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Is Twitter the future of blogging? 8 November 2008

Posted by jordanfarley in Networked Journalism, Social Media.
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The familiar Twitter logo

 

I find myself this week in the strange position of blogging about blogging, about as postmodern as you can get I think, existentialism Web 2.0 style. But what to say? I’m certainly no existentialist and sadly I have far too little experience blogging to teach you anything you aren’t already likely to know, so I thought I might relay a few thoughts on the future of blogging as I see it.

In a lecture by Adam Tinworth earlier this week we were told that the key to creating a successful blog is to make it interesting and part of the online conversation. The interesting part is something we have to work on ourselves, but making my blog part of the conversation, the social conversation, the Web 2.0 conversation is something we can all work on together. 

Paul Bradshaw of Birmingham City University’s School of Media claimed in his Online Journalism Blog post yesterday that the reason why people stop blogging is because, “…they do not become part of an online community. That may be because they don’t link or don’t comment…In other words: there is nothing keeping them blogging.” As a journalist creating a personal brand is essential to getting your voice heard, but perhaps even more important today are practices like link journalism, social bookmarking tools and of course Twitter.

 

“Twitter is extremely useful for involving yourself and your work in the conversation but I cannot see it replacing the blog”

 

A couple of weeks back Wired Magazine reported that bloggers should pull the plug on their bread and butter. While the article itself seems a tad dramatic in overstating the death of the blog Paul Boutin has a good point when commenting on the state of blogging today, there is a lot of rubbish out there, but I would disagree that it’s almost impossible to get noticed. Boutin seems to offer up Facebook, Flickr, YouTube and, in particular, Twitter as replacements for the blog, but this is unlikely . Instead I see these tools continuing to work together for the benefit of each other as they do now. Twitter is an extremely useful for involving yourself and your work in the conversation, but I cannot see it replacing the blog. 140 characters may be suitable for plenty of things, but not for a blog post. Text messaging is brilliant, but it will never replace the phone call.

I find it hilarious that it was as late as 2003 that journalism.co.uk first put forward the idea of blogging as the new journalism, and even more hilarious that in the same article Mike Smartt, the founder of BBC Online, said of blogs, “They are an interesting phenomenon, but I don’t think they will be as talked about in a year’s time.” It’s easy to look back and jest but perhaps I am putting myself in exactly the same position as Smartt five years ago, perhaps Twitter is the future of blogging. But I hope not, I’ve only just got started.

Image courtesy of mfilej under creative commons licence.

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