The Social Future of Blogging
By Roger Planes
Since blogging started in the mid-1990s, social networking and media have seen exponential growth. Social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest were born and quickly became mainstream just as blogging became more and more popular.
Blogging became fashionable and a “must-have” for businesses and as a result, millions flocked to create an online presence of their own. People found their voices, and founded businesses, as journalists, writers, fashionistas, marketing gurus, or in whatever their expertise or passion was. Today though, with roughly 173 millions blogs on the Internet, we’ve reached a point where these voices not only get drowned, but completely discouraged, a time when the online industry must shift to fit the needs of all bloggers.
The Internet now houses an entire population of blogs ranging from micro niche to general lifestyle, from five followers, to five thousand, to five million. It’s these bloggers who struggle the most to build a following, and who generally don’t have the time or resources to successfully do so in the way professional bloggers do. Discouragement sets in and soon, something they were passionate about becomes a lost cause.
At the advent of the blogging revolution were WordPress and Blogger, who led the way in the form of platforms where users could make profiles and create their own blogs. Not long after, Tumblr jumped on the scene with its simple aesthetic and straightforward, image-driven functionality, for which it became wildly popular.
The ability to post images, quotes, text, or other media in a straightforward, attractive, and customizable layout enabled millions of people intimidated by traditional blogging to give it a whirl on the innovative platform. Visuals were also growing increasingly important on the web and the combination of both Tumblr, and the new standard that online media had to be visual first, began contributing to the loss of what blogging was meant to be in the first place, an online writer’s journal.
Meanwhile, social networks Facebook and Twitter continued to grow exponentially, proving to be societal mainstays that would forever change the landscape of personal and professional networking as we know them. But how long before social media and blogging come together in a way that allows bloggers to build online communities without having to read marketing books?
And now in comes Medium, by Twitter co-founders Ev Williams and Biz Stone, which aims to give bloggers a more interactive experience that builds their audiences through social networks. On Medium, writers can not only post their content, but also work together with other writers in both the writing and editing processes.
The paradigm shift in blogging is moving towards social, and at Glipho, we’re filling that gap in the market of writers who need an audience. I wanted to create an online community of bloggers and writers where users could follow each other and topics they are interested in without having to spend countless hours surfing the web; they can do what they love without feeling the pressure of having to out-design the next blog or have flawless SEO strategies.
It might be that smaller blogs begin disappearing from Blogger and WordPress in the next year or two as social media and blogging are integrated to fit this need; the growing population of “middle-class” bloggers on the web today deserve it, not just the top 1%.
Roger Planes is the CEO and founder of Glipho. Since moving from Barcelona, Spain to London 3 years ago he has been working in the UK Media Industry as a developer and social media strategist. He was creating news websites and tools for journalists when he got the idea to create Glipho. Glipho is a leap forward from traditional blogging, combining it with a social network approach and deeply integrated social media to help our users reach a wider audience.