Steve Rubel has an interesting article on Mashable today where he is trying to mindmap the future of blogging. His argument is that Twitter (and communications tools like it) have changed the way we communicate and rendered traditional blogging obsolete. Rubel argues that blogs will evolve in to repositories for “lifestreams”, aggregators of various online presences like Facebook status updates, tweets, and other posts.
Rubel’s suppositions are sure to spark discussions (although they have the air of “trial balloons” for a brandable concept. One can imagine publishers are already salivating about publishing the hardcover of “Lifestreams”). But I think he doesn’t spread his net far enough. Yes, Twitter is changing the way we blog. The prevalence of “linkbait” blog entries has certainly diminished (at least among better written blogs), replaced for the most part by retweets of interesting content.
But the same holds true for many agency sites (Crispin Porter is the latest to incorporate their Twitter stream and other online feeds into the bulk of their site content) and other communications opportunities like live events. The CNN/Facebook integration on display in the coverage of today’s Michael Jackson memorial is just one more example of this (and certainly Twitter has had a profound impact on Facebook’s User Experience).
My own personal belief is that blogs will take on the role that upper houses like the Senate do in Federal government i.e. the chamber of “sober, second thought”. Yes Twitter, Facebook and other realtime information delivery mechanisms will continue to have a profound impact on the overall conversation found on the web. But just as TV didn’t replace radio, there is still a place for the thoughtful and insightful blogpost. As we continually tell customers it’s not about replacing one platform with another, it’s about having a meaningful presence across all platforms.
When was the last time you looked at your blog? Have you changed it’s content so that it compliments your other social media outreach efforts?