Some argue that blogging is an outdated, dying form of media. Is that true? With so much noise and information thrown at us daily, is blogging still a relevant form of communication? It seems that other informative social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are dominating and leaving behind older forms of communication like blogs and emails. Blogs are still out there, and they are created fairly regularly, but are they being properly utilized? Do we have a reason to go to blogs as our primary source of information or communication rather than simply going to our Facebook feed first? I believe that yes, we do. I believe that blogging is still a very relevant form of communication, and I think it should be utilized even more than it already is. Blogs are important, and can make a difference, and here is why.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, pick a popular social media platform. They are all extremely popular right now, and more widely used than ever. My 74 year old grandmother uses more than one of them regularly, and I hardly know anyone who doesn’t. These platforms are used to receive and transmit information across the internet, and are used by most on the daily.
If you’re a regular user of Facebook or the like, you’ll notice that when you first launch the application or visit the website, you will be automatically directed to your “feed”, which is a massive, endless stream of posts and information that is hand-crafted for you. Facebook specifically tailors your feed to represent things similar to what you typically view or “like” while you are using their platform. Thus, it becomes a huge information dump every time you log on. It has become less and less about your friends and family posting about their lives, and more focused on the endless videos, advertisements, and pictures that have been selected for you based on your interests. I’m sure we can all relate to the mindless scrolling we do, browsing through all of this until we find something that interests us.
This could be considered an inorganic reach. When we find ourselves scrolling and scrolling through all of this content on Facebook, we are not “opting in” and choosing to view this particular content. Instead, we are just plowing our way through what Facebook feeds us, hoping to find something interesting. When we visit a blog page, we are viewing specific, organic content that has a focus. Social media has become cluttered and overly informative, but blog posts are the voice of reason among all the chaos. If we search something on Google, chances are some of the search results that come up will be relevant blog posts. And while not all blogs are reliable or useful, most are going to be specific, focused, and helpful for what we’re looking for. This organic content is something that is becoming harder and harder to come by, and should not be taken for granted.
Blogging takes us back a bit and allows us to do something that most of today’s social media doesn’t: really direct to a specific audience. Although Facebook allows you to pay for advertisements and post boosts for your pages, there is only so much you can do with that. Using something like Facebook advertisements just adds your content to the clutter of information in someone’s feed. If you use this form of communication, chances are you will just be scrolled past like most others in a feed.
Blogging, on the other hand, is much more focused and can be utilized for strong communication. When an author writes a blog post, they think of a specific demographic or audience that they hope to reach with their message. They then craft the message in a way that will most effectively speak to that audience, and share it. Blogging also offers tools similar to what other social media platforms have that help the author analyze and adjust according to the needs and desires of their audiences.
In the end, blogging is a much more refined form of communication, moving the clutter to the side and offering more of a clean focus on a given topic. This is a much more effective form of communication than the information overload that most other social media platforms offer.
Blogging certainly has potential to make a big impact on society. Whether that is influencing an opinion on a current issue, or helping the reader make a decision based on someone else’s experience in the past, blogging is always there to provide an answer. Personally, I’ve turned to blogs countless times to get an opinion or help make a decision on something. Interestingly enough, 61% of U.S. consumers say that they have made a purchase simply based on a blog post. Blogging can have a big influence on consumers. I switched over to a particular phone company a few years ago because of a helpful blog I read that broke down the cost and quality of service compared to other companies. I applied at the current company I’m working for now because of a blog post I read that was written by a former employee who explained their experiences working there. Blogs can have a powerful voice and can really move people in a way that is different from anything other social media platforms have to offer.
On the other side of things, one can really make a difference by being an author for a blog. If you write a blog, you become a “thought leader”, and you will gain followers. People may argue what you talk about, or they may be influenced by your words and opinions. Blogs go beyond writing one article and leaving it at that; blogs are an interactive form of communication that allow a two-way channel between the author and the readers through commenting or further follow-up communication. As the author of a blog, you have the opportunity to share information with the community and become a leader among your readers. It is a powerful communication channel that can do a lot more than a simple Tweet or Facebook post.
Blogging may seem out of date or less current than most of today’s social media platforms, but don’t let that scare you away from it. After using a blog and learning more about it throughout this semester, I have been swayed to understand the importance of blogging, and why it can still have an impact in today’s society– even more than I would have thought. Despite what I had thought, blogs are still very relevant and useful, and should not be discounted.