I was inspired by a piece last week on GigaOm about the evolution of blogs, titled Why Blogs Need to be Social. This morning we talked about the evolution of blogs and social networks, where they intersect, and how. The whole topic has been engendered by the discussion around whether bloggers and blogs have failed their readers.
ReadWriteWeb asks whether blogs have any purpose any more, noting that lifestreams are replacing them.
In his piece, Om Malik acknowledges that we have to consolidate the many social tools we use, and says “We have two choices in order to consolidate these — either opt for all-purpose services such as Facebook (as tens of millions have done) or use our blogs as the aggregation point or hub for all these various services. Facebook, for instance allows you to share photos, aggregate your digital droppings, share comments with friends and exchange messages, but it doesn’t give you a unique identity on the web. In contrast, blogs with social features could allow you to do exactly that.”
Om is really putting his money where his mouth is, and over the weekend announced a WordPress theme and plug-ins called Gigalogue which will provide those aggregation services.
Mathew Ingram echoes Om’s sentiment saying “Blogging isn’t for everyone…For those who want more control over their online data and destiny…I think blogs and blog-based tools are the best route.”
And at the announcement of Movable Type Pro, SixApart said on their blog “Providing social features to your community doesn’t mean you have to give up control of your community to a giant media entity. Managing a community online is something you can do yourself, using easy-to-use, open tools.”
It seems there’s a clear tension developing between the social networking platforms of the world, and bloggers.
We talked about the impact that social networks are having on blogs, and how blogging has changed over the last couple of years.
The closest thing many people have got to an aggregation point, right now, is Facebook. It aggregates their twitter and blog feeds, and it has become the defacto place for people to upload photos. We discussed other aggregation services as well.
Om holds Robert Scoble up as an example for all of us. Scoble’s blog aggregates his friendfeed, pictures and longer blog posts in one place for all things Robert Scoble. Do people want to read all kinds of blogs like this, or would you rather go to Facebook, or some other social network, and read aggregated feeds from all your friends?
This morning I wrote that Calliflower conference calls are turning into kind of a defacto social network for a few of us. The SquawkBox is a daily audio show, but with a distinctly social element to it — it’s usually a core group of the same people, the chat wall in many cases serves as a kind of comment board, I drive it with twitter announcements and I redistribute it afterward on a podcast. People didn’t necessarily see Calliflower conference calls as a social network, but they saw SquawkBox as social.
And we also chatted about how the Olympic news coverage is being handled. There are those who are upset at NBC’s decision to embargo news until prime time, and there are those upset that CNN twittered the news of Phelps’ 8th victory as it broke. What should the networks be doing?
On the conference call: Brad Jones, Jeanette Fisher, Frank Abrams, Jorge Aguilar, Sheryl Breuker, Bill Volk, Jim Courtney, Mike Pruyn, Hudson Barton and Jeb Brilliant.
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