Breaking: This whole blogging thing is melting


Wow. All in one day, I learn that the Facebook platform is dead, Blogs are passé and RSS is only used by 11% of people (or some percentage of those who know what it is).

Here’s my response: 1. I have no idea if the Facebook platform is alive or dead. I’ve got left-over MREs from Y2K, however, so I think I can survive its demise, if it should occur. 2. Asking people if they use RSS is like asking people what size air filter goes in their car. RSS is now entrenched in the infrastructure of the sharing web. It fuels widgets, it automates blog posts, it enables all sorts of gizmos and thingees that the average web user would never recognize as RSS. Nor should they. Web users should click on a button that says, “bring me information about this topic or from this source.” How it gets delivered will probably involve RSS, but who the heck cares.

And about that post that is transparent flame bait, the one about blogs being so 2004. Here’s a surprise for you: I agree. I started blogging in 2000, before anyone normal thought it was alive. I’m fortunate, because had I waited until someone explained to me what blogging was going to become, I doubt I would have started. And if I thought blogging meant writing why and how lots of bloggers think blogs should be written, I would have seriously considered never again using the Internet.

Three things I didn’t know when I started blogging that had I known would have prevented me from starting:

1. When I started blogging, I didn’t know blogs were going to be tools used by marketers.

2. When I started blogging, I didn’t know blogs were going to become a mass-media platform that have all sorts of metrics that measure eyeballs and incoming links and who’s on top.

3. When I started blogging, I didn’t know that people were going to get paid to tell others how to write blog posts and their first advice was going to be, “You should write every headline with phrases like “how to” and “three reasons why” and every post should be in bullet points.

What I’m about to say is not about the blogging format that is being used by media companies or individuals who want to have a publishing platform or a marketing channel or an SEO strategy. Bless you, all. But what I’m about to say is addressed to individuals who don’t want to “blog” or “publish” or be a “media,” whether mass- or mini-. It’s just for people wondering whether or not they should have something on the web where they can share recipes or rant about being mis-treated by an airline.

While I don’t think it’s important for people to have a blog (I do and, well, it’s going to stay around for a while), I do think it’s important for everyone to recognize the need to have some form of identity online. A base. A place where they can point people when the time comes for them to have a seat at the table of all that takes place in their world — and the world.

This blog is the online base of my identity. However, if I didn’t have a blog, I think I’d at least have a tumble log like those you can set up at in about two minutes. The cool thing about those is that you don’t really have to write anything, you can just post links or videos or whatever. And then, when you need to, you have a place to rant when you get treated badly by some airline. (Here’s mine.)

Also, if I didn’t have a blog, I’d be sure to have a LinkedIn account or a Facebook account where I could do lots of what I can do on a blog, but also network with lots of people who also may or may not have blogs but can do all of the same things you can do with a blog. Also, I think every company should have blogs for every product and service and person in your company — even if you don’t call them blogs. But don’t think of them as being “ads,” but more like places to explore the passions you share with your customers.

It was fun being a blogger back when it was not about beating someone else’s metrics. It was fun being a blogger back when you thought the only people reading it were those you told personally about it. It was fun blogging back when you didn’t know it was something that had to be monetized. Of course, if you’re like me, you’re still living back when and blogging is still fun.

Which reminds me: One of the reasons I like Twitter is that you can instantly block anyone who tries to tweet using bullet points.