State of social media & blogging

About a year ago, I decided to keep Modern Confessional with Google's Blogger rather than switch to WordPress. I went so far as to pick and redesign a template and transfer all my blog posts to WordPress, then discovered that seven years of comments did not make the jump. That was unacceptable. At the same time, I decided to try Blogger in Draft - a new set of tools and template designs. After creating what you see now, I decided to stay put. But where do blogs stand in the greater scheme of ever-evolving social media?

The death of traditional blogging has been predicted since the rise of Facebook, Twitter, video blogs (vlogging) on YouTube and other quick and easy blogging platforms like Tumblr and Posterous, but Technorati recently released a State of the Blogosphere 2010 report that shows social networking sites have actually helped keep blogging alive.

There's an upward trend in bloggers posting more frequently and expanding their topics. With easy ways to link blog posts to your Facebook wall or link on Twitter, the blogosphere continues to grow rather than shrink. More and more people are getting their news and entertainment from blogs. You can see the full State of the Blogosphere report from Technorati at this link.

One of my new year's resolutions for 2010 was to blog more and actually enjoy it. I averaged 15 blog posts a month this year, and my traffic averages 600 to 1,000 visitors per week depending on what I'm ranting about. I've become pretty savvy with headlines, tags and keywords to get the blog found in search engines. That's been an eight-year learning experience and I don't regret a second of it.

Another personal milestone was reaching 2,000 followers on my Twitter account, @collinkelley. Taking part in 32poems weekly #Poetparty helped push my followers over the mark a few weeks ago, not to mention allowing me to interact and discuss poetry with a great group of folks every Sunday night. Here's a bit of advice: if you're using Twitter to do nothing but market your book, art, music, etc. then you're wasting time and bandwidth. While I do tweet when there's something significant about one of my books, the majority of my tweets are sharing links about interesting stories or conversations with other users about books, music, weather and more. The value of Twitter is building a community of like-minded folks. So, yes, trumpet your work and accomplishments, but don't have a one track mind.

A few other notes:

Facebook's new profile pages suck. The homogenized look and feel leaves users very little room to express personality. The famed status updates are gone in favor of sharing information about work, education and photos. While I don't like it, I've already grown used to it, which Facebook knows will happen. I have been assimilated. If you haven't been asked to update your profile (or voluntarily agreed to upgrade), it's coming.

I was disappointed last week when it was leaked that part of Yahoo's layoff plan would mean the end of social bookmarking site Delicious. That news was leaked online and people rightly freaked out, so now Yahoo is back-peddling saying Delicious will live on "outside the company."  Like Stumble Upon, digg and Pinboard, social bookmarking allows you to store, manage and share links to favorite sites, articles and other online resources in one place. I have hundreds of sites bookmarked on Delicious, and I don't want to have to transfer all those, so don't screw it up Yahoo!

You've also probably heard a lot of rumblings and mumblings about "the cloud." Microsoft even has a new series of advertisements where the actors say, "To the cloud," in a very important and portentous way. "The cloud" is basically a metaphor for how we're using the Internet today – from applications to storage services. Rather than downloading programs onto your computer, you can use web-based programs that run on the providers' infrastructure. If you use web-based email like gmail or hotmail, you're already "in the cloud."

I mentioned last week that I was bidding on iPads on eBay. I gave up after losing used iPads that people were willing to pay the same amount you could buy a new one for at Target. With Verizon set to get the iPhone in early 2011 (that's the rumor/prediction now) and a new iPad coming next summer (another rumor/prediction), I'm just gonna sit it out a bit longer.


christine said…
Great newsy post, Collin. I love my blog, even though there seems to be something wrong with it. It's self-hosted with Wordpress as a platform, but I'm having problems uploading images. My tags are also messed up.

I've never had all that many hits on my blog. But I have to say, I doubt I'll give it up. I found your poetry through the web, on Mipoesias. In fact, blogging is what opened up the whole world of contemporary poetry to me.
Collin Kelley said…
Christine, don't give up blogging. There's still much more to discover out there. :)
Lisa Allender said…
Hi Coll--I posted on FB about this, by SHARE-ing your post...
Keep up the great words. ;)
Jessie Carty said…
I think I blogged for a year before anyone ever commented on my blog :) I tend to forget about social bookmarking. I used to use delicious and now I have a google profile but i tend to share links on twitter and facebook instead.

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