I was reading this blog post the other day: Blogging is dead. Long live ephemerality.
A crude slap to the face with reality to those of us who still love blogging. I honestly think blogging is not dead, not yet.
Yes, I will not deny TikTok, Twitter, Instagram stories, and such are all essentially ephemeral and that’s what the youngers are looking for. I have students who create an Instagram account and whatever reason, they might close it and create a new one. Perhaps it didn’t gain enough traction? Or perhaps too much traction?
I’ve also seen 15-year-old students of mine have a bunch of pictures in their Instagram feed only to suddenly delete them. Why? I’m not sure. Probably they were not happy with the content they posted? Ashamed? They might’ve used the “feed” feature when they really wanted to use the “story” feature.
Don’t you think people tend to post more without double-checking?
It has been proven over and over that people tend to share and re-tweet articles by just reading the headline. Clickbait is nothing we should be surprised about. We, individually, should make the effort to educate ourselves before sharing something that could be false.
As I grew up, posting something online meant it was going to be there, probably forever. I think most of us would perhaps think twice before posting. Don’t get me wrong, now too content might live forever. Nowadays even if you post an Instagram story that self destructs in 24 hours, do you think people don’t have the change to store that? Hell, even Instagram must store that in their database with a flag saying “public: false”. That doesn’t mean it’s gone. It could surface in the future. At the moment in your life when you don’t want that to bee seen. I can think of a dozen situations where you wouldn’t want someone to see an old story. You’re now married, you’re applying for a job or health insurance…
I tend to think twice, or at least I want to believe I do, before posting online. This could be the difference between my generation and the teens nowadays.
I love blogging and I love RSS feeds. I think blogging has opened so many doors (not only for me) but for countless individuals from when it started. In my current position, the interviewer asked me about my technical blog, which led to an interesting conversation. Me sharing code snippets just for the sake of helping others might’ve swayed the odds in my favor on that interview. It’s a way of free speech and expression in an era where your voice might be silenced due to your political view, sex, race, or religion. Yes, sure, this can be used to spread misinformation but this has always happened in any media format.
We should push back. We should push to bring blogging back. It’s not going to be easy but each platform should have its purpose. For immediate information to be shared we all agree we should make use of the social networks, the “stories” features. I do, when I feel my content should not be visible in the long term. On the other hand, if you intend create a longer message, go for a blog post no doubt. On your own platform.
Own your content
I’ve been saying this forever. Using Twitter, Facebook, and TikTok is great. You can get success, followers, and whatever comes with it. But you don’t control it. If we talk about business, imagine building your business on TikTok. You’re in for a hell of a ride if the President of the United States goes through with the idea of baning it in the USA. What do you do then?
Owning your space, your voice is of critical importance without it we would only hear what they want us to listen. Nobody can silence you (at least not that easy) if you post on your own site, under your own name. You can make sure your voice is kept, forever (or for as long as you desire). Your content is out of reach of the giant corporations controlling the flow of information. They might be able to control how your posts are shown on their sites but nothing stops people from sharing your post URL far and wide.
Blogging might be dead but don’t give up on it just yet.
P.S. Own your content. Always.