Will Social Media Networks Kill The Blog?

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Blogging has died many times.

First, MySpace killed it. Then Facebook came along and slayed blogging again. A few years later, Twitter’s micro-blogging capability up and stabbed traditional blogging in the heart. Following that, Google+ snuck up on everyone using Google products and, yet again, destroyed blogging. Even well-known bloggers still actively blogging believe the golden age of blogging has passed, and all that’s left to do is watch it decay.

Yet the blog, whether it’s hosted on WordPress or Joomla or Blogspot or something even more obscure, has endured. And why not? Blogging gives us all our own little corner of the internet, where we control how things look, how and what is shared, if we monetize, how content is archived and how long it stays up, something most social networks would never consider allowing individuals to do.

While SOME writers can get away with hosting their content on a network controlled by someone else, I’m guessing that if you’re reading this, you’re either not yet popular enough to do so or simply unable to gain a spot among the elite few able to publish anywhere they want and still get paid (think Robert Scoble, Mike Elgan, etc.).

Even then, industry experts like Copyblogger recommend against digital sharecropping, opting instead to keep the freedom a personally-owned and managed — we’re talking the URL, not necessarily the actual hosting — a typical blog provides. In a world where we’re all looking to stand out, owning your own URL is power.

Hugh MacLeod of Gaping Void once wrote “Freedom Is Blogging In Your Underwear“, and meant that both literally and figuratively. We all long to share at least parts of our lives with the public at large, and it’s nice not to have to get dressed up, act a certain way, and attend the right parties in order to do so.

Social media networks will never kill blogs, but it will pare down the bad ones, allowing the better stories to stand out.

Why can’t that be you?