Thought-blogging versus twitter/lifestream/community

There’s a blogosphere meme circling around this month that can be described as “do lifestreaming tools such as friendfeed and twitter ruin perfectly good blogger’s traffic, authority, ideas?”

Mike Arrington says tech blogger Robert Scoble is an addict who needs an intervention so he’ll return to his roots writing perceptive pieces on his blog;–“all that content is just really forgettable, compared to a good thought
piece that people refer back to over time. There is no direct way to
monetize any of that content, which is something that a full time
blogger with a family really needs to think about.”

Scoble replies that he;s happy with his time investment, both because of the greater number of followers and the richer conversation and because he’s increased his information & news sources.

The always pragmatic Steve Rubel chimes in ”
As personal branding becomes a weapon in a down economy, look for blogging to make a return run.”

Of course what’s interesting here is not what an insular circle of high-tech white guys have to say about one another (we get way too much of that already). It’s the questions about what place blogging has in a world where the insta-pop corn of twitterstreams and friendfeed communities can be darn near irresistible (like Scoble, I love both friendfeed and twitter.)

I’d side with my new friend Francine Hardaway and say that blogging is incomparable for the following:

  • Writing longer, more reflective thought pieces (we’re talking over 140 words here as long, people),
  • Writing across niche communities to broader and more inclusive audiences
  • Sharing personal voice and perspective in a more sustained way
  • A means to establish voice and reputation

However, where I think twitter and friendfeed excel over blogging is in building the sociable web in almost real time.  There is no other medium that can give me names of restaurants in Cleveland and chances to meet virtual connections outside of lifestreaming (Facebook, twitter, etc.). The  lazyweb is unparalled  when put to use in the twitter stream, and the loud, messy joy of the twittersphere is infectionous.

But, it ain’t blogging. And if you are a writer at heart, you have to blog. My guess is for Scoble, what we’ve talking here isn’t compulsion, but goal-setting.

–After all, if your wish is to be a fundable brand, a one mand band of product,content, output–what you need are hard, targeted numbers–numbers on a scale that lifestreaming totally provides.

No slam on blogging from Robert, just a wish for community–and a way to use engagement, aka community–to justify dollars.

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  1. Louis Gray says:

    Unfortunately for the esteemed Mr. Rubel, blogging in most cases has proven no more profitable than activity on Twitter and FriendFeed. Each of those cases is an opportunity for thought leadership and conversation – and it doesn’t always have to be about revenue. Robert, in 2008, did a fantastic job of recognizing what was hot and moving to that space, as he did before with RSS and Google Reader and Facebook. Robert has shown tremendous flexibility while others have held to a specific belief in “one right way”.
    What Robert and a few others have done through using FriendFeed and Twitter to their fullest extent is reach thousands of people who might not necessarily have been interested in their blog content. It is about extending the brand and marketing it where your audience wants to be, not about where you want them to be.

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