Blogs were originally a place for personal thoughts, akin to diaries or journals, used to record daily activities and memoirs. Today people blog for a number of other reasons including: business, advertising, and news journalism. Blogs are a hub of information, a place to inform readers and share opinions. They create a sense of community by providing a platform for social interaction. Blogs have certainly made their mark on the digital world, but with the popularity of micro blogging services like Twitter, it has raised the question of whether traditional blogs are becoming outdated?
It could be argued that blogging will soon appear on the list of dying art forms, which already includes letters and books, replaced by email and digital tablets. Even newspapers are struggling to survive and are beginning to rely heavily on their websites to keep them afloat. In a world where there are constant developments in technology, it seems that even digital platforms are easily replaced. Blogging may have taken a back seat, whilst social media websites have continued to thrive and develop, but can these short forms of communication really replace the rich, quality content that blogs provide?
Many bloggers would argue that their input is still relevant to the digital world. If you take fashion blogs for example, these are certainly still seen as valuable, or why else would PRs and brands be so keen for bloggers to review their latest collections and be pictured wearing their clothes? High street retailer River Island has even gone as far as designing a collection for Autumn / Winter '12 called 'Blogger,' which is inspired by what they have seen 'every day' women wearing on their fashion blogs. This shows that bloggers must have some influence over their readers, or brands would simply stick to traditional methods like celebrity endorsement.
It must be questioned whether blogs made up of researched ideas and quality content, can really be replaced by micro blogs consisting of text restricted to under 140 characters? Micro blogging lacks quality, substance and content. Anyone can post a tweet giving their opinion, but not everyone has the skills to produce a well-researched, organised, quality piece of text. Blogging has evolved so that, not only does it focus on content, but is a tool used by businesses to improve their SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation. Business blog posts often include relevant keywords which link to their ecommerce websites which are then picked up by search engines that will rank them accordingly with respect to the particular subject. There is clearly still a place for blogs in the digital world. They are a stand-a-lone medium, but should not compete against micro blogging, as their users do not have the same goal.
The power to influence of social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, and even new comers like Pinterest, cannot be ignored. They provide quick social interaction, something which is unique to the digital world. When it comes to customer service, social media is second to none. Although blogs were originally thought of as platforms for customer service, they are clearly outdone by social media websites, as they provide a place for instantaneous replies. More and more businesses use their social media accounts to interact with customers, answering their questions and sorting out any issues within minutes.
Blogging and micro blogging both have their advantages and perhaps should be treated as collaborative entities, rather than as separates. It is evident that micro blogging is in fact simply a new development that has grown from traditional blogging, combining elements of social media interaction.
Businesses are encouraged to produce blog posts as they are a great addition to ecommerce websites, and communicate more information about a company. However not all businesses have the time, skills or ideas to put into blogging and have therefore moved onto focusing solely on micro blogging and social media. In order to create and fulfil a successful marketing strategy, whether you are promoting a business or yourself as an individual, a combination of blogging, micro blogging and social media will stand you in good ground for creating a positive online presence. Rather than debating whether blogging is a dying art, in the presence of micro blogging, perhaps we should be questioning which medium is best for the message we want to deliver.
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