My friend and mentor Paul Chaney recently asked a question on Facebook about the writing on the wall of the possibility of blogs exiting stage right. His question:
Two things happened this month that are of significance where business blogging is concerned. Rick Bruner offered up the BBC domain for sale and BBS Chicago was canceled. What do you think that says about the state of business blogging as a trend?
Paul has been around long enough to see the rise of blogging, and the now plateau we seem to be seeing in the area of business blogging. I responded with a short answer:
I think the shine has left the tool, and we are seeing a bit of a paradigm shift in the tech industry to newer applications. As far as businesses are concerned we have seen the early adopters, now we are beginning to see others see what it’s all about.
My idea is that in the tech industry and the early adopters, blogging is old news. Who was attending blogging conferences and reading about business blogging? The tech industry and those early adopters. Now it’s time to start selling the idea to those that have not already had a taste of the Kool-Aide, or are savvy to what blogs can accomplish. This is the hard sell era.
Paul assured me in a conversation he and I had about his question:
I think blogging has matured as a marketing and business communications practice and found it’s place in the overall spectrum. It will still continue to grow, though at a more measured pace than before.
Paul is working on his own plans for his new role at Bizzuka, Inc., as its new Internet Marketing Director. I hope the company knows what an asset they have hired in Paul to run their Internet marketing. As soon as Paul gets that company’s blog up and running I can assure you it will be on top of my subscribed feeds and must reads.
A timely post about the blogging slide, is a post by Richard called Is Blogging in “The Dip”? Are we Throwing The Blogging Baby and Bathwater out? I dont want to steal his entire post but he makes a very good point I would like to direct you to:
From where I sit, business blogging is just starting, so the future has not arrived. It is just emerging. As for those valuable ?Naked Conversations? between businesses and people, I sense they are also just in their infancy. And those conversations are found in blogs ? every day, hundreds of them, good, bad, fun and serious. Real people conversing among themselves, and sometimes with businesses. I am not seeing these real conversations at YouTube or using video. Nor do I see those connections at MySpace or FaceBook. Certainly not to the same and open extent I see them in blogs. Are we leaving the promise of blogging behind to pursue the next big thing, without ever realizing its potential?
I?m even wondering if blogging is in Seth Godin?s ?The Dip? and is going to need that focus and attention to get it through the dip, to realize all it could be. From my travels around the web, blogging is still producing the most genuine conversations between a business and people who want to talk about that business. But maybe I just don?t get it all yet either?
As Shel Israel recently noted (and reminded me personally, for which I say “Thanks Shel!”) ?Naked Conversations was essentially about conversations replacing messages because of the internet. We called that part a revolution and we still do. We talked almost exclusively about blogs because they were the only power tool of the conversational revolution at the time. What has changed is that there are now a great many tools and anyone can use any combination of them.? In this vein, Hugh ,over at Gaping Void, made it clear that ?Bogging isn?t for everybody, Web 2.0 is for everybody
I just think we need to be careful. Facebook has great features for sure. There are lots of sexy Web 2.0 applications, but let?s not throw baby blogging out with the bathwater. That is where I still see real conversations emerging.
I agree with Richard’s thoughts here. Business blogging is not yet made it to mainstream. It has been looked at played with, used, abused, and tested and tried by those that do that sort of thing and been given its stamp of approval. Now it has moved on. It is seen now by that early group as approved, adopted, and sold as a tool that has passed muster. It now is entering the next phase which is implementation by all. It used to be that if you didn’t have a website, you were dead. Now since you are living with your website, if you don’t already have a blog, “your’e dead”.