It always amuses me to see people emphatically write the statement, “Blogs Are Dead;” not only because this battle cry is usually posted on (you guessed it!) a BLOG, but also because it is a blanket statement that is neither tested nor really understood. I question whether these media mavens really know what a blog is; if they did, one might not be so quick to speak. Calling blogging dead is no more accurate than calling the power of placing cute animals into videos, overrated.
This is simply a stab in the dark from opportunists looking to uncover the next big thing online; it is certainly not a revelation from content marketers who actually do the dirty blogging work.
So usher in the time of blogs – a bright and bouncy place displaying team photos and expert advice. It was a heyday of hilarity in the beginning. Now, those brands that don’t leave content generation to experts and attempt to “Intern Out” the work, are killing blogs in one of two ways: by either over-stuffing their blog with irrelevant BS and keywords, or under-serving their strategy with infrequent and sporadic posting that doesn’t leave enough of an impression to pull viewers in regularly.
Blogs should be built to stimulate. Stimulate the mind. Stimulate the heart. Stimulate laughter, or stimulate action (the holy grail of blogging). In a constant effort to hold attention – a larger topic that we’ll save for later – content strategists needed to play with the presentation of information if to have any hope of audience retention (let alone action). It was in this transformation from “ranty novels” to imagery worth a thousand words, and inspirational Calls-to-Action, that everyone threw up their hands and declared the blogging game over. “How could good content possibly include pictures of cats?!?” the experts cried.
Of course I can see how Ninja-Media-Expert-Social-Sherpas (is that what they call themselves these days?) could easily mistake the birth of personal content for the death of blogging. I was sad to see your cousin Nick’s 1,500 word diatribes on D&D fade into oblivion as much as the next guy, but is that really the standard by which we’re measuring the loss of blogging? Just because some bloggers don’t make it, does that really mean there is no need for blogging at all?
Our A.D.D. sufferers are online right now demanding a constant rotation of new videos and pictures, our scholars still search for thick text-based articles, and our fussy viewers demand video & imagery embedded within longer text. It sure would be great if we could somehow categorize all of this content by what it has to do with … so, unless you have a better idea, I think we will just keep calling these content treasure troves, BLOGS. You may not like that this power to educate and inspire is now available to brands as easily as it is to scrapbooking moms and gamer geeks, but that doesn’t mean we pack up all our blogging tools and go home.
Whether it be a site to aggregate the content written by many (ie. Mashable, FastCo) – or a home for brands to present their story – blogs are alive and well. In lieu of flowers, just stop spreading rumors. My general rule is trust the guy doing the work, not the one talking about it.