Is There A Future For Blogs?

As social media continues to reshape the online world, one begins to question the relevancy of websites and, more specifically, blogs.

After reading Rick Calvert’s comments about blogging and BlogWorld, which is expanding from one show to two this year, it’s hard to imagine that blogs won’t remain a key part of the media picture for the foreseeable future. As Calvert says, “All major magazines and newspapers in the country have blogs now.” But he adds, “Many of them have Facebook pages and Twitter accounts as well.”

A recent article in the New York Times suggests, “Blogs were once the outlet of choice for people who wanted to express themselves online. But with the rise of sites like Facebook and Twitter, they are losing their allure for many people – particularly the younger generation.”

Still, bloggers and blog networks are high on the continuing need for blogs. In fact, entire networks have been built around blogs, primarily to consolidate them and make them attractive for major advertisers.

Deanna Brown is the new CEO of Federated Media Publishing, an ad network for blogs that reaches some 40 million unique users. Brown tells Advertising Age that Federated Media focuses on the “independent web” which, she says, “has a lot of authors and services and applications that are not owned by major media companies.” She says she is excited about “the individual publisher” and sees Federated Media’s role as helping “branded advertisers become conversationalists in the right environments at scale.” In essence, Federated Media is matching up advertisers who want to reach specific audiences with blogs that serve those audiences.

Elisa Camahort Page, Co-founder of BlogHer, the largest blog ad network for women/mommy bloggers, sees a real purpose for blogs: “If you’re looking for substantive conversation, you turn to blogs,” she tells the New York Times. “You aren’t going to find it on Facebook, and you aren’t going to find it in 140 characters on Twitter.”

Lee Rainie, Director of the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project, concurred, but suggested that blogs are changing with the times. She tells the Times that blogs are a forum for story telling, but “it’s just morphing onto other platforms.”

Certainly, bloggers have become the new media journalists of our time, adding independent voices to traditional media and, in some cases, replacing that media. Citizen journalists and amateur reporters/commentators have cast a brash, unvarnished light on the news, which is probably a good thing. Reporters who have long worked for traditional newspapers and magazines have gotten into blogging, and some of them have jumped from offline to online publications, perhaps as a result of seeing for themselves the handwriting on the wall. If anything, it seems that blogs are evolving into the preferred means of reporting and commentary, and it seems all the more likely that this is the manner in which consumers want to receive their “serious” information.

Blogs that have established a wide audience already are self-sustaining because their audiences know such blogs offer them content they can’t get elsewhere, or offer access to information before any other news source. TechCrunch and Gizmodo are good examples of this in the technology space. Blogs that serve very specialized niches will continue to flourish, because they’ll fill in the places that traditional publishers can’t afford to cover. Look at these blogs as the specialty magazines of the future.

But when it comes to casual, quick conversations, social media like Facebook and Twitter will be more appropriate. At least that’s what the consumer is telling us at the moment. In reality, the Facebooks and Twitters of the world can work collaboratively with blogs and support them by maintaining a two-way channel from social media to blogging and vice versa.

One never really knows what is just around the corner. But if they can continue to shift to meet the changing needs of the consumer, blogs will definitely have a future.

About Barry Silverstein

Barry Silverstein is a freelance writer/marketing consultant. In addition to writing for ReveNews, he is a contributing writer to Brandchannel.com, the world’s leading online branding forum. He is the author of three marketing books, The Breakaway Brand (co-author, McGraw-Hill, 2005), Business-to-Business Internet Marketing (Maximum Press, 2003) and Internet Marketing for Technology Companies (Maximum Press, 2003). Barry ran his own Internet and direct marketing agency for twenty years. You can find Barry on Twitter @bdsilv.

6 Responses to Is There A Future For Blogs?

  1. Anonymous says:

    I highly doubt blogs will be a thing of the past anytime soon. It’s true that people are bombarded with information when they go online and they don’t have the time or the attention span to read more than a Twitter or Facebook update. However, there will always be people interested to find out details about a certain topic and/or become experts on a certain topic and blogs are the way to do that. They may have decreased in popularity slightly, but they won’t be gone anytime soon.

  2. There will always be a place on the net for blogs and bloggers.

  3. […] Is There a Future for Blogs? – Another article that’s really irrelevant to business blogging, because somehow business blogging just doesn’t seem to get a seat at the table. That’s fine with me, everybody else can fret about the sky falling while we keep attracting leads & clients. […]

  4. Anna Gervai says:

    The thing to take into account here is blogs for personal use (which I’d say is on the decrease given Facebook, YouTube etc) vs blogging for business use. I see blogging for business use is on the increase and rightly so. Anna 🙂

  5. Facebook and Twitter are great for spreading some news or a quick message. However, it isn’t a great medium to share more than a few sentences at a time (yet). If you are looking to share your knowledge on a particular subject, a blog is still the way to go.

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