Why Blogs Need To Be Social

61 thoughts on “Why Blogs Need To Be Social”

  1. Good Post Om,

    In my opinion lifecasting as a possible evolution in blogging will need to be focused on a readers interests. If one if interested in the latest news about Web 2.0 in Japan, then that person should be able to filter FriendFeed or Twitter content to find exactly that topic and not have to wade through Web 2.0 in Europe content.

    Using Blogs as a lifecasting aggregation point will work as long as blog readers are able to filter and focus on content and bloggers of interest as opposed to having to wade through post after post of fluff and nonsense as we do today to find the nuggets of useful information on Twitter and on FriendFeed.

  2. Excellent post, Om. I think you shine a light on some interesting ideas. Aggregating, Life Streaming and Community Building feel like foundational concepts for Web 3.0.

    Somewhat related to the Facebook versus Social Blogging tools question is whether the masses ultimately want to create or consume information (in addition to practicing adornment).

    Food for thought. Whereas blogging just takes a bit of discipline to keep it going, building a community is a lot of work. It’s a daily care and feeding exercise.

    I blogged on this point recently from a lessons learned perspective in:

    Online Community Building: Three Critical Ingredients
    http://thenetworkgarden.com/weblog/2008/03/online-communit.html

    Check it out if interested.

    Cheers,

    Mark

  3. It’s great to see these ideas gain prominence. We’ve been talking about this for four years, and they’re built directly into the core of Elgg, our open source social networking platform.

    There are a couple of important issues that A Taylor touches on above, which boil down to audience. Not only are you going to want to filter content by overall topic (itself a hard thing to do when you’re talking about a variety of data from different facets of your life), but not everything needs to be, or should be, public. While self-publishing is interesting and exciting in the global space alone, it comes into its own when you can decide exactly who can see what, and when you can use that audience information to allow certain groups of people to interact on a deeper level.

    Maybe I want to share more specific information with my partner and my family than I do with my business colleagues or Joe Random out there on the web. Similarly, why shouldn’t I be able to add people as friends across networks (particularly as social networks decentralize), or invite someone over on another network to edit a document with me, without having to create a mirror account? (And then only making it public when both people are happy with it?)

    All of these ideas lead to huge possibilities, and they’re not far off. We’re certainly trying hard to build them into Elgg and the Open Data Definition, and I hope that Movable Type, BuddyPress, Marc Canter’s People Aggregator and others continue to push the boundaries with us.

  4. I have 100 friends that blog, does this mean I’m going to have to join 100 new social networks, fill out 100 profiles, etc? Personally, I’m not going there.

  5. I am not sure any one site will ever be able to capture all the facets of the internet but this is a very important topic. I strongly believe that the power of the internet is as a collaborative platform and that the key is to have all the tools service that need rather than be slaves to the limitations of current technology.

  6. I agree some blogs may benefit from lifestreaming, but I personally worry there is too much noise from twitter type streams invading too many of my information sources already. When I want to get inside smart people’s heads, nothing is better than twitter and lifestreaming. However, I don’t want it on every blog or news source I visit, causing detraction from the real content I’m seeking.

    Lets harness lifestreaming where it makes sense, but maintain appropriate control. I’m not lacking for information and opinions from the masses, but I’m loosing the ability to find more valuable, well explored reporting amidst the expanding social media noise.

  7. I am trying to deal with information overload thanks to all these services.

    You ask a great question and I will answer it by explaining what I think I need to solve my info vs. noise problem.

    I use Facebook a whole lot, way more than anything else, and my blog automatically imports into it. Now if Facebook could interface with blogging platforms and allow me to manage my blog from INSIDE Facebook, allowing me to also manage the ‘friends’ who comment and the community that has slowly formed, then that would be nice.

    It would be even better if anyone would be able to comment without having to register. Just use opensocial or your facebook id (I know this is all coming).

    What I need is:
    – a central place to login
    – manage the content I create
    – connect with the community
    – click a tab to see what my twitter friends are saying and tabs for the other services I sign up for

    I liken it to how gmail can check all my email accounts or how IM went from walled gardens to clients that allow me to manage ALL my im accounts with different services.

    Aggregation is what I need. Am I alone?

  8. Great post and great comments.

    Many of us feel overwhelmed by all of the methods and means we have to publish digital content and also the fragmentation that results form consolidating our digital lives in one area.

    I think that taking a nod from the customization that the internet has brought us via the ability to personalize the content we wish to receive in having a much greater choice in selecting the shows we wish to watch, music we wish to hear and articles we wish to read – blogging is going to enter a new phase in which we will be able to micro-blog-cast segments of digital content (new blog posts, status updates, places/location of interest, etc.) that readers can pick and choose which areas they wish to follow. The revolution will be ‘lifestreamed’

    Blogging is truly about conversations and relationships. Kudos to Six Apart’s initiative to provide bloggers with the tools to share more information and ideas.

  9. Wouldn’t the first question be. What is social or social behavior?
    Is social just sharing or talking/writing with no result.
    Or is social behavior sharing and influencing with a shared result/understanding?
    If it’s the later, we have a long ways to go and most of these so called social nets are on the wrong track.
    BTW, the noise level normally goes down if the people realize they do not have have any influence on the shared result. Except the few who have no clue, but can be easily filtered out.
    To make you work more the later would also have you share your thoughts (changed or influenced) at the end of social interaction.

    Or maybe, I just need more coffee.

  10. I like what your saying Dave ^ but I think your trying to operate in the garden with the highest walls, no? And what app automatically updates your facebook account? Are you sure you still don’t have to hit update from within facebook?

    We need to the walls to come down operating inside of facebook I can not imagine is the answer to that imho.

  11. Mash, Don’t Integrate

    I think it would be a big mistake to create a monolithic entity like blogging or micro-blogging self-contained within FaceBook or visa-versa with WordPress trying to be an all out SNS. I completely agree that blogging needs to go to the next level by becoming more social – a part of the flow – and allow that personal level of connectivity as part of the dialogue.

    This can and should be done by opening up the connectivity between the SNS, blogging and micro-blogging worlds. Put the control with the user and put the flexibility with the design community.

  12. I’ve been thinking about this challenge for a while now – how to combine/integrate the various content creation channels I use into my personal website without loosing the value of the individual channels. Slapping on widgets from each site into the right column isn’t pretty.

    As a father, another aspect I’m also concerned about privacy when posting about family items. I’d like the ability to easily control which content is public vs. private but still have it integrated under my personal brand (my site).

  13. I agree most heartedly Om, but this idea is certainly nothing new. There are other blogs like mine that have been preaching this mantra for a very long time now. Maybe you should come out of the vacuum and read someone else for a change besides Scoble and the gang. 🙂

    Just a suggestion. Cheers!

  14. Well-articulated, Om. I agree with some others that there has indeed been a spreading meme here for awhile now, but this post does a great job of pulling together some old ideas and adding new emphasis (albeit indirect) on the tools and specs that are going to pull us forward like OAuth, OpenID, and DataPortability. Thanks!

  15. Om, there are a number of different ways to reach the objective, and I’ve been experimenting with Google sites and widgets (my own attempt to aggregate and mash-up social media).
    http://sites.google.com/site/davidhdeansportal/

    If you’re a gypsy blogger, like me, and you have a tendency to wander from platform to platform — there’s currently no easy way to bring it all together in one place. At least, not yet.

    Perhaps the one thing that most needs to transcend space and time online is an authentic reputation. I’m not so sure that we’ll ever capture that in a single application. Frankly, I’m not convinced that we really need to.

  16. OM, I remember reading that post that you wrote last year about Automattic,purchasing BP, and it got me very excited about the possibilities.

    I for one cannot wait to see, what Automattic, have got instore. They have been trend setters, re blogging platforms up to this point.

  17. Am I old fashioned??
    Maybe!
    I find Marc’s blog soooo difficult to read and so pointless. I guess I still like to read in continuity and not disjointed unedited statements.
    Will twitter last?
    I don’t think it will in its current awtaar but then what does on the social media space. I for one would not be want to be bombarded with constant feeds even after subscribing to them. Nope don’t want to know who is on the shit pot and who is having difficulty catching a cab.

  18. how would I build the new blogging service ? – I think I would integrate all the comments you make on the web in the backend of the software. I think “comments” is a part of the online life that blogging hasn’t grasped ( even though it’s also a large part of blogging in itself)… =)

  19. My blog automatically imports into Facebook – you can ‘Notes’ to pull in an RSS feed, no need to hit any ‘update’ button.

    More importantly, what I am saying we need is interoperability and then let users CHOOSE what they want to use. I would choose to use Facebook because it has worked quite fine for me so far.

    Choice never hurt anyone and just like how you can use Hotmail, Yahoo, Gmail, etc. or MSN, ICQ, AIM, etc., I just want to choose without worrying about interoperability.

  20. Spot on, Om… as usual. And to support Om’s mention of how we became friends, it was indeed a *great* way to light up our friendship… something blogs, as an extension of one’s very being into the digital sphere, should facilitate with increased ease and benefit. Blogs were meant to be social!

  21. Om – great post! I’m starting to think about blogs the same way as I look at online communities – they are opens forms of communication that are powered by interaction among employees, customers, and more. If these communities were one way streets, then they would not be successful. What makes them successful is engagement among the members to foster better, more productive relationships with employees, customers and partners which should ultimately lead to improved business results.

    While blogs started as a means to express opinions, I 100% agree that blogs are now about making connections and fostering relationships just like online communities. Connecting them with other “life streaming” apps like FF, Twitter, and Dopplr is a marvelous idea and one that I hope I see more people adopt (Scoble-style). Thanks for continuing to bring the great insights.

    Best,
    Aaron | @astrout

  22. Oh this is a great post. Blog is really everywhere. not only it can express one opinion and bringin up together a colleague, I guess blog is very powerful when it comes to advertising and promoting products not only that when it comes to SEO it became a big part such as backlinks. 🙂

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