A while ago now, I had several lighthearted discussions and one with a suprising amount of traction regarding a fondness for blogging, how it is missed dearly and how it needs to come back. Surprisingly, even in this liberating age of post from anywhere, at any time in 140 characters of Twitter, there was quite a bit of sincere agreement. And hence, we the start of my first public actual blog post after a rather long hiatus of almost 3 years.
As with what I imagine to be most Gen Yers, the days of blogging as a explorer of the world with no real direction, aim, cause or even rhyme are long gone and I wouldn’t go back to the days of pouring my heart out into the void that is the web without all of the privacy settings that are now required to even be PC and androgynous enough to not offend or tarnish oneself or others.
Quite honestly it has been a bit of an internal struggle to return. As a university student you get a hall pass to be as emo and naive and ad hoc as you desire. To some extent, journalists and entrepeneurs and artists seem to also be able to enjoy this special privelege; but as the internet ages and matures into the still maturing internet that we know now – the exception is definitely not holding to the majority. While we all still hear the horror stories of bullying occuring in the extremely public domain of the web amongst high schoolers and of the emo ramblings of angst ridden youth; even they are beginning to subside as more and more articles and blogs are being published shouting the cautions and need for discretion and privacy measures to be enforced in the public sphere of social networking and media. Barack Obama even gave a talk about it to teens. Raw thoughts and emotion are being replaced by references, opinions, intellectual reasoning, debates, facts and discussions which are sure to take a little getting used to as the voices of yonder each take their turn at growing up and wobble a bit to find its professional personal voice in an internet that is proving to be more and more complex and increasingly layered with potential employers, family members and law suits that makes the days of bohemian (now that we’re looking back) free speech obsolete.
Slowly but surely beyond the roars that are Twitter and Facebook, blogs will grow again and merge with the new technologies, and scribes with things to contribute might reign again. Blogging and the written word with real thoughts and insights are bound to and need to return. The comeback, which is outlined by Chris Saad, who I actually discussed this want of blogs returning right at the pinnacle of the publishing of his blog here: http://blog.areyoupayingattention.com/ will ironically most likely be a result of all the shrinking of thoughts that Facebook pioneered with its 160 count status updates that Twitter has institutionalized with 140.
As much as Twitter has enabled the freedom of speech and real time reporting of troubles in Iran and expanded the real life occurences of celebrity gossip – making news and tabloid publications alike akin to Cliff Notes of real events and the lives of the rich and famous, it has also stifled us. As a marketer and even more so as a personal fan and enjoyer of Twitter and it’s many pros, the biggest challenge in having news or thoughts that are even worth broadcasting to the X amount of followers one has, is that every thought and muse must be repackaged into a 140 character snippet. Nuances, ticks, intentions, thoughts, ideals, discussions, insights and even enthusiasm and chagrin all have to be condensed to a headline…EXTRA EXTRA!!! We’re all shouting “EXTRA! Read all about it!” with a link off to an abrupt dead end of an article with the extra effort opt-in option of adding a comment or enjoying the quick word bite snack at best – with just a taste that at times leaves us hungry and off for the next sample of something and the next…
As a lover of Twitter, I do appreciate that this is perhaps the beauty of the mechanism that drives the whales and birds forward and allows us all to know a little about a lot at all hours of the day. But as the old adage goes….what happens to knowing a lot about a little? The quick bites might be informative and useful and even entertaining and addictive but in the end they are but a broadcast of what is known by whoever is broadcasting with no additional thoughts or call to really engage and understand the topic.
It would be nice if anything, to just have blogging back so we get to really know the broadcasters and the noise makers on a deeper level than the quick RTs and @mentions and @says allow. And it would be equally nice if we didn’t lose blogging, raw thoughts, real insights and, by that same token, journalism in its true written form. So I suppose in a diggression from the purely technical and as a small contribution as an aside from the Twittering and Facebooking I will still be avidly supporting and enjoying; I am also standing up as a small occasional voice (as time allows) and joining the blog return revolution. I do miss complete thoughts and insights dearly. And even though I know that the departure from blogs as we once knew them entirely is quite possibly unavoidable – especially with the increase of transparency which in turn makes truly genuine and raw thoughts and opinions a danger (what with corporations, celebrities and even the little people taking accidental or somewhat unintentional instances of defamation to court). I’d still like to really get to the bottom of what makes the sharer of ideas and news and even random thoughts tick. Afterall, if they were interesting enough to follow, and the content they do blast is amusing, they are sure to add some incredible depth to whatever it is they are sharing and catapulting into the universe publically. This not so closet bookworm and lover of languages misses the poetry of the written word that is so often censored by our 140 character missives that link off to increasingly formulaic factoids without the vivid color and passion of human touch of the past.
I’m sure the point has been gotten. Dusting off the blog now and opening up a new chapter with a hopeful smile. Hope some will find the insights useful or at the least interesting.
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