Brave New Blog World

A few days ago I wrote a post that included this sentence:

Change is the lifeblood of the digital age, and regular transfusions are mandatory.

The line referred to recent dramatic changes in the Facebook format, changes which caused an uproar in its community of followers.  But there are some radical, if more subtle, changes in the blog world too and I’ve been observing them with keen interest.

Here’s what I see:

  1. A genre of young lifestyle bloggers who are making blogging a profession, not in terms of generating ad revenue, but in terms of selling their message to the world. They talk about relationship, building your strengths, community, writing. They network voraciously, creating and promoting events.
  2. A group of slightly older bloggers who are using their blog stories not only to connect with a select group of readers, but as a way to expand their professional horizons and develop new career opportunities.
  3. Both groups use social media to the max, posting links throughout the day to their blogs and to other blogs of interest.

When I started my blog in 2006, I quickly connected with a group of women who were writing about their lives, their art, their passions. Blogging was a way to explore and share new avenues of creative expression, whether that was writing, photography, poetry, crafts. It wasn’t difficult to find a group of like minded people to learn from and share with. Memes were king in those days, and were a way of spreading the word about your blog to others with similar interests.  Now Facebook and Twitter have usurped that function, allowing you to send links to blog posts over a far-reaching network of people.

My son, who has been blogging in one form or another since 2003, is in the process of “overhauling” his personal blog for the tenth time.  As a corporate webmaster, he knows only too well the importance of keeping things fresh in the digital marketplace. Here at Becca’s Byline, I just keep on doing what I do – writing about the intersection of life in general and my own in particular. I’m trying to take some pointers from the young folks. Shorter but more frequent posts seem to be the standard these days, an easy change to adopt. Months ago I purchased my domain name, but haven’t been brave enough to switch to a self-hosted sight. I hope to make that happen soon.

Meanwhile, there are so many more opportunities opening up for people who are talented in local search optimization, people who can do local business marketing, or local search marketing.

It’s a brave new world out there in cyberspace, and things are always happening to shake it up.

Not so different from life in general, is it?

How about you? Has blogging changed for you since you began? Do you have changes you’d like to make in the way you blog?

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11 thoughts on “Brave New Blog World

  1. There are some tweaks that need doing on my blog, but they’re essentially housekeeping in nature – clearing out some old links, reorganizing and adding others.

    Otherwise, I’m pleased. I keep hearing the business about posting more frequently and posting much shorter entries, but that’s not for me. In fact, there’s a bit of an irony here. I often stop reading people who post daily or every other day, and I often stop commenting. I just can’t keep up – not if I’m going to create content myself.

    As for twitter & FB – I know a few folks who really work those networks – REALLY! And they spend 2-3 hours a day doing it. Good gosh – who’s got time for that? I’d rather be writing or reading or researching.

    Of course, my goals might be different if I were 35 instead of 65. It does make a difference!

    • Yes, there are people who work the networks to death. I don’t know how they get any real writing done. There’s a balance that needs to occur, and I imagine they’ll all
      have to figure that out the hard way!

  2. I’ve been thinking about your second question a lot recently. Where am I? What am I doing? Is it interesting, etc. I know my blog has shifted–I have shifted. Whether that is “good” or not, and what “good” is, I have no idea. It just is. But twitter and Facebook?? Egad! I can’t keep up with the blogs, much less attempt to do those.

    • I think we always have keep in mind the purpose for our blog. It certainly doesn’t have to be about connecting with as many people as possible, which is what the social media stuff is about. Blogging works on so many levels – as a way to inspire and keep track of our lives, our writing, our projects..whatever feels right to you.

  3. I thoroughly enjoy reading about your life in general. I think we found each other through a mutual blogging friend, who sadly to me, doesn’t blog anymore. But I’m interested in how the tangled web of life leads us to kindred spirits.

    My blog has changed since 2008. Back then I was a life coach (or rather, had a life coaching certification) and I started a basic blog on Blogger to write about career transitions, work/life balance, etc. I quickly realized my posts were more personal than “expert”… and that I enjoyed sharing my life lessons through real stories about my life.

    And then I finally took a biggest leap of faith of all… I stopped resisting and called myself a writer. An aspiring author. A memoir writer at that. I relaunched a self-hosted blog under my own name. In the past year, my blog readership has become like friends and family to me, and my I’m finding my “voice.”

    • “Sharing life lessons through real stories about my life…” Yes, that is EXACTLY what you do, and you do it expertly!

      You, my dear, are most definitely a writer with a fine and distinctive voice, one I always look forward to reading 🙂

  4. I love these questions — I’ve been pondering them a bit. When I first started, I think I posted about anything to post! It was so new, so exciting! I didn’t know “what” my blog was going to be, so I tried to make it be everything. I participated in every meme, all kinds of groups. I loved it. And, I think I still would, but I just don’t have the time. For me, the writing is as much therapy and journaling as it is presenting a point of view or something exciting. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t. I’m not an art blog or a writing blog or a homemaking blog or a travel blog. I’m all those blogs, and it all depends which day you ask. (That part hasn’t changed!)

    Yes, it’s the time that’s changed — the time to read every single person’s every post. I still want to comment on each, usually because I feel if I have the time to read it, I have a minute more to say something, particularly if it really struck me. I know how much comments mean to me.

    When I started, I looked at everyone’s links. Now I can’t even keep mine up to date (that’s the change I need to make!). I follow the folks I do because I get something different from each one. I try to post more, but the posts that really are meaningful I may work on for days — that was a change, too.

    Marketing? Not yet. Someday, maybe. When I have time to figure things out. I have trouble enough doing the social media and marketing I must for work to do any for me. It’ll wait.

    • I think the great thing about blogging is that it can be whatever you want it to be- it’s as unique as each person, so we all learn about each other’s personalities and hobbies and desires.

      I don’t feel pressured to keep up with the new kids in terms of blogging. I like to try new things, but I won’t ever veer too far from my original format or intent. That’s just me!

  5. I loved this post! You’ve summed up much of what’s been on my mind lately. As you know I enjoy a bit of re-design every now and then (which I think becomes increasingly futile as most people use their readers and don’t go directly to the blogs anymore) but in its essence my blog has remained the same: my public therapist and a chronicle of my transition from Europe to the US. Over time it has also become a showcase for my photography and I love using both images and words to convey my thoughts.

    I also love the connections I have made through this medium, like Angie my readers have become like friends to me. And essentially those are also the kinds of blogs I enjoy the most myself: those that tell personal stories and life lessons.

    Like others have commented, time is always the challenge though. One could easily spent hours every day reading and commenting and I am constantly trying to find a meaningful balance in how I juggle my online and “real” lives.

    On Facebook I mostly connect with my past and with a handful of bloggers and people from the area where I live. To me, FB is all about quick and easy banter, a way of staying connected that has become quite important to me actually, because of the loneliness I’ve been feeling here in New England. Sometimes this makes me feel a little pathetic but it does help 🙂

    I am glad you are not planning any major changes on here because I love your blog just as it is!

  6. you are right that things are always changing

    yet on my blog I don’t bother changing lay-out (hey, people read in feed-readers I assume) , my url (hmm some older people read whose children have added me in their favourites, don’t want to loose them),or change the way I write (it’s my past-time, follows my mood, if I am going to force myself in a trend it wouldn’t be fun anymore). …maybe that’s why I have a very very small reader’s base :p

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