Is Twitter Killing Blogging?

Jul. 07, 2009 | by Chris Eden

Updated 09.07.09 with additional Twitter POVs

I’ve noticed a marked decrease in activity on some of the many blogs that I have on my feed reader, particularly those that are run by just one individual.

Microblogging has been growing at an almost vertical rate thanks mainly to Twitter. Almost all of the blogs that I subscribe to have their own Twitter feeds. Many use this as another channel to promote their blog posts, along with the likes of Digg and other news aggregation sites.

Personally I use Twitter as a useful opt in way of filtering out a lot of the noise from the vastness of the web. I try to share interesting articles and opinions on hot topics, as well as a little bit of “I’m at the Blur gig atm, it’s amazing!” (shameless plug @chriseden)

I’ve tried to setup my own blog, but still currently ‘finding my voice’ (in other words I haven’t posted to it in ages!). I still need to find my niche and have trouble with finding unique content to cover, I think this is the reason that I’ve not kept it up. I also think one of the hardest things about blogging is starting out, it’s hard to write when you know there is only a very small community there, hence me posting this to iCrossing’s blog and not my own. I think this is a real benefit to ‘Blogging for Business’.

We have a number of keen bloggers within the company, but as we all know to maintain a successful personal blog you really need to have a labour of love for it.

Twitter or micro-blogging on the other hand takes far less time, thought and commitment. It’s almost live, you can get your thoughts out in 140 characters in a matter of seconds and due to everyone being on one shared platform it can be instantly read by your opted in followers. On the flip side after you’ve published a blog post, unless you’re lucky enough to have a huge pool of RSS subscribers you generally have to push and promote that post if you want to receive a substantial amount of readership.

Navigation

I still think blogging has its place, but does Twitter compliment it or is it gradually killing it off? One important use for blogging if you own the domain yourself is that you also own all the inbound link juice and the equity that you’re gaining on your domain, unlike Twitter whereby your profile may become visible but you’ll never own that space. With ‘tiny urls’ not carrying benefit Twitter seems to be stealing some of the SEO benefit that bloggers cross linking to one another offers.

With the recent inclusion of Twitter results into Microsoft’s new search engine (Bing) more and more people will be driven to the micro-blogging service.

Conversation

From a content point of view blog posts allow you to get your detailed thoughts with explanation down on the web, something you can’t do in 140 characters. A blog also offers a good way of compiling thoughts from various people and presenting them back to the whole community. I can ask a question like this via Twitter but the platform of a blog is far better to record and archive the conversation.

I’ve asked my own Twitter network what they think…

@dannyguk I don’t think it is, 140 characters isn’t enough space to write anything that detailed. It’s just another traffic source.

@ppcman Don’t think so. 140 characters ain’t that much, most tweets point to a blog post anyway.

@dominickj I agree with Dan, more a great way to direct people to info on the web and your blog posts.

@scottjlawson it can kill off the bloggers who write posts just linking to someones content and not adding discussion.

@NoPorkPies Twitter is good for aggregating topics but doesn’t have enough space for ideas & opinions, so a blog will always have a place

@WillPaterson It kills linking entries, but not full posts. In fact in helps generate traffic and discussion as you’ve done with your post

So what do you think? How has Twitter affected the dynamics of your own blog?

Be Sociable, Share!

    Comments (4)

    • Philip Buxton

      Great post Chris. Agree with Nilhan - I'm increasingly finding that my 'visibility' in Twitter is reduced, which lessens the degree to which you feel you've said your piece and, most importantly, had it heard. For that reason, my blog will come back into my life more and Twitter will become just one of the sources from which I hope to get traffic.Jul 14, 2009 08:29 pm

    • Nick Roshon

      I think they can work together really well if you're doing it right. If you are tweeting a news story, industry development, new seo strategy/tactic, etc., then why not write a blog post with a more in-depth analysis - what are the true implications, why do you think its important, etc.

      I like to think of Twitter as an idea generator, and when I see something worth tweeting about, I ask myself if it could also be a new blog post. I'm like you where I'm just getting the hang of blogging, but twitter seems to be helping, not hurting, my blog's growth :)Jul 7, 2009 04:45 pm

    • Nilhan

      Twitter has definitely changed the way I blog. Agree with everyone here that 140 chars doesn't make a blog post, but sometimes I'm happy my digital voice has ranted and feel that's enough for one day.

      Chris's point about his own blog not getting enough attention, hence posting here with Twitter to connect further is interesting.

      The number of people on Twitter right now doesn't compare to the number of documents in the Google index, so most people find it easy to be visible on Twitter. But this will inevitably change as volumes increase and Twitter has to use some kind of PeopleRank to filter noise. Assuming in the same way search overtook browsing on the web, Twitter searching will overshadow following as the main way people find conversations on Twitter at some point not too long into the future.

      The differences in behaviour across the various communication platforms are due to usability. And it’s these that Google hopes to dissolve with the proposed Google Wave architecture. Makes a lot of senseJul 7, 2009 03:48 pm

    • Meat Meal

      We were talking about this in the social media / content team just last week. I read an interesting post that week on the excellent Web Strategist blog; Is Blogging Evolving Into Life Streams? In this post, blogger Jeremiah Owyang describes how he has noticed a gradual shift away from traditional blogging into micromedia (Twitter, Friendfeed, etc) by a number of top bloggers (such as Robert Scobel & Steve Rubel). In the post Owyang argues why he still feels that blogging has a purpose and won’t be relinquishing his blog any time soon. It is a solid read but if you are short on time it is worth noting these key takeaways:

      The trend for people to create more content is afoot, as a result aggregation tools like lifestreams, activity streams, and news feeds (and a new form of a social/email inbox) will take center stage.
      You should certainly join the conversations where they exist, but this doesn’t mean your base of quality content should erode, there are long term branding and search benefits.

      As a result, we’ll start to see new tools emerge that help to find the signal -not noise. Those who can filter out what’s important will matter more:, by using a: blog, delicious, or tweets to let your community  know what’s important.

      I would agree with Jeremiah that we will see more and more people opting for micromedia rather than traditional blogging. A large part of it is the ease, immediacy and rapid breaking news approach that micromedia enables. However, I definitely agree that there is value in longer pieces that provide context, analysis and just generally dive deeper into topics too. As one commenter stated in response to Jeremiah's post - these blog posts are, in many cases, the *content* that gets then distributed and discussed in micromedia.Jul 7, 2009 03:04 pm

     
    Please note: the opinions expressed in this post represent the views of the individual, not necessarily those of iCrossing.

    Post a comment