Blogging gets new life

Social media like Twitter and Facebook aren't killing blogging. Social media make blogging stronger.

Cory Doctorow writes that blogging isn't dying, "it's just that other social media have taken over many of its functions."

When blogging was the easiest, most prominent way to produce short, informal, thinking-aloud pieces for the net, we all blogged. Now that we have Twitter, social media platforms and all the other tools that continue to emerge, many of us are finding that the material we used to save for our blogs has a better home somewhere else. And some of us are discovering that we weren't bloggers after all – but blogging was good enough until something more suited to us came along.

That's true for me. I've always found blogging to be cumbersome, requiring commitment to blog every day, and fiddling around with blogging software and blog design. As a result, I only keep it up if someone pays me to. Otherwise, my personal blog moves in fits and starts. And blogging in fits and starts is a recipe for failure; you need to keep a regular posting schedule to keep people coming back.

On the other hand, Twitter comes naturally to me. Twitter is easy. I can post a little snippet to Twitter, then expand the snippet out to a blog post (like this one) if I have a little more to say. If I have a lot to say about the subject, in a very organized fashion, I can write an article.

Social media like Twitter and Facebook (this is me on Facebook) are also great for people who blog intermittently. You can go quiet on Twitter and Facebook for a while, and then resume. You don't need to pull people back every day, because people are already connected to you, your updates are pushed out to them whenever you make them.

Social media complement blogging and other content creation. When I post a blog, or create content anywhere, I post an update to Twitter, Facebook, and (for business content), LinkedIn (this is me on LinkedIn), letting my friends there know about the new content.

This is a good opportunity for me to put in a plug for Posterous, a free service that merges the best of blogging and social media. This is my posterous blog.

I'm late to the party on Posterous, it's been the darling of the blogerati for months, and I just started digging into it a couple of weeks ago. Forgive me if I sound a little giddy about it; I'm still in the honeymoon period.

Posterous takes the work out of blogging. It's dead-easy to create a blog on Posterous and update it. Just send an e-mail to Posterous blogs have attractive default templates. If you e-mail Posterous a photo, video, audio file, or link to a video site that permits embedding, like YouTube or Vimeo, Posterous will take that content and post it prettily.

Whenever you post to Posterous, the service automatically sends out updates to Twitter, Facebook, another blog, and, where appropriate, YouTube, Flickr, and other social media sites. You don't have to remember to do it, Posterous just does it for you. I have my Posterous set up to update my main blog on TypePad, as well as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Flickr. You can send updates using e-mail; Posterous grabs the subject line to use as the title of the post, and the text for the body. I just love that, it's so easy.

I may actually move my personal blog from TypePad to Posterous because Posterous is so nice.

The best part about Posterous is that it makes blogging so simple that it's effortless. Posterous makes blogging as easy as Twitter. It's as easy as sending an e-mail.

Posterous is so easy that it becomes natural to have a thought, snap a picture or take a video with my iPhone, and send it to Posterous. And that means I'm more likely to sit down and write when I have a thought. And sometimes those thoughts evolve, naturally and effortlessly, into something more than a quick Posterous -- like here and now. I started this post as a quick sentence or two I was going to post to Posterous, and now I think it's meaty enough to share with my Computerworld readers. And then I'll post an excerpt and link to Posterous, and everybody's happy.

P.S. There's a bug in Posterous that messes up the formatting of text sent from Gmail. I've been posting using Gmail anyway, and just living with the problem. In writing this post, I Googled the problem, and found a workaround. It's the same workaround suggested by the doctor when the patient came into his office and said, "Doc, it hurts when I go like this."

Mitch Wagner

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is a freelance technology journalist and social media strategist.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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