Darren Rowse—long-time friend and fellow pro blogger—wrote about the 6 reasons blogging is still relevant in today’s social media filled world and while he’s bang on with his reasons he missed the most important one of all: people still like reading stories.
It’s about the stories we tell
Here are Darren’s six reasons for blogging’s continued relevance:
- if self host your blog and use a blogging platform like WordPress.org you retain full control over your blog and what it looks like, how you monetize it and what kind of content you can put on it
- a blog allows you a lot of freedom in terms of length of posts (as opposed to Twitter/Facebook which limit length) and the design of your posts (i.e. inserting images, sub heading, bolding etc (G+ does give you some of this control) etc
- As long as you maintain it and pay for your hosting your blog can stay up forever and is not there as long as the social network may operate or be a relevant medium for people
- For me a blog is a place that I archive and showcase my best longer form and meaty stuff – social is an important place for researching what I write, sharing it and building community with my readers
- Much of what is shared and discussed on social media is links to longer form content – I want to be a creator of that
- In my experience it is easier to monetize and make sustainable a business based upon a blog over a social media account
Yes, Darren talks about writing longer form content in two of his six points, but just only skims the why you need a place for long form content. The reason why is because people like to read it. The thing about blogging, the thing that keeps me at it is the writing is that need for long form content. Our human desire to read and exchange stories is why journalism, books, magazines, or blogging will always remain. Sure the media will change. Print newspapers, magazines, and books might fade into memory in the coming decades, but writing will remain.
I suppose that’s why I talk less about being a “blogger” now—except in the historical sense of being Canada’s first professional blogger—and more about being just a writer. I write. My medium is electronic (both for creation and publishing). For my personal works, I use what was once considered just a “blogging engine” (WordPress), but is now considered a website publishing platform. For my books, yes they still come out on paper, but more and more of my sales are electronic. I expect in that within a year or two some of my books will only be available electronically and I’m okay with that (I’ll miss signing books, though).
The transition is now
The transition is simple. We continue to preserve our stories for others. We have for centuries. We will continue this trend for millennia more the only thing that will change is the medium we publish on. So how is blogging still relevant? It’s still relevant the same way all writing is relevant. We like it. We read it. We desire it.
Social media—something that media has always been, I believe—has merely given us more (too many?) options for telling our stories, not replaced the desire for stories in a myriad forms.
So write, shoot pictures, tweet, status (yeah, that shouldn’t be a verb), and locate…tell your story. I’ll continue to do the same. Especially here. On my blog.