The Blog as we know it has had a very short history. The earliest versions of blogs were known as weblogs, or web-logs. Weblogs informally became known as blog when Peter Merholz joking broke down weblog into “we blog.” Then the word blog was formed both as a noun and as a verb.
Earlier, blogs were online version of personal diaries or journals. It has evolved into many other entities. Now blogging has become an easy to do, interactive experience for both the bloggers and the readers. There are over 150 million blogs in existence today, and blogging has become available to even those with limited, or no web experience. Sites like WordPress give templates for individuals to use, and start blogging quicker than ever. Social media sites have become unofficial blogs of identifiable individual people. People using sites like Tumblr are virtually blogging without even knowing it. At this moment in time, blogging is an essential part of the internet.
The future of blogging isn’t exactly quite clear. This is for a number of different reasons. the most prominent, is clearly defining what a blog is. Most websites have a blog, where they discuss relevant topics to what they are selling, or a service they are providing. Then other websites are entirely just a blog. Either they talk about news, personal life experience, finance, or even the ever so present mommy blogs. There is no disagreement that these are most definitely blogs. A modern version of a blog could be a social network.
Some of the first “social networks” include Livejournal, Myspace, and Friendster. While these have decreased dramatically in popularity, they still provided blog-like qualities. Somewhat custom pages, thoughts, ideas, and even photos. Nowadays Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr are top of the social networking craze. The major difference between sites like this and having your own personal blog, is everyone is starting with a similar template, and everything is linked internally to one service provider. A common theme, and the inability to monezite your site creates a boundary between calling your social networking pages a blog.
For all intensive purposes lets just pretend that your social network pages are blogs, some even familiarize Tumblr as being a blog, but lets just lump all social networks together. You have an identity, you have your thoughts, you have you opinions, and even your likes and dislikes. The most important part is your identity. An identity may also be a particular brand, or idea that you are relating too. Facebook nailed it on the head with providing an identity, however the main problem with Facebook is branching out to different people. It is sort of taboo to randomly request someone you don’t know. This is usually because you do not know anything about the person, and typically only judge photos, instead of ideas, or even the character of a person. Something needs to change.
This is where I think the future of blogging is headed. Imagine blogging with total customization, linked to one site, and is the direct representation of what you believe in, or what brand/idea you chose to represent. Not only that, but you can make money off of it! Yes, your social profile, totally customized, and a marketing dream to potential advertisers. What are you buying, what are your friends buying, whats popular, and scratch the Google adsense or typical Facebook ads. This may sound far fetched, but why should it? Does Mark Zuckerberg really need $20 billion, that he has basically sucked out of our social lives? Maybe not, but he did come up with the idea (somewhat). The one true thing to realize, is that no one “needs” twenty million dollars, and why not give back to the people who make your service great. It is kind of like college athletes getting paid zilch, for generating millions of dollars for their programs. (I know some will say they are getting a free education, blah blah…, but that doesn’t account for the differences that a quarterback makes for their school as opposed to a women’s field hockey player.)
A blogging site, that is essentially a social site could be a hugely successful future for blogging. You now could have all of the social aspects of that are already present, with the option to fully customize who you are, and make some money in the process. It only makes sense, literally (excuse my pun). Why not make a few bucks off of your social endeavors. I am not saying you could strike it rich, but the advertisements, or links from your page could be a direct representation of what actually goes on with your purchases, and your followers interests. As an advertiser myself I like the idea of reality beating out an algorithmic approach. Maybe the future of blogging will remain the same, but this is a creative outlet that could make many different parties happy.
So what is it going to take? First and foremost, some brilliant programming that gives people the know how to make their social profiles/blogs successful, and not just monetarily. Second, selflessness. The head of this company will have to see the big picture, and not the big dollars behind something like this. Just to note, this is also extremely unlikely, but hey, let a guy dream. It will also need some very creative marketing to get this out there, and not just spam marketing – it needs to be a trend. Maybe most important of all, it needs to have people with a real identity. Whether the blog/social page is personal, brand or business, there needs to be some way to put a face on it. Facebook did this with college emails. Not to say how a blog network would do this, but since monetizing is a key issue here, a legitimate bank account could be a suitable answer. Who knows really, we should leave this up to the professionals.
The future of blogging is unclear. One thing is. People like to express their thoughts, people like to be social, and people like make some money. If you can incorporate all three, then you might be on to something. There are 150 million blogs, and millions more social network users. Blogging could very well turn into a blog network – taking over the realm of social networking.
This article was written by Thomas Rudy. Thomas is an Internet marketing professional, and does many differ white label SEO tactics, including link building services.