This morning my inbox has experienced a flurry of emails linking to articles that question the relevance of blogging. I suspect GlobalWebIndex’s (GWI) newly published brand report triggered the avalanche; just 36% of internet users aged between 16-64 wrote a personal blog within the last month.
Depending how you read the report, blogging is either dying or still rising, thanks to business adoption. Could GWI’s report present an opportunity for businesses to really drive blogging forward through their employees, replacing some of the content produced by a traditional comms team? Yes.
The popular jargon surrounding the behaviour of businesses becoming publishers is ‘EC = MC’; Every Company is a Media Company. There is no need to liaise with journalists to get content from your organisation published when you could just publish it through your own company blog. Companies such as Symantec boast impressive online newsrooms that assist journalists to find spokespeople, but also fuel social media sharing.
For all the benefits that come with blogging, I feel that many internet users have become apathetic towards the blogosphere. In 2005 some articles hailed blogging as the disruptive technology that could bring the traditional media industry to its knees. However, this never came to pass. Journalists existed, bloggers existed and the world kept ticking.
The traditional media industry has embraced blogs on its news sites, and their main challenge hasn’t been from John Doe furiously blogging from his bedroom, but the simple development of technology; changing devices, social media, data visualisations and design.
Blogging never disrupted the media industry to extinction. The GWI report highlights how blogging is still being used across sectors today, there are opportunities for businesses to utilise this communications channel. There is no doubt that peoples’ online behaviour has changed and as the Commenter, IanCW, from The Guardian states:
“I’d think the broader issue is that blogging- like creating any kind of content- is actually hard work and exposes yourself to scrutiny. It’s much easier to ‘curate’ (oh, what an over-used word, and I apologise both for my usage and to all the real curators out there) other people’s content through Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Vine, Snapchat or, the ultimate ‘curators’ for commercial gain, Buzzfeed and Upworthy.”
In my experience as a blogger, more people are impressed that I’ve been doing it consistently for the last 9 years, rather than commenting on the quality of the content. Such is the nature of blogging; it is a marathon and not a sprint.