Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Many of my clients didn’t understand what a blog was when I set up BrandDNA about four years ago. In fact many of them thought I’d created some kind of online diary.
Of course this was what most people thought a blog was when the concept of a weblog, to give it its full name, was first launched.
In 2010 however, blogs are commonplace. I doubt anyone would not know what a blog is. In fact the only question about blogs these days is whether they are personal blogs or corporate.
How much longer blogs remain part of our media repertoire is open to debate. Five years ago I read a lot of blogs every day. Most of them via my RSS feed.
But not anymore. I haven’t looked at my RSS reader since the Christmas holidays. Nowadays I spend a lot of time on Twitter and most of the blogs I visit I discover via links posted by my Twitter friends.
The thing is, this shift in my online reading routine has happened without me actually noticing it. I’d thought that my social media habits were pretty stable. Yet on closer examination they are constantly changing.
It seems that each time I adopt a new social media tool it impacts on the others. Some amount to no more than a passing fad. Others have impacted heavily on my media consumption as well as my day to day life.
I was an early adopter of the online photo website Flickr. Yet I haven’t posted a photo there in close to two years.
Because once I got involved with Facebook I started posting photos there instead.
I was sceptical of Facebook at first. I even documented my first few months as a Facebook user in this column. Yet I quickly became a convert, adopting it into my regular social media routine after just a few weeks.
When Twitter came along I resisted that too. So much so that I proudly displayed an anti-Twitter badge on my blog. Eventually, after chats with a couple of my social media friends, I decided to give it a go.
Suffice to say this also impacted on my social media habits. In fact you could say it consumed them. The more I used Twitter the less I looked at Facebook. After a month of Twitter I had lost interest in Facebook completely.
However, because of Twitter, I also found myself visiting a lot less blogs than I used too. As I mentioned earlier, this is primarily because I now visit blogs by clicking links in Twitter rather than actively seeking them out.
Over the last few months my social media habits have started to change again.
I now have connections with such a large number of people on Twitter that it has almost become a broadcast medium for me. The people whose tweets I used to read religiously have been swallowed up in my ever expanding list of followers and followees.
Meanwhile my long neglected Facebook account has been rediscovered anew. I don’t know why, but I’ve started enjoying it all over again. I suspect it may be because it is more intimate than my cluttered, noisy Twitter feed.
And as I write this column, I have two new social media tools to play with - Google Wave and FourSquare. Both of them at this stage are sitting unused and unloved. I doubt this will be the case for long though.