Francine Hardaway at Fast Company has stated that the blog is dead.
And then I heard yesterday’s discussion on The Gillmor Gang and spoke to my Business and Future of Journalism class. The Gang received a brief introduction to Betaworks’ new content authoring tool Tapestry from John Borthwick, who runs Betaworks. He explained to us that Tapestry was designed for completely mobile content consumption; it is a clean, uncluttered environment and you download the app to read the content. Or to create it. It creates “Tappable stories.” You have to see it to believe it, just as you had to see SVBTLE or Medium, the new high quality by-invitation-only content platform put forward by Ev Williams.
All of these are incredibly different from traditional blogs. They are much less text heavy, and they focus on quality of both content and design. God knows what they will do to journalism when they become main stream — because they will. Many of the people entering the internet now will never even see a PC or a laptop; they will read on mobile devices. So the format of content must rapidly change to meet them.
So the blog is dead.
Actually, the article is a good one. There is some good thought on how content is changing once again to reach the mobile audience.
You know, this article on blogging being dead actually fits well with a post Kevin did over at Mine That Data about how people are shifting toward mobile devices.
The slow shift is happening and both Francine and Kevin seem to be right in that there are people out there that won’t use the traditional computer to browse content. Heck, we probably won’t use computers to create content in the future.
I left a comment on Francine’s article stating my thoughts on the fact that the blog is dead.
Do I agree?
In a way I do agree, but I think the article could have been worded a bit different. I think stating that the blog is dead is a way to grab traffic. It’s actually a classic blogging strategy to get traffic. Say something controversial. Hey, she got me to respond with a comment, a share and a blog post so it’s working.
But here’s where I disagree.
Blogging is Just a Term
I think what Francine is talking about is blogging in the news reporting sense. I don’t want to take her out of context or anything. That is not the intent. I’m simply expanding on her thoughts.
Anyway, I think blogging has become a broad term. A blog seemed to start out as an online journal or diary for individuals. From there it meshed into the news industry and that’s where much of the bad rap came about because a blog could get away without traditional journalism tactics like checking facts.
Blogging is a just a term and people use it in their own contexts today, which is fine. I do it with business blogging. I would say that a business blog is simply a way for a business to create content it owns and controls. That content can be aimed at helping the customer and in term earning the company more money.
In the context of business blogging I would say that the term “blogging” might be dying, but creating business content to market the company is not going away. The platform might change, but people will still require content.
What does this mean for you?
You and your partners will always have to be aware of the pulse of your customers. You’ll have to understand what they want in terms of content because the format might change and with mobile it does appear to be changing again. I don’t think that means you should create shorter content. People still read long form content all the time.
Keep a pulse of what your customers demand in terms of content. Creating that content and help them. Your company will grow as a result.
It doesn’t matter if you call it blogging or something else.
You’re simply creating content and that is something that has been around for as long as time.