Are Twitter and Facebook Killing Blogs?

These days you can’t throw a brick at your computer without hitting a story about Twitter and Facebook (and each time I read one I find myself with the urge to throw a brick at my computer).

Yes, Twitter and Facebook are the darlings of the media for the time being, and it seems no one gives a rip about blogs anymore. That hot topic of yesteryear is now a fad of the past, much like Chia pets and Snuggies. Wait, you haven’t heard of a Snuggie? Be really disappointed you missed out on that one.

Where was I? Oh yes, blogs. They’re over. Done. Kaput. They are so 4 years ago…

But wait…actually, they’re not.

A Weeding Out of Sorts

What’s happened as the press has turned its attention to the next big thing is that the long-tail of blogs, the thousands of new blogs created each day by non-techies looking to announce what they ate for lunch has waned, and they have now gathered on Facebook or Twitter to talk about that important second meal of the day…among other critically important topics.

And that’s why now is a fantastic time to start a blog.

The masses have grown weary of the blog “fad” just as they grew weary of the “email” fad in the late 90s, the “internet” fad in 2000, MySpace and Friendster in 2007/2008, and how they’ll grow tired of the Facebook and Twitter fads in 2010 and move on to something else.

The good news is that once the fad is forgotten you’re left with the people who are serious about the medium and who provide original ideas worth spreading. There are still millions of blog readers out there looking for high-quality content, and with fewer new blogs launching and more and more blogs being abandoned in favor of Twitter and Facebook there is more room for new, high-quality writing than there was two years ago.

It’s almost like the clock is moving backwards to 2004/2005 when blogs when there was much less noise in the blogosphere, but a smaller audience of commited, early adopters.

I’ve been posting more and more recently, and my audience has grown faster than at any point in this blog’s history. People, and especially the web-savvy audience, will always seek new thoughts and ideas…the fewer people who are creating them the easier it is to build an audience.

The Permanence of Blogs

Several bloggers I follow have moved to Twitter and are no longer updating their blog. That’s a mistake. When Twitter dies down what then? Blogs are not like the fads I listed above; they will be around with or without the unwashed masses.

Blogs are not reliant on a network effect, they will always be exceptional at spreading original, thought-leading ideas, interacting with customers, and receiving crazy rankings from Google, which is known to love how blogs are structured and constantly updated. In addition, the rise of Twitter has, if anything, increased the need for new content since many tweets are simply outbound links.

The web is going to stay the web for the time being, and blogs are a major foundational piece of how the web works because they plug into its core – blogs are, after all, just websites. Websites that constantly thirst for new content.

Whereas MySpace, Friendster, Twitter or Facebook could close up shop tomorrow and they’d be forgotten in a few months (a couple have been forgotten already), blogs will be around forever. Or at least as long as there is a thirst for original content and interactions beyond having to follow someone, friend them, or communicate in 140 characters or less.

Because someone has to continue creating original content and ideas. What are all these tweets supposed to link to?

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#1 Kalpesh on 10.15.09 at 11:55 pm

Twitter looks like people standing in a big hall & talking their mind. Some people listen to what they are interested in (one by one).

It’s like open shared IM conversation with everyone. And anyone can jump in on any topic.

To me, it looks like a digital thought dumping ground.
Imagine everyone would do that in past with the books? Imaging people writing their thoughts (the way people tweet) in a book?

To some extent, it is the desire to be known. I mean, who cares, if I went to pee & closed my zip and opened the twitter to tweet about it 🙂

Read blogs from MS people. When a product is released, almost everyone blogs about it. Now, imagine reader’s situation if the same news is blogged about different people.

Oh I wish, people do something useful.

#2 Sean Tierney on 10.27.09 at 8:03 pm

couldn’t agree with you more on this. There’s also other aspects to consider which I think are important:

1. your blog is like your living resume. In fact when we job candidates I’m way more interested in seeing their blog than I am their resume because a resume can be faked. Twitter is just too sound bite-ish to get a deep window into what someone values and how he/she thinks and writes (while a blog gives you exactly that).

2. Twitter supplies enough of what you get via blogging where it ends up killing your blogging mojo. I wrote up this post last year when I felt this occurring to me:
The correction involved identifying what Twitter represented to me and consciously rethinking what my blog represented and focusing on #6 & #7 type activities to my blog. Just recognizing what was going on was enough to allow me deal with it.

Anyways, spot on post as always Rob.


#3 Dave on 10.28.09 at 12:46 am

I think Twitter & Facebook are killing teen’s social lives.

Back when I was a kid (cue grumpy old man theme music), kids (OK, males) went outside & did sports or chased girls after school. They didn’t run home to their computer to see how invites they have waiting.

Interaction via computer is a lot less threatening for the socially inept. “On the internet, every male is Clark Gable”, or something like that.

Sorry, I went on a tangent there, but the curmudgeon in me had to go on a rant how we’re raising a whole generation of milk-fed dweebs who can touch type at 70 WPM but they can’t catch a baseball or kick a soccerball.

#4 John Evans on 10.28.09 at 4:26 am

I have to agree with this as it is also killing business websites in general. Small businesses feel more and more that they don’t need a website for their small business due to the exposure or “so-called exposure” of social media. I personally think if you depend on a fad than your business is no more than a fad as well or at least that is how you treat it. I feel you should leverage these tools but never abandon the personal ownership of a corporate or small business website but tie them all together. Anyways, got that off my chest!

#5 gobieta » ¿Twitter y Facebook están matando a los blogs? on 01.17.10 at 10:40 pm

[…] abandonando sus blogs o publicando posts en ellos con menos frecuencia. Son muchos los blogs que hablan de la posibilidad, hoy me toca a mí hablar del […]

#6 Rosaura Ochoa – Social Media Blog » ¿Twitter y Facebook están matando a los blogs? on 02.02.10 at 11:20 pm

[…] abandonando sus blogs o publicando posts en ellos con menos frecuencia. Son muchos los blogs que hablan de la posibilidad, hoy me toca a mí hablar del […]

#7 Matt Watson : » on 09.15.10 at 5:53 pm

I was thinking the same though*. I googled “is facebook killing the blogosphere” and this came up #1. You beat me to it. Semi colon, close bracket.

*Since 2003, my thoughts have often manifested in a blog post. The irony is that I’m now going to perpetuate your thought (and mine) by clicking retweet – which also posts it on my facebook wall. Full circle.