Giving Up Traditional Blogging

December 29, 2004

in Blogging, Conversational Blogging, Wikis

As the year closes I’ve been thinking about my bloging. I’ve been fairly consistent in my posting, although slightly down in number this year versus last. So it is time to consider where my blogging is going and where blogging itself may be headed.

I’m seeing signs that blogs are declining in usefulness and utility as they are pushed into activities they are not suited for.

I’m also ready to give up part of my blogging and move on and forward. There was a time I enjoyed forums, although I found I could never track back to my contributions. In retrospect that was one of the elements that got me blogging, However blogging is also an individual pursuit and repository. It’s great for being part of a “tell-em” world, blast it out, maybe you will get noticed, maybe ignored. Don’t get me wrong. Going Blogging was one of the most rewarding things I’ve done in the last few years. It has connected me with wonderful people all over the world. It’s brokered many a new introduction. Still I’m planning on giving up my blog in the new year. I’m migrating away from being just a blogger.

Instead I plan on being a more collaborative contributor. Oh I want to own my own words, and I hope create and nurture new pages to life. However, they shouldn’t stop there. For the most part a blog is a static repository while the world is a living organism. I want to breath life into change. Thus I need to open source my approach to writing, sharing, and becoming part of a broader collective intelligence. You simply can’t do that with blogs. Oh you can share editing privaledges and blogs are excellent at top down hierarchical communications. So blogs are blasted out into the blogosphere and if you are lucky you are swamped with links and trackbacks. Then posts age and they are forgotten.

So where am I going:

To involve myself in platforms that enable a collective intelligence to be applied both from the core collective and by being so open that we can easily be perturbed by others entering the system. It may be too wishful to hope someone will correct my typos, however enabling an environment that is “Yes and!” where conversations can be built on is important to me. I took to blogging when I could see that participation in blogs and newsreaders would simply accelerate my learning. In the beginning I created a blogroll and so long ago often used to manually click back to other blog pages that I’d identified and wanted to read. Newreaders eliminated that need. As my Newreading list expanded I began managing it in new ways. Feedster became a savior, tracking “topics” and concurrently I tried to keep up a link blog — however even that was too time consuming. Many pages I would have liked to note and save weren’t blog ready and frankly putting them in my favorites file was like sticking them in a draw. Which brings me to “social bookmarking” – Furl, del.icio.us, Stumbleupon, etc. (I’ve generally played with these three and each are slightly different). In these solutions I have yet another way to filter and see what others are looking at. Wonderful for say sharing competitive intelligence. So what’s happening? The social connections and the word connections in the data are simply becoming more important to me. Operating in MT doesn’t enable me to offer up information like I’d like to.

I have a pretty good mind for links. Usually I have more links I can recall from memory than may be useful on occassion. (Although Jerry with his “brain” has a repository that goes way beyond what I can remember). Still the lessons above mean that I increasingly see individual blogs through filters and so for some that means I’m further away, and they may pop up from time to time. Thus I’ve continued to set my scanning for new horizons. It’s my conclusion that – that is the problem. Blogs aren’t adapting to this new reality. Blogs remain static in structure, they haven’t evolved much. On a time basis we are getting smarter by enabling them to notify for new file types (eg podcasts) however that is just smart use of RSS and that I think is RSS evolving.

I’m not giving up on blogs. It’s an infomation medium and format that won’t go away, what needs to change is the way blogs are created and used. So long ago I wrote that I wanted a wikiblog and I know I am not alone in reflecting on it. At the time I thought it would be more useful, others could fix those typo’s, although I was still coming at it from a blog format and approach. I was starting with the idea of blogging in mind. Rather the need was to go back to basics.

“It’s all about work!” It’s about accelerating collaboration and learning. Which tends to happen when heads rub together and where the approach is more collaborative to begin with. The platform and approach I’m exploring and working on now started as a wiki, although in my mind it is not a wiki. It dispenses with categories and yet fulfills taxonomy needs. I’m looking forward to explaining what’s different and what’s the same. I am giving up on traditional Blogging. it just doesn’t suit my needs anymore.

I learned that the personal blog is not focussed enough. Had I set out to only blog about Skype I would have been much more successful. However, that alone would not be me. By contrast, many of the things I would like to blog about and read are collectively blogged by my friends, peers and others that I admire. I’d much rather be part of that and be able to search their work and where I might have contributed comments myself. (Note I can search my blogroll although I seldom do).

Some might say that this is a foolish gambit. I’ve been a blogging regular for well over two years, and at the end of the “the year of the blog” I plan to migrate away. I will draw one comparison. I’ve been with Skype from the beginning, and it is only just now starting to be recognised. So I’m trusting my gut and moving forward. I’ve completed some interesting corporate blogging projects however have learned that for the most part as a work method it has not yet infected the heart and soul of the business. I believe that is structural as well as a lack of imagination on the parts of many managers.

So will you too find a new form of blogging next year? How will your blogging change? I’d be interested to know.

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