Blogs as Social Media

Blogs pioneered the way for widespread, far-reaching social media in the 1990s. Justinpicture Hall, a Swarthmore student, developed the first blog site known as Links.com in 1994. A couple years later as blogs continued to grow, Jorn Barger coined the word “Weblog” that replaced the phrase “logging the Web”. Eventually, Weblogs began to be known as blogs, and became available for free to users who desired to develop their own content.

In the early 2000s, the site “Gizmodo”, a blog empire, was launched by Nick Denton. The following year, in 2003, Google builds upon their blogging capabilities with AdSense that helped match blogs to specific content. For example, a women’s clothing blog would consist of ads about department stores or accessories. This helps companies market to target audiences through the use of interests generated by the types of blogs they are visiting.

(On http://www.mile-posts.com/ you can see the use of Ads for Fitness magazines and marathons because the blog is about running, fitness, and healthy living. This is an example of target marketing through blog content and ads.)

Throughout the history of blogs from creation to current, we can see the constant growth in ownership of domains and readership of the content. In 2005, a study was conducted to discover that over 32 million Americans read blogs. With new sites such as Blogspot, WordPress, and more, the knack for blogging continues to expand nationally and globally!

Blogs are a way of expressing personal ideas without necessarily owning an entire website. Blogs allow users to attain a domain name (simple versions are free, but can be charged for specific additions), and these now “bloggers” are free to publish anything they desire. The cool thing about blogs is that it expands social media into social networking. Anyone can become a self-producer of content and an internet personality without going through anyone of the big name media outlets like the New York Times – a blog only has to contain information important enough for regular people to read and share. Unlike media producers who have a certain audience, blogs are not contained by geography or money.

Many times people do not consider blogs a form of social media. However, it very much is a very important social media we cannot ignore. Opposed to the shallow chit-chat centered media we are accustomed to, blogs are focused on the content. This is an crucial thing to remember as the content is deepened by comments and interlinked conversation. As a social media, blogs also offer a substitute, auxiliary approach to traditional media.

What do you think?

  1. Do you have your own blog?
  2. If so, what do you mainly blog about?
  3. What types of blog posts do you read/follow?
  4. Do you think blogs are a social media or not? Why or why not?
  5. Do you think blog content should supplement traditional media?

Sources:

http://nymag.com/news/media/15971/

http://www.copyblogger.com/blogs-social-media/

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31 thoughts on “Blogs as Social Media”

  1. I don’t have a blog, nor do I really follow any blogs. I’m directed to blogs through Pinterest when I find a recipe I like or an item of clothing I want to by. A lot of times I am frustrated when I am taken to a blog when I am interested in a piece of clothing because I have to continue my search for the source of the product.
    I do consider blogs a type of social media because they are another way we can communicate with one another through the web. I loved your way of looking at blogs as less shallow than other social media because they are content based and usually have a theme in which the blogger is highly interested in.

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  2. Do you have your own blog?
    I used to actively maintain two different blogs. I mentioned my poetry and writing WordPress blog in previous posts, but I also tried my hand at a technology blog from Blogger, mainly my opinions on where tech is going and on upcoming devices. I didn’t get that one where I wanted it, though; I tried to monetize it, but never got it off the ground. Also, it spiraled down to personal opinions on other current events, so I figured I needed to stop while I was ahead.

    If so, what do you mainly blog about?
    *see above LOL*

    What types of blog posts do you read/follow?
    I never followed other blogs on my tech blog, but as I mentioned, I followed other writers and poets on my WordPress blog. We shared stories and poems and talked about their inspirations.

    Do you think blogs are a social media or not? Why or why not?
    I’m going to be *that* guy: they can be social media, but often aren’t utilized as such. Most blogging platforms allow other users to comment on others posts and follow each other, but most don’t have an instant messaging system (one thing I left out in my post on Tumblr is that it just recently introduced a proper messaging system, but I left out a lot of nitty gritty stuff I’ll cover in my presentation) or a good way to share posts to your own blog other than by linking to them in your own post. WordPress and Blogger are guilty of this (please don’t execute me, WordPress executives), but they still have dashboards to look at content quickly and further navigate to it (in addition to a whole plethora of features). If WP and Blogger (and other platforms) want to catch that crucial Millennial audience, they need to go head-to-head with Tumblr.

    Do you think blog content should supplement traditional media?
    Yes and no. (I’m going to be *that* guy a lot in here, and I’m not sorry.)

    Yes, blogs should complement traditional media for businesses as well as for individuals looking to share their personal experiences. They can use traditional social media outlets to promote their blogs and get their closest connections talking about it. An example: one of my high school friends who is graduating from the University of North Texas used her blog recently to talk about her chronic depression and offer her own perspective on the diagnosis and life with it. Streaming-box manufacturer Roku has a traditional company blog that is updated by a group of authors for product updates, but also to provide tips and recommended apps for the device family (called Channels, in case you have a Roku or are interested in buying one).

    However, the blog cannot be a mere afterthought for a user. In order for it to complement traditional media well, it has to be maintained well. Posts shouldn’t always be short and choppy nor too long and rant-filled. From the personal blog standpoint, you need to be able to express your thoughts in a concise but intelligent manner; I’m not here to read a novella about the coffee you drank this morning while gazing out onto the crowded streets of New York City, I just want to know a few thoughts you had this morning or an update about how your day went. From the corporate standpoint, technical jargon will not keep my attention. Speak in consumer’s terms, make me want your product, and get me interested in your company and what you’re about.

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    1. I really agree with your comment about how blogs must be maintained well, Matthew! A lot of times people have super cool ideas and I would love to follow their posts but they only update sporadically so these accounts never seem to take off as they could.

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      1. It’s also really hard to keep up with blogs you like because there isn’t a reliable service that updates your feed with new posts, unless you’re talking about Tumblr which can be all over the place.

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  3. I had a blog at one point but I’m pretty sure I only posted like three times so I never use it anymore.
    My blog was about living with Type 1 Diabetes.
    Honestly I don’t really read very many blogs. Occasionally I have read some about Type 1 Diabetes or some that people have posted daily on when they are on a mission trip, but other than that I don’t read many.
    Yes, I do see blogs as another form of social media because it is another way to communicate via the internet.

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    1. This is the problem I have with starting a blog. It seems like it takes a lot of work and like I would stop posting because it’s hard to come up with independent material on a regular basis.

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      1. Yep! Too time consuming! I just don’t have the time to put that much thought into posting on a regular basis..or maybe I am just too lazy too!

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    2. I think it’s super cool that you started a blog about living with Type 1 Diabetes! Although I can understand not posting very much–I imagine that I would run out of things to say pretty quickly if I started my own blog.

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      1. Yes, coming up with that many things to write about seems like too much work..especially considering how busy our lives already are.

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  4. I don’t have a personal blog, but I manage one for my family. A little over 2 years ago, my mom was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer and at the time we were overwhelmed with phone calls and texts from friends trying to get updates on how she was doing after her emergency surgery. We decided to start a blog to share updates with friends, prayer requests, and especially to share how God continually was blessing us in a really difficult situation. She is still fighting cancer and we try to update the blog every couple months.

    I have a couple friends who have blogged about their study abroad experience and I love to read about what they are learning and doing.

    I think blogs are social media! They are a way to connect with others, share ideas, and start discussion.

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    1. I think that content for your blog is incredible, Lauren! It’s really cool that your family uses it in such a way to keep others engaged in your life. But I also totally agree that study abroad participants do blog a lot (guilty!!). Thanks for your comment!

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    2. Oh my gosh that is an amazing story. I have never thought of using a blog that way. Most blogs that I see are people’s random thoughts but using it to tell people what’s happening is really interesting and, in a way, seems more personal than doing it through Twitter or even Facebook.

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  5. 1. Yes I do have my own blog.
    2. I don’t blog often, but when I do it is usually about something that God has laid on my heart or something that He is doing in my life that I feel led to share.
    3. I honestly don’t read or follow any blogs other than the occasional blog that gets shared by a lot of people on Facebook.
    4. Yes. Blogs are definitely social media. They are a way for people to share their thoughts and ideas via the internet.
    5. I think yes that it should support traditional media.

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    1. The occasional blogs shared on Facebook are the only blogs that I read as well.
      On your blog, do you have a lot of people that read or respond to what you write about?

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    2. I would love to read your blog sometime! I think it’s awesome that you’ve gone out on a limb and started one. And that you actually write about things that you care about!

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  6. 1. I do not have a blog and I don’t really follow any blogs.
    2. If I did blog I honestly don’t know what it would be about. I live a very boring life hah.
    3. I don’t read blogs, if I do it’s usually an article I have seen on Facebook or someone has told me about it.
    4. I think blogs are a social media because you are having to get on the internet to read it. It’s media and it’s social.
    5. I think that blog content should be whatever that blogger wants it to be.

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  7. I have kind of always wanted a blog but I never have made one because I don’t exactly know what I would write about.
    I don’t read any blogs but I would maybe read one about poetry or creative writing
    I think blogs are social media because they connect people
    I don’t necessarily think that blog material has to supplement traditional media because it is its own art form.

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  8. I do have a blog, although I do not frequently post on it.

    I used to blog about Instagram accounts that I thought were interesting and featured some of their pictures.

    I do not read or follow any blogs, unfortunately.

    I do think that blogs are a form of social media, although I would argue that they may be one of the least popular forms of it.

    I always see blogs linked in Facebook posts. I’m afraid that a lot of people get information this way, although many blogs are in fact not scholarly sources. I do, however, sometimes enjoy Christian blogs that happen to be on Facebook.

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    1. I think it’s cool that your blog focused on talking about Instagramers and what you thought of them. That is really unique!

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  9. Do you have your own blog?

    I do not

    If so, what do you mainly blog about?
    What types of blog posts do you read/follow?

    If I were to read a blog it would have to be about sports

    Do you think blogs are a social media or not? Why or why not?

    I think they are because it’s the thoughts of people and that’s what all social media platforms are.

    Do you think blog content should supplement traditional media?

    No I think they should stay the way they are. It’s just a bigger version of a Twitter or a tumblr and Facebook.

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  10. Do you have your own blog?
    I have had my own blog in the past.
    If so, what do you mainly blog about?
    I mainly blog about my life and what goes on it. What makes me happy and what ignites my passion.
    What types of blog posts do you read/follow?
    I follow a bunch of blogs that are about young families, especially mothers. I find those types of blogs so interesting, a new breed of families that blog about everything they do.
    Do you think blogs are a social media or not? Why or why not?
    Yes, because you are able to communicate back and forth on them.
    Do you think blog content should supplement traditional media?
    I think it can if you personally want it to.

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    1. I think it’s really interesting that so many families are choosing to create blogs about family life now. It’ll be interesting to see how this trend continues as the children of these families grow up and maybe don’t love their moms documenting their entire lives so much!

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  11. I don’t have my own blog or really follow any super closely, although if I did have one I imagine it would mostly be about my life and I’d attempt to make it relatable for other people. I definitely think blogs are a form of social media because they allow people to share their thoughts in an online space and other people can respond to those thoughts.

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  12. I don’t have a blog. I’m not really into the whole writing how you feel about different subjects so that people can read them. It’s cool for people who do have them, they are just not my cup of tea. I don’t really read too many blog posts either. If I do, it is probably about fashion or what’s new in the world of technology. I do think that you can consider Blogs a social media because it is sill reaching the different audiences in many different ways. It’s allowing them to connect to the author of the blog through what they are writing about. I don’t think blogs can supplement traditional media.

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  13. I do not have my own blog, but I thought about it.
    I don’t follow blogs, but I have read some fashion blogs and makeup blogs.
    I don’t consider blog social media, because being a social media has an array of characteristics it has to possess in order to be at full functioning social media forum.
    I don’t think that blogs can or will supplement traditional media.

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