs can now become repositories for articles and thoughts that are too large or complex to fit into the limited constraints imposed by much of these newer, more immediate channels, while the social media channels can become the vehicles by which we add to our larger thoughts and fill in the gaps left by editing constraints. This can range from anything like the “deleted scenes” feature found on a DVD to a handy way to engage in a question and answer session with our visitors.
More likely, social media channels will find their own way, a way that I can't even begin to imagine yet. Our blogs will become a part of that way as we learn to accept social media as another facet of an ever-growing dialog around our pet topics. Our blogs will devolve into just another one of the miriad of methods at our disposal for the sharing of our unique insights. Our role as bloggers will evolve from one of “authorities” to one of “conversation starters”.
It is said that to lead is to serve. Is it possible that the new leader will be most effective not leading from the front or the rear, but rather from the crowd, just one more voice in this new social tapestry? What do you think? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts on the future of the blog and the blogger. Where do you think we are going?