The Blog is Dead?

There is a lot of long format blog content out there. Corporations, pundits and personalities feel obligated to draft posts for their own blog or to enhance a Linkedin profile. Micro-blogging service such as Twitter promised a new way of driving snack sized content but 140 characters often turned into a hyperlink signpost back to long-format content. What is the future the blog?

The average word count of top-ranking content (in Google) is between 1,140-1,285 words. The question is does ranking = reading. Is long format content king or are we managing a vanity press?
The blog pioneers built traffic on certain fundamentals: RSS, SEO, etc. People politely subscribed to their blogs using Google Reader, and read regularly. This was personality publishing that emulated the newspaper boy throwing the daily at your door.
Now traffic is herding in soundbites: it come from aggregation hubs like Google News, Hacker News, Reddit and Flipboard. It comes from social sharing. Using Twitter as a sign post to say “content is over there.”
So on one side there is organic social traffic based on lists and likes and on the other side is search based on algos like Google’s Knowledge Graph that aims to create fussy and warm content associations based on their circle of interests.
If you are a Seth Godin, you can safely say that you will be found via organic and algo search. But there are upward of 180 million blogs around the world according to statista.com. That is a lot of content.
What is the future the blog as a medium?
Is seems like for many, blogging is like a new gym membership. There are many failed starts. Even a Technorati report from a few year back showed that folk were blogged less (63%). And microblogging (30%) on social networks had reduced time spent on their blogging (28%)
The Top 100 bloggers generate almost 500 times the articles as all bloggers combine. A 2017 report most mid-tier bloggers struggle to find the time to invest in their blogs. 85% cannot even earn median household income.
Is micro-blogging a completely different animal?
In blog length analysis by the Medium Data Lab we see rises, peak at 7 mins, and then fall. But this 7 mins content can be then chopped into micro-content to reach a larger audience.
According to Lacy Boggs, a professional ghost blogger, “You take content you’ve already created for your blog or website and chop it up into micro-sized pieces, you’re getting more value from the original piece and adding value to your audiences on various social networks.”
“Remember the hierarchy of audiences; our goal is always to draw our audience further into our inner circles. Social media’s purpose, then, is to draw people to the blog, and the blog’s purpose is to draw people onto our mailing list, and so on,” says Lacy.
So would you say that the medium is the message? Content is created and consumed differently in each medium (social, long format blog, podcast, etc.) around an idea.
Absolutely. The medium or channel shapes the content. And we need to see our ideas as omni-channel. Long format content is a really a series of ideas around a central theme. We even call out Tweetable lines on our webpages. Here is an example from one of your blog posts, Gary
I, of course, agree. As an author, I am aware that the central idea around a book needs to be broken down into articles, micro-posts and podcasts. You need to manage your publication as layers of a media onion.
If you look at publication applications such as Wattpad, ( @allenlau ) you see how the app breaks down the writer’s work line-by-line. Wattpad allows inline commenting for readers to share thoughts and interact with a social community while reading.
I don’t like the distinction between micro-blogging & blogging. The Fairy Blog Mother defines micro-blogging as Twitter. This is too narrow.
So what does micro-blogging mean to you?
I think Tal nailed it when he said long format content is a really just series of ideas on one theme. We need to find more innovative ways to distributing these ideas. We also need to be able to attach these ideas easily into longer content in a logical manner. Like lego.
Key is to focus on articulating one idea well and sharing that idea with a large audience. The challenge is threading ideas together and keep this audience’s attention.
@impulseeconomy @talbschwartz thank you both for sharing your ideas on blogs and sound bites. The biggest take away is that content needs to be packaged intelligently for each channel. Appreciate you time.