Are You Reading More Blogs This Year?
Since the beginning of January, I’ve seen repeated predictions that blogs are coming back big in 2018. As you might guess, predictions like that sounds really good to my ears — because some of us bloggers never went away. Hah! One prediction I made a note of yesterday is from Tina of SwissMiss:
I predict personal blogs/sites having a major comeback in 2018.
— Tina Roth Eisenberg (@swissmiss) January 22, 2018
So is it true? Who knows. One analysis I read used subway maps to show what the web used to look like 10 years ago in 2008, and how it looks now — with everything filtered through mega-companies. From the article:
“The Web has lost its spirit. The Web is no longer a distributed Web. It is, ironically, a couple of big tubes that belong to a handful of companies. Mainly Google (search), Facebook (social) and Amazon (e-commerce). There is an impressive Chinese line and there are some local players in Russia, Japan, here and there. Overall it has become monotonous and dull. What can we do?
There seems to be a weak undercurrent of old and young bloggers like us that feel sentimental or curious and want to bring back blogging. Blogging won’t save the world. But, hell, after two weeks now, we can confirm: it feels great to be back on the blogging line.
If you are one of those old or young bloggers, please join in. Drop Facebook, drop Twitter and drop Medium for original thought. Own your traffic. You can use them to engage in discussion. But don’t get lost in there. Write daily. Publish as often as you have something to say. Link to other blogs.”
And a woman wrote in response to Tina:
I am so here for this! I know you’ve always believed in blogs, but I think you’re right on that there’s something happening now. I’m finding myself drawn to spending time on sites with a POV and not just a mishmash of random content being flung at me. Time for a renaissance!
— Ingrid Fetell Lee (@ingridfetell) January 22, 2018
Her line about spending time on sites with a Point of View, versus random content, stood out to me.
For people who do social media and blogging for a living, this commentary is key:
People are definitely realising that the only platform you own is your own
— Ryan de Metz (@ryandemetz) January 22, 2018
From a blogging career/job perspective, it’s been crazy over the last 10 years to watch my peers (and myself) spend a huge amount of time and energy building up a community on Facebook or Pinterest or Twitter or Instagram, and then realize we don’t actually have access to our followers. It’s an odd thing. When I share something on Instagram, Instagram may only show it to 500 of my followers. Or sometimes to 5000. But never to all the followers.
It’s so different than it was at the beginning, right? At the beginning, we would follow people (or brands) on Instagram, and Instagram would show us every single thing the people we followed had posted, in chronological order. But Instagram is different now, and not just Instagram — they’re all different now. No social platform offers your feed in chronological order anymore. (And more than once I’ve publicly begged for them to do so! I would gladly pay a fee if I could get chronological content back.)
So as a content creator, the idea of focusing on a platform I actually own (this blog), is very appealing.
Austin Kleon, an important creative thinker in this space, also predicts blogs doing well in 2018, among other old-school technologies:
I see 2018 as the year people keep wake up to simple, even “dumb,” old-school tech: paper, zines, books, mailing lists, blogs, bookmarks, phone calls, etc.
— Austin Kleon (@austinkleon) December 29, 2017
Austin also linked to a short article that encourages people to start using browser bookmarks again:
“Literally, all you need to do: Type in web addresses. Use autofill! Or even: Google the website you want to go to, and go to it. Then bookmark it. Then go back every now and again.
Instead of reading stories that get to you because they’re popular, or just happen to be in your feed at that moment, you’ll read stories that get to you because you chose to go to them. Sounds simple, and insignificant, and almost too easy, right?
It’s only easy, and simple to do. As for why you should do it: It’s definitely not simple, nor insignificant. By choosing to be a reader of websites whose voices and ideas you’re fundamentally interested in and care about, you’re taking control.”
Over the weekend, I was talking with my friend Laura Mayes, who started the Mom 2.0 Summit 10 years ago. She found the original class schedule for the very first conference and called me to laugh about it. One of the topics was something like, What Is Twitter Anyway? Hah! Sometimes, it feels like ten years is a century or more in social media time.
What are your thoughts on these predictions? Do any of you feel like you’re using social media less and going directly to sites you love more? Is there anything you miss about the web of 10 years ago? If yes, what would you bring back first? Do you have any 2018 predictions of your own as far as social media goes? I’d love to hear.