The equilibrium (not death) of blogging
Is blogging just now finding its real audience?
Today I saw another great blog post about the death of blogging (irony?). So far, I tend to agree with every one of these posts. I wonder, though. Is owning your words the thing most people need? Maybe they only have something to say. Maybe they only need to get something off their chest. Maybe they only want to share an idea.
That’s typically my explanation for using Medium instead of my own website. I don’t have a plan for my blogging efforts. I just have things I’d like to learn and explore through writing and sharing. If each blog post I publish starts one conversation with someone I didn’t previously know, I consider it a success. That may not be an ambitious goal, but so far I’m crushing it.
That makes me happy. It’s enough.
My main concern for blogging from my own website has rarely been a matter of complexity of software, maintenance of the content management system, or anything technical.
It’s been about managing a community.
To build a great blog you need to be a community builder and community leader. You need to nurture and support actual people. That’s a lot of work.
Like, a lot.
Don’t even get me started about how much work that is.
Cranking out content while being oblivious to your audience and their feedback will lead to mediocre results. If you specifically want to build an audience, you should think about the community you want and how you’ll go about building it. Then how you’ll maintain and mobilize it toward a shared goal.
Otherwise you’re just talking to the Internet.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with talking to the Internet. It’s what most of the people on the Internet are doing. I love the Internet. We talk all the time. We’re BFFs.
You don’t need your own blog to talk to the Internet. For that, any social networking system will do just fine.
Maybe blogging isn’t dead. We just made the mistake of thinking that anyone who is saying anything to anyone else should be blogging from their own website. Which is ridiculous.
Maybe the scope of blogging is too large. To own your audience’s data, you need your own blog. Although, people building communities are a tiny subset of people talking to the Internet.
Maybe getting frustrated about blogs being a corporate tool is a waste of energy. They have a concrete reason to invest in building and maintaining a large community.
Do I need my own personal community? No.
Do I want my own personal community? Sure.
Is it worth the effort at this point in my life? I doubt it.
If I plan to publish a book (or some other project) and want to build an audience to promote it, should I build a community? Hell yes.
Until then, I’m gonna keep talking to the Internet.
Thank you Medium. :)