Sunday, 07-Oct-12 14:56
Facebook, blogs & such

I was recently in a Finnish blogger's meeting - the kind of a meeting we've been having for about ten years now. A lot of the same faces, so it's really more of an old gang that used to read each other's blogs -meeting rather than representative of today's blogosphere really. But in those days, we were a non-insignificant part of it. Now it felt more like a meeting of people who happen to be in the same Facebook group, and I didn't see a lot of people posting to their blogs; but many did post status updates to Twitter or Facebook.

But is blogging dead? Have people moved on? Not really, says Technorati's 2011 survey. It's just that blogging is now... established. Platforms like Tumblr have lowered the threshold of participation so low that they've become almost self-sufficient blogging ecosystems of their own, and a Wordpress instance is just so easy to set up that it's not funny. The old days of experimenting with this new form of self-expression have showed what one can do and what one shouldn't, and the good stuff lives on.

While I enjoy Twitter and Facebook a lot, their problem - from my point of view - is that they're a bit too easy to use. Posting has been made so easy that people do it all the time - especially Twitter seems to be a write-only-medium around whenever Apple launches something. (I habitually turn Twitter now off for 24 hrs whenever this occurs; I can read the news in a far better format elsewhere.) It's like drinking from the firehose, and that eventually means that a lot of interesting stuff I just miss because I can't be arsed to scroll back through the zillions of messages.

Now, Facebook is trying to do something about it, but I increasingly feel that their algorithms seem to be a bit broken: I'm missing even more stuff than on Twitter, because FB is hiding it (or at least feels like it's hiding it) from me deliberately. And while most of it is crap, it does occasionally hide things I would've like or needed to have seen. Yes, I know many of you are just now itching to click on the comment link to tell me that Google Plus solves all these problems. But I think it only works because there aren't that many people there. Most social software works really well when you're running a tightly knit group of people, but once everybody and your mom is there, things break.

Which takes me to why I increasingly find myself going back to blogging: With the publication threshold going a bit up now that simple thoughts can be effortlessly shared using other tools, and the blogging tools having matured, the blogs I follow just seem so much nicer, better thought out, insightful, funny, informative and, well, interesting. Now that FB and Twitter and G+ function as a first-order crap filter, only the better stuff gets through to blog level. You write about meaningful stuff; you share the cat video on Facebook. You see an interesting link and share it on Twitter; but someone else sees it, has a thought, and writes it up on a blog, whereas previously it would just go to a blog.

So Facebook isn't killing blogging. It's making it better.

And someone has to be the source of all those links that people share. ;-)

(Here's a thought: does sharing discourage original content? Is the time spent on reading and sharing links away from creating original stuff?)

Tuesday, 02-Oct-12 13:20
Tolkien Week

To celebrate the Tolkien week I wanted to share my most memorable Tolkien thing - the not-so-widely known soundtrack from Ryhm├Ąteatteri's epic performance from 1988. Hover over the image to find more. You'll need Spotify installed - if you don't, the songs are available also from Youtube, but the quality can be low.


Private comments? Drop me an email. Or complain in a nearby pub - that'll help.



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"Main" last changed on 10-Aug-2015 21:44:03 EEST by JanneJalkanen.

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