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Signs That Blogging is Not Only Alive, But More Critical Than Ever

Social Media Killing Blogs? Tell That to AOL.

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Every so often, one of those "social media vs. blogs" discussions comes up. Questions like "is social media killing blogging?" gets asked. Time and time again, the answer is a resounding "no", but various pieces of news released this week seem to really drive that point home. 

Blogs: Are they more or less important in the age of social networks? Share your thoughts.

For one, AOL bought the technology blog TechCrunch for an undisclosed sum (which has been estimated to be at least $25 million) – a blog. Now, AOL doesn’t exactly have the reputation it once had as an ISP, but the company is doing all it can to revitalize itself and rebrand itself as a content-driven media company. The TechCrunch acquisition is a clear example. A Bloomberg article says the move is a possible way to "restore lost relevance". You may recall that AOL got rid of its social network, Bebo

Is social media dead? Just kidding. 

Forrester Research released a report indicating that content creation on social networks has slowed, despite global social network usage increasing. "A lack of growth in social creation translates into a lack of fresh ideas, content, and perspectives," said Forrester Research Consumer Insights Analyst Jacqueline Anderson. "For example, one-third of online consumers in the US regularly watch user-generated videos on sites like YouTube. But, only 10 percent of US online consumers upload videos they’ve created to public sites. The traits required to create social content are unique, and at this moment, the consumer market interested in these behaviors has plateaued." (emphasis added)

Still, I have seen no shortage of people sharing content on Facebook or Twitter – content that more often than not comes from blogs. And I’m not just friends with a bunch of bloggers. 

According to new research from Sysomos, about seven out of every ten tweets fail to earn replies or retweets. Covering the research, our own Doug Caverly writes, "Surprised?  So were we. Twitter’s gained a reputation for being a place to hold conversations, not give speeches. Still, Sysomos examined 1.2 billion tweets that were posted in the last two months before reaching its conclusions, so it’s pretty much a fact that just 29 percent of tweets produce reactions."

"Otherwise, Sysomos determined that the majority (79 percent) of those reactions are replies," adds Caverly. " Only 21 percent of reactions come in the form of retweets."

That may say something about Twitter as a means of producing content, but I still believe that Twitter can be a very powerful tool to create content and news. That has been proven time and time again (the Hudson River plane crash comes to mind). However, there is still plenty of "noise" and just like in real life, most of what people say isn’t worth repeating. I will say, however, that most of the retweets I see contain links, and those links very often point to content from blogs. 

I think I would go so far as to say that from a business perspective, blogging is probably more critical than it has ever been, and social media is largely responsible. This is not because people are engaging less with social networks. It’s because they’re engaging more, and social networks open the doors for blog content to find its way to relevant audiences like never before. 

Look at Facebook’s social plugins (including the "like" button). 2 million sites have added Facebook’s social plugins since they launched five months ago. "Likes" are now more important to search, as Facebook has made updates so that "liked" news stories appear when people do searches within Facebook. Google is champing at the bit to get this information (and CEO Eric Schmidt thinks they will one way or another). 

Whether or not Google ever does get access to Facebook’s data, it’s in there to be searched, and much of that comes directly from blogs. Of course Google has no trouble indexing the blog content on its own, it’s more about the popularity and relevance of the content at the personal level. Facebook’s methods for this are simply another reason to create good content, and there’s probably no better or easier means to do so than with a blog. 

I mentioned business. One more nugget of research released this week comes from the Pew Internet & American Life Project, which found that more than half of Americans do online research before making a purchase. How much of that research do you think comes from blogs – whether they find it through search or through social? 

Do you think blogs are critical for business? Tell us what you think.

Signs That Blogging is Not Only Alive, But More Critical Than Ever
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  • sofakingdabest

    No way. Blogging is 100% anonymous. Social media isn’t.

    • Chris Crum

      That’s a whole other discussion.

  • http://www.the-system.org The System

    Another timely post, nice topic Chris!
    Just today I filled out an email survey for Technorati on The 2010 State of the Blogosphere Survey: http://research.opinionguru.com/mrIWeb/mrIWeb.dll?I.Project=A17275 – something I don’t usually do…
    I’m glad I did because it showed me the parameters that are being measured! If you take the survey you will find out nearly every reason why blogging has become the new news!
    Blogging is essential for Internet Marketing because it creates buzz, is a link honey-pot and is a source of authority creation for any niche, which allows you to dominate rankings.

  • http://www.zazzle.com/the_museum* The MUSEUM Zazzle Gifts

    I would have to agree that blogs are more important to me than in the past – Blogs have become more important to The MUSEUM Zazzle Gifts in getting gift products out into the World – Noticed that searches tend to find products on blogs faster than at site – Twitter is a distant second but awareness seems to be growing – Still have a lot to learn about blogs and blogging – Thanks for the info – it keep me aware and on my toes

  • http://www.BusinessVideoFast.com BusinessVideoFast.com

    We teach small business workshops and the core of out information is exactly what you have written here. The blog is the smartest way for anyone to create a brand around specific information that can by discovered easily by the social web. There are so many plugins for free that can do this for users. Although we do media projects for clients, we’ve started the education process over these same ideals over at www.BusinessVideoFast.com Great article! I will reference the information on the next radio show!

  • http://www.kewltubes.com Diane Gracely

    I basically do my blogging on Facebook. I don’t have time to keep up with a regular blog. I have over 3400 golf friends on Facebook and I have enough work keeping up with all of them every day on Facebook. And they have all played a vital role in helping my golf business to grow. As a matter of fact we received a University order for 380 golf club covers from meeting a new golf friend through Facebook. :)

    • Chris Crum

      Is the information shared publicly, as to be available to search engines?

  • http://www.christianfamilyproductsandservces.blogspot.com Kenneth

    Like anything else, there is a reason for both.

  • http://www.247nigeria.com Orikinla Osinachi

    Blogging is the vehicle of citizen journalism and citizen journalism is the liberation of the mainstream media from the limitations of the newsroom to the street.

    Blogging revolutionized modern journalism and blogging is what makes Facebook and Twitter attractive.

  • http://www.mercadeo-internet.com Mona Sutherland

    Social Media is more like the playground where Blogging is more like the classroom…

    • Opegasus

      Absolutely agreed. Much have I learned from blogs. Some to little on Social media unless a thread goes crazy or it points to an article or blog.

  • Wayne Caswell

    To me, the key word is CREDIBILITY, and the democratic and natural selection process of the blogosphere helps determine trust and credibility among citizen journalists. Even when there

  • http://www.coloradoairporttransportation.com Colorado Airport Transportation

    Blogging alive and well in Colorado. It is like comparing apples to oranges to different content engines and consumers. Skiing vs. Snowboarding they both get you down the hill.

  • http://currin.co.za Brian

    Really great, thank you … just the information I need to explain the importance of blogging in the bigger scheme of things.

    Brian

  • http://www.iexposure.com Camella Lobo @iExposure

    If anything, I agree blogging has reached a critical mass and social media has everything to do with that. Using social media is essential to marketing your blog or any other type of content platform, for that matter.

    The primary way people curate their information is through social sharing feeds and Google, both of which will continue to keep the blog alive and relevant. I think maybe this conversation should be more about how this research proves social media is a content marketing tool and at the end of the day, creating quality content (long form, and short) is still a necessity.

    And although people still have “conversations” via social media here and there, Twitter feeds and Facebook status updates are largely used to promote other content and generate conversations around that content. Viva blogging!

    Thanks for this post!

  • http://blog.prosperity.spatech.edu Kris Stecker

    Blogging is the content generator and social is the delivery method.

    And thank you for using champing correctly. So few people do.

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