Until recently a weblog or blog used to be :
– some space on the web
– which is maintained like a personal diary
– with collaboration possibilities with your readers and friends
– where content is listed in the reverse chronological order
– which is meant mainly for the regular readers, and
– the majority of the readers where direct visitors
If you study the way in which blogs have evolved (and are evolving) you will realized that a few of these definitions are already changing – mostly for good and some for not so good reasons.
What has been changing with blogs?
#1 Web space or hosted space: While professional blogs have moved on to WordPress like self hosted platforms, the majority of the blogs still remain on free blogging platforms such as blogger or typepad. The change on the free blogging space, though, is that now blogging is combined with Social Networking solutions. This include microblogs and respective platforms.
#2 Are blogs about personal thoughts?: Well, it is no more a personal diary or a space for your own ideas. Corporate blogs, multi-blogger blogs and guest blogging on your personal blog are some of the trends. Moreover, to put things totally out of context we have paid reviews or paid posts on blogs as well. Even worse, you could now host dynamically populated content (mostly advertisement posts) that you did not write at all.
#3 Collaboration: Well, this is where things are changing so fast. Now blogs are also a place where you share photos and videos, chat using chat apps and widgets, syndicate feeds from your social networking profiles etc. Even the comments are much more than comments and some innovative commenting mechanism like video commenting has also evolved. Despite all this the communication style in a blog is mostly one sided.
#4 Reverse chronological listing?: Not always. Some blogs these days do not even have timestamps on blog posts. To make things worse those featured posts, most popular post etc on top of certain magazine style blogs does not necessarily enforce the reverse chrono order. Many times, one has to check the RSS feed to see which is the latest post.
#5 Regular readership: Blogs work best with the targetted audience when there is an established patronage when it comes to readership. This way, the readers are tuned to a certain reading habit and get accustomed to your language and way of writing. At the same time, the blogger caters to the needs of the readers that he know the best.
The blogs, probably, were originally meant for direct visitors who visited their favorite blogs via typing the URL or using browser bookmarks. Now, majority of the blog visitors are search visitors or referral visitors and hence the topics that they get to read (many times) are not necessarily what they wanted to read.
To make things worse, overuse of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) has often resulted in blog content that is not readily consumable. i.e. You hit a blog via search and you get to read an unrelated topic.
Over to you…
What you just read is my random thoughts about how blogging and blogs in general are changing? Do you think many of these changes are for good? Have you noticed any other major change or trend with respect to blogging or blogs?