It was a little more than 5 years ago that I started blogging with this post. How interesting is it that my first post related to the quality and purpose of sportswriting and now 5 years later, my writings about newspapers have evolved from my annoyance with them, to my hope that they will survive?
In the beginning, blogs were the easiest way to communicate an opinion. Then as with now, writing a blog doesn’t mean that anyone would take the time to read it, but sometimes people did. My most popular posts were about Steve Nash leaving the Mavs, the series of posts on Success & Motivation, The Stock Market, and my colonoscopy of all things.
Blogging today, is not the same as it was 5 years ago. In the early days of blogging, it served as much as mini social networks as a publishing tool. Many used blogs as a way to communicate with family and friends. I don’t see that as the case any longer. Social Networks have become the primary means of keeping in touch with those close to you. Friendster for a minute, then Myspace and now Facebook are the primary means for people to keep each other up to date. Pictures and privacy have made the biggest difference. Facebook its a quick and easy way to share pictures, videos and updates only among those people you want to see them. It has become a unique utility, which for many people elminated the need to blog.
Beyond personal communications, blogs have also been used as a broadcast medium by public figures, consultants and corporate executives. Blogs have been the most expedient means to share a point of view, a quick thought, factual reporting and whatever else someone else wants to share to a potentially unlimited audience. RSS feeds have advanced so that it has become incredibly easy for people to subscribe to blogs and quickly determine from the RSS headline or full feed whether or not they want to commit to reading the full post. However that is changing as well.
Enter Twitter. Twitter has quickly changed the nature of “broadcast texting”. While Blogs have been a great way to offer complete stories, Twitter, with its 140 character limit, by its nature is the best suited of options for short bursts of content. The size constraint makes “tweets” far less intrusive and easy to receive and read on a phone. Twitter works for what it is designed to do, however its future is not a slam dunk.
Competition is coming strong. I happen to like Facebook Fan Pages (see mine here) . What I really like about my facebook page is the ability to filter messages that I send to followers based on their demographic data. I also like that people use their real names. What I don’t like is that posts are not searchable.
Google just released their new profiles, this is mine. I like the Picassa integration, but its still pretty simplistic.
I think these are just the predecessors to what we will see on mobile platforms. All the IPhone apps are tests for what and how people use their mobile devices. Its going to be very interesting to see where things go.
Five years ago blogging was a big step. Now, the internet has become such a stable home and mobile platform for text and graphics, we are going to see a rush of derivative products that we will strain to keep up with, but benefit from as we integrate them.