Why do those of us who maintain a blog keep up the weekly discipline of writing on a variety of topics? Well, I suppose all of us have our own reasons. A few years ago I posted this article offering a few reasons why I blog; for the most part those assertions are still correct. And yet it seems fairly obvious that a shift is taking place. A shift that has changed the landscape of the blogging world.
In the past, blogs provided the primary means for online conversational action – engagement, interaction, response, dialogue, and debate. Over the course of the last few years the landscape of our digital world has changed. Think about the commercials you see on television; there is a much greater emphasis on the 4G network for mobile phones than there is the latest home broadband technology. This shift means that not only will online social networking sites need to find a way to connect with the widespread use of mobile users (the Facebook Android App is a joke), but it also means that the personal blog is taking yet another hit to its place of importance. First, sites like Facebook turned many a blog into a museum, and now the ease of mobile technology could kill blogs altogether.
What this ultimately will mean, I think, is that personal blogs will return to what they originally were meant to be – a place for folks to capture their thoughts and experiences in a format other than a locking paper diary. There will of course be those blogs that remain popular due to the influence of the author, but for most of us, things will be changing.
Social media sites have, for me at least, been both a blessing and a curse. On sites like Facebook and Twitter I am now able to post links to my updated blog articles and drive people to the blog quicker than when they had to visit once or twice a week to see if anything had been updated. An unintended consequence that I have not particularly cared for is that the dialogue, conversation, and sometimes debate tends to now take place on the social media platform instead of on the blog itself, the latter being the more natural and appropriate place for that to happen for a variety of reasons. I’m just not interested in having my Facebook page be a place for endless debate, something that has the potential to happen since I am thankful to say that my friends list contains a healthy mix of conservatives, moderates, and liberals (and a guy named John Barber that no one understands but that everyone loves).
It seems that some have had similar experiences. Dr. Mike Ruffin, a friend and former colleague, recently posted that he would no longer use his Facebook page to discuss his blog articles; he has encouraged folks to keep the conversation at the blog itself. I don’t know his reasons for doing so, but my hunch is that they have something to do with what I outlined above. I am skeptical that his return to keeping the comments on the blog itself will work; those days are just over I think. Perhaps his blog will prove me wrong and I can implement a similar tactic, but I have my doubts.
Thankfully, my desire to make PhilipMeade.com a place where lots of discussion takes place has never really been my intention. If that is what kept me writing, then I would probably be closing the blog tomorrow. Instead, I hope folks keep reading, keep thinking, perhaps now and again are encouraged or instructed by my writing, and when comments do arrive, I can be encouraged and instructed by other’s wisdom. It is possible that I will not be posting every article I write on Facebook or Twitter in the future, so if you are interested, you might want to bookmark my website or subscribe using the links on the left hand side of the page.
I really am thankful for those who do read my humble little site and I sure hope that regardless of mobile technology I continue to see you visiting from time to time. So, until then…..