Is Blogging Really in Danger Because of Social Networks?

Social Media Killing Blogs...Here We Go Again.

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Here we go again with another one of those silly social media vs. blogs debates. The New York Times stirred the pot this time with an article called, "Blogs Wane as the Young Drift to Sites Like Twitter."

Can you imagine ever reading only social media updates and no blogs? Share your thoughts.

"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," writes Verne G. Kopytoff. "They are losing their allure for many people — particularly the younger generation."

WebProNewsIs blogging on the decline thanks to social networks?

This idea that blogs are dying has been around practically as long as either Facebook or Twitter, and it almost always gets dismissed as a ridiculous notion.

WordPress founding developer Matt Mullenweg took some issue with the piece: "The title was probably written by an editor, not the author, because as soon as the article gets past the two token teenagers who tumble and Facebook instead of blogging, the stats show all the major blogging services growing — even Blogger whose global ‘unique visitors rose 9 percent, to 323 million,’ meaning it grew about 6 Foursquares last year alone. (In the same timeframe WordPress.com grew about 80 million uniques according to Quantcast.)"

In fact, in 2010, WordPress had over 6 million new blogs created in 2010, and pageviews were up by 53%.

The New York Times itself even has a whole directory of blogs:

New York Times Blog Directory

"Blogging has legs — it’s been growing now for more than a decade, but it’s not a ‘new thing’ anymore," says Mullenweg. "Underneath the data in the article there’s an interesting super-trend that the Times misses: people of all ages are becoming more and more comfortable publishing online."

Major web content forces like AOL and Demand Media recognize the power of blogs. AOL is buying them, and Demand recently launched a blog syndication program

As is established every time this debate comes up, blogging and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter complement one another. End of story. Without blogs, people would have less interesting content to share on Facebook and Twitter. Without Facebook and Twitter, bloggers would have a harder time getting the readers. 

Kopytoff does make a critical point, however. The lines aren’t always crystal clear about what is truly "blogging" and what isn’t. Even Twitter use is often called "microblogging". 

"The blurring of lines is readily apparent among users of Tumblr," says Kopytoff. "Although Tumblr calls itself a blogging service, many of its users are unaware of the description and do not consider themselves bloggers — raising the possibility that the decline in blogging by the younger generation is merely a semantic issue."

People blog on Facebook all the time too. They call them "notes". No matter where it’s happening, blogging is not going away. You can call it what you want, but people will continue to put their thoughts into words and publish them online. Sometimes, they’ll even do it in more than 140 characters. Some people even think Twitter should expand their character limit.

Are you blogging less because of Facebook and Twitter? Let us know. 


Is Blogging Really in Danger Because of Social Networks?
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  • http://www.feelfree.co Guest

    FeelFree the BETA is simply the future, where people can share 150 charc words, socialize like on facebook, read breaking news, create their own blog under the platform. The progress is not visible coz am doing it all alone…. Incoming

  • http://www.stephaniesammons.com Stephanie Sammons

    Thanks for sharing these comments. What many people tend to forget is that we don’t own our space on the social networks. The networks can help us extend our brand, build connections and grow influence, but ultimately it’s not our real estate! There will always be thought leaders who create interesting and insightful content. Certainly there is value in curating content, but I believe that the creators of great content will always thrive, and the smart ones will make sure that their content hub sits on a url that they own.

    • Chris Crum

      That’s a very good point.

  • http://www.topazpartners.com/ Guest

    Great article, Chris!

    I agree with Matt Mullenweg- the title was probably created by a NY Times editor under tremendous pressure to push up page views. The best way to read the Pew study is proof that we’re all living in a multi-media and multi-channel marketing world. To reach your audience, you need to use a mix of social networking, blogs, email, etc. You can check out a view along these lines here: http://bit.ly/hsLbuQ

  • http://www.jumbocdinvestments.com/ ChrisCD

    Of course I’m still blogging. My blog and static site host the content. I use Twitter and Facebook to announce the content.

    Twitter’s limit of 140 characters is good for updates but you can’t provide much detail in 140 characters.

    As Stephanie points out, if all you use is Social sites you don’t in fact have ultimate control over your content. Either of those sites could decide to cancel your account and it would all go down the drain.

    Twitter, Facebook, and Blogging make a good compliment. But, if one of those goes away, my blog still stands. Myspace anyone?!?

  • http://www.americancountrybedandbreakfast.com B&B Guy

    A NY Times person trying to relate that they are all hip and connected. Probably just have stock in one of the social media formats.
    With ownership of your blog, and the url that goes along with it, is what makes the content so much more than what you can do in 140 characters. Besides the depth of most conversation on the social medias does not go beyond their personal drama, and maybe what I had for breakfast or what time I will go to bed. Who cares about any of that.
    Until we get people who can push good content along in the social medias, we will not have to worry about blogs going away.

    • pmoore

      I’m more worried about the death of real news..not syndicated “news”.
      The trend towards Twitter as a form or communication is IMHO the prelude to illiteracy.

      Opinion, hearsay and limited discourse leads to the spread of misinformation.

      Great tool for uprisings…not so good for real understanding of the history, facts and knowing the “real players” behind the “news”.

      Did you see Stephen Colbert last Friday or Thursday night…where he spoofed the Huffington Post?

      • http://www.sitebyjames.com Guest

        Oh come on, that sort of thing is alive and well in all forms of communication.

        I think we have to give everyone a little credit, there is a lot of noise, and the curve to get through that noise to what really matters is the same as it has always been hasn’t it?

        Maybe the only difference now is the sheer number of votes are a causing a little bit of diffusion across the major brands.

        I won’t name names, but within the last few year I have lost complete and total respect for some of the major established brands, while gaining respect for a handful of newcomers. I still hold significant if not more value to the established, just not the ones who are failing to earn it, or the ones who are doing a good job of destroying what respect I had for them to begin with.

        If anything, maybe we are all a little more flavored, or definable by what we read, discuss and promote.

  • http://www.danderoeck.com Dan

    First of all the New York Times lives in a fantasy world.

    Blogging is not only alive and well but thriving. Social Media is great for connecting people with similar interests and on a certain level, promotion.

    But IMO, to provide anything intelligible, requires more than 140 characters

  • http://www.urbaninsuranceagency.com/ Urban Insurance

    Asking if Twitter will replace articles, is like asking if movie trailers will replace movies.

    Twitter has it’s niche in the marketplace of ideas, but it is limited and will not displace content. It is best used as tool to drive people to your content.

    For example, it can be effective for a “Get out the Vote drive” but not for a candidate to explain their positions on various issues.

    As the owner ofUrban Auto, I understand the importance of putting out information that is of real use to our customers, and future customers.

  • Ally

    I think what we need to realise is that the although web is a young technology, IT is “run” – coerced – and utilised mainly by people who were involved in business before the net revolution.

    And before any of you think that blogs are safe, just think Myspace…..in 9 months a complete waste or net real estate, and this happened not by what they did do, but by what they didnt…………think about the user…. common Joe, who dislikes captcha’s. who dislikes spam..who isn’t interested by whether he owns it or not……NONE of us really own anything of real value on the internet (again ask Maxwell). Intellectual copyright and what it was worth has went down the toilet in the last 10 yrs. Just ask the music industry..(my field) YOu all know that one eh?…………just ask the movie industry, who’s inept ability to organise viable co-operative streaming alternatives….all will have a worthless value in the coming period.

    If Facebook & twitter up the 140 character input………goodbye Blogging……Suits on..who think with Boots on….as usual will be left behind.

    Any industry or area who cannot react in a matter of weeks to trends and influences……Need a bullet……Md’s. managers, “Influencial Reporters”….New York times or otherwise ALL will be left behind. whoever can move quickest will last, in this Tech environ. and sadly Blogging is at this moment being left to illegal music Links, and film downloading links.

    Do ANY of you guys realise the bonuses that are paid by the file sharing companies??? 35$ per 1000 downloads……..Jezus you guys are supposed to know what is really happening!….get File sharing Hosts ( Hotfile – Rapidshare – FileServe – Uploaded – EtCetera……to FINALLY take responsibility for the content they host…..and then , only then will we have an internet worthy of criteria like content, news etc )

    40yr olds are still thinking inside the box. as did Sony/Warners/ etc…..the kids DONT care…..Blogging is an OLD mans way to think their thoughts are valid or relevant!.

    There wil be 2 internets of the future, the one trying to monetise, and the one who real everyday people will be visisting everyday, interacting with, posting paragraphs about what they are about. Not reading about what others think. that will still be left to email.

    Yes we are all at the mercy of the commoner. and as soon as the smart suits and shareholders learn that whatever is prominent on the internet, is not done by clever marketing, or by “interesting content” but by Normal people looking for entertainment, and at this momnet in time FB & Twitter rule the roost.

  • http://www.gogetcreative.com Guest

    Most of my updates and tweets are from blogs that I RSS and are emailed to me, like this one, so I stay aware of what the world is saying and different points of view about things that are important to me. My tweets, since I’m not in a tweet friendly area and only tweet about business matters, usually consist of RTs and links to blog posts that I find helpful. I rarely RT mainstream media. There are too many other outlets out there.

    As someone who does social media for a living, and yes from a small town in FL, there has to be a mix. It’s a symbiotic relationship. They were all kind of created on the backs of each other, to correspond and interrelate. Isn’t that the purpose of SM? For my clients, I do SM mainly for SEO and marketing. For me, I have several blogs that are personal and one for my business. I encourage blogging above everything but FB from an SEO point of view.

    Nothing is going to replace blogging. It’s given a voice to the world. You can send your thoughts and ideas to the masses. Sometimes it’s just about that, without any reward, that makes blogging and all social media feel like we matter to the world, like someone hears us – the hope that someone is listening. And even if they’re not, if you don’t have any comments or “Likes”, you know that you’ve put it out there and your opinion will matter to someone, sometime.

  • http://www.Rudaminas.com Web solutions

    Now when Google indexing new posts – (for me takes only 2 minutes and post is online), I will chose both blogging and social marketing.
    If You post something on your web, you put the same link to FB and Twitter.
    Then Your link getting more sources, and of course he will be listed up in search lines.
    So to use both things blogging and social channels I think are the best way to promote Your contend.

  • Guest

    Comparing blogs to social networking sights is like comparing a surface ship with a submarine. For starters, sites like Facebook and Twitter have next to zero depth in their outlook. They are instant gratification sights where teens and adults talk about their mundane and superficial issues. A blog should stir discussion and dive deep into issues, policies and things of consequence. Combine a surface vessel and a submarine and you get a sunken ship. Keep the blogs and let social networking sites worry about what color of finger polish one should wear on a hot date.

    • http://www.wanowandthen.com Westernaustralia Nowandthen

      I can’t say I agree that Facebook lacks depth. It is highly structured and doesn’t give the freedom of a blog regarding how you want it to appear but Facebook allows quite a bit of depth if you use it as a gateway to another platform – in our case to a proper website.

      There really is no substitute for a real website when it comes to control of content, layout and appearance but we have found that Facebook works well to help introduce peple to the content and purpose of our main website.

      We have tried blogs but they just don’t seem to give the easy exposure that Facebook does. Facebook gives us easier access to more people than our blogs do and as we are trying to attract attention to our main website then for us that works very well.

      As getting ‘your’ message ‘out there’ without forking out huge sums of money isn’t easy we try every means we can to promote the sites we have developed (even though they are all non-profit sites) so Twitter, Facebook and blogs all have their place in our strategy.

  • http://www.allstatebackgrounds.com Background Screening Professional

    I can understand where the paranoia comes from as I find it extremely difficult to embrace the Twitter 140 word paradigm, both as reader and author, and it fits within the longstanding argument that attention span is forever dwindling. That said, I don’t think blogging is going anywhere, but certain topics may be more Twitterable than bloggable. A blog is not necessarily the place for a casual few word update. From an SEO perspective, I notice in my own work that short blog posts don’t attract many visitors either. Use each for what it’s best for!

  • http://curiouslittleperson.com Sandeep

    Dont think blogging is going anywhere. As you’ve mentioned blogging and social media compliment each other…

  • http://www.8womendream.com Catherine

    I was smiling at the title of this article, as I thought about how much AOL just paid for Huffington Post, which is a blog. I actually think we are going to see self-publishing grow. I believe everyone should have their own presence on the web and control what you want prospective employers to find. If you are an engineer looking for work, you should have your own blog where you discuss what you know about engineering with a bio and a safe email to contact you. Blogging for 8 Women Dream has landed me other paid freelance writing opportunities. I don’t see this happening with Facebook or Twitter, unless your goal is to attempt to become famous. I look forward to the day prospective employers look at applicant’s online pages and we quit doing all this crazy emailing of docs and pdfs.

    I actually think web developers should be more worried about blog platforms like WordPress and companies moving toward having a publishing look to their websites where they control their updates and interactions with their customers and they don’t have to hire a web developer every time they want something changed.

    8 Women Dream

  • http://www.loseweightflatstomach.com/ Belly Jackson

    Some people want full control of their image and so will always host their own blogs. Social Media can backfire too easily and makes reputation management harder if some bad news gets out. Blogs will always have a place for that reason, especially self hosted ones. Problem with writing on any platform that you do not control is that it may not last forever, then all your work may go. Blogspot, Facebook, Myspace, Twitter – any of these could be gone in 10 years. Remember geocities? Used to be extremely popular, now gone. Poof!

  • http://www.aperfectwitness.com John Melchinger

    I have little practical use for Twitter because it is newsy and headlines only, unless you shrink links and refer readers to somewhere else. Facebook too is limited, but fits well with my blog now, thanks to each blog’s synopsis which I port to Facebook and link.

  • http://thedailygraff.com/ John Robinson

    The “print bytes” (rarely “sound bytes”) that social media such as Twitter and Facebook allow put them in an entirely different (seriously limited) content arena compared to the rich possibilities for a blog. Can they handle extended serious commentary (and thoughtful responses)? Can they convey, on a daily basis, graphics-rich content such as video, photographs, illustrations, cartoons, or even recipes with vivid step-by-step visuals?

    The social media are for short (often small) thoughts and brief replies. They can NEVER replace blogs unless we all become so mindless as to only need the vast expanse of one paragraph to convey what we want to share.

    My daily photoblog with humorous captions would be impossible in the confines of any of the social media: http://thedailygraff.com/

    Do you detect that you struck a nerve?

    –J.A. Robinson

  • http://onewebsiteplease.com Greg Daniels

    “…people of all ages are becoming more and more comfortable publishing online.”

    This is exactly the case. If nothing else, Facebook/Twitter/Foursquare and countless other social networking sites are making blogging MORE appealing. Facebook may be the landing page, but it’s certainly not the source.

    • http://www.whosvip.com/ Mike

      I totally concur. These networking sites have actually introduced many users to blogging but I can only genuinely speak for myself – I could never just limit my reading to status updates, blogs keep me informed, entertained and sane – : D

  • http://venturetosay.com James Beswick

    Great piece – NYT’s claim is reminiscent of the repeated claim of how Apple is supposedly killing the PC, when it’s simply not reflected in the quantity of PCs being sold. With social media and blogging, the truth is that all platforms are growing in usage dramatically, but to proclaim that one is replacing the other is sensationalist and blatantly incorrect.

  • Guest

    Blogs are social media.

    It’s more likely the community and the content which is responsible for holding most things up. So… what is more important, being a participant or a creator.

    If the creators are somehow getting pummeled or destroyed by the community and they are getting buried in the noise, then perhaps more people will want to start taking control and leadership of those communities rather than have them waste away as rouge opinion networks.

    How’s that?

  • http://www.theretiredminer.com Guest

    Facebook and Twitter are the communication links. Blogs have the data behind the communications. Without the Blogs – Everyone would really be lost.

    Same as those in Egypt were lost when all communication was cut.

    If The Blog data was ever really cut out, no one would really know what was behind what anyone was talking about. Then everyone would really have lots of fun (trouble). Those blogs would be back fast.

    • Subhash Mandal

      BLOG deserves the motherhood cap of all the existing social networks. Blog can be termed as the Base of all standing social networks. Moreover each and every point shared in a blog has a tremendous life value to the individuals. On the other hand contents in the Facebook, Tweeter and other social network just making the human status down. So Blogs will be the most effective and user friendly platform to share the thoughts for any generation till the existense of the Universe.

  • http://www.mypurplebutterfly.net Guest

    I don’t agree, I think blogging is a unique tool in itself. Twitter and Facebook just are another form of linking our blogs and niches, subjects, to whatever interests we have. I stand firm that anyone who has a blog does it’s own thing and lives by it will not go down because of social media. They work together to make the world wide web a better and more profitable and enriching place.

  • http://www.DanteJoseph.com DJ

    Many people are not part of the Facebook and Twitter fad and continue to operate mature blogs with real information. I agree with Chris Crum of Web Pro News and believe that the same people that are claiming that blogs are dying should look at their own publications, i.e., the New York Times…

  • http://blog.chadflick.ws/ Chad Flick

    I really enjoyed reading this post, I’ve always linked my blogs to my social profiles. I really don’t think blogging will be going anywhere too soon either. I think they all work together to let customers and subscribers know that we the owners are in fact real people.

  • Kain

    Blogging was last years fad, Social media is now the current fad.

    In a few years time it will go the way of blogging, personal home pages on Geocities and any other Internet fad you care to mention.

    All we are waiting for is the next big thing.

  • http://www.hedgehogdigital.co.uk/ SEO Bedford

    Chris you have hit the nail right in the head by saying:

    “blogging and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter complement one another.”

    As you said social media is just a complement to savvy bloggers like us. I’ve been blogging more since social media has hit the main stream because I managed to spread my thoughts to a wider audience thanks to it.

    • Eric G. Martin

      I couldn’t agree more. Social media and blogs complement each other.

  • http://www.clearwebservices.com Will Smith

    I do not think that social media will take over blogging because the two are different. I tend to use social media to direct people towards my blog. Twitter allows me to share links to other blogs as well as my own.

    There is a world for both to work side by side by if I had a choice it would be blogging every time!

  • http://www.websblog.com Web’s Blog

    Twitter and Facebook is a NEXT Generation instant messaging tool.
    Always, something new will appear!

    Web Sites > Blogs > Social Media > What’s Next?

    I’m not a big fan of Facebook and Twitter, But we are forced to be reconstructed!
    Therefore it is necessary to use all of the web tools not to lag behind competitors!
    I think that many lose money with occurrence (facebook&twitter) but many growing.
    For your success, use all tools of Internet marketing. Any tool will bring you traffic!

  • http://reichcomm.typepad.com David Reich

    No, it’s not dying at all. Blogs still serve as a valuable marketing and PR platform, where you need more than 140 characters to explain a position, sell a product or service or simply provide useful thought or analysis.

    The growth of blogs backing up media channels, like the examples cited at The New York Times, offer further proof.

    More at http://bit.ly/gNcy93

  • http://www.cyber-key.com MJ Taylor

    If anything I am blogging more, as social media makes it easier for me to broadcast my posts!

  • http://www.survivingdating.com Deborrah Cooper

    I use at least a dozen social media sites as vehicles to drive people to my blog. By making relevant appetizer posts or tweets, those that are curious and want to learn more click the link and visit my site for the full meal! I see the two as going hand in hand. I hate reading Tweets, and I don’t make any money from sharing my intellectual brilliance on Facebook. Authors with important things to share with the world receive no benefit from exclusive use of social media. Blogs are an integral part of publishing and will remain so.

  • http://www.carvillcreative.co.uk/blog Michelle carvill

    Blogging being killed by Facebook and social media – I don’t think so.
    Rather these platforms provide excellent channels to a blog. The blog can be the heart of the social experience – particularly if the blogger’s objective is to build their brand as an ‘authority’ on a subject. Twitter and Facebook provide reach and connectivity. They don’t override the blog – but instead help bring exposure to the blog.

    How can you provide authoritative and useful content in 140 characters? You can signpost effectively and share effectively – but any authoritative and useful content will be linked to – and oftentimes that link is a blog post or whitepaper etc.

    The blog is central. Long live the blog.

  • http://www.777productions.com Deon Fialkov

    It depends…

    How you market yourself.

    I try to incorporate everything.

    Especially if people block me on facebook then the only option is blogging.


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