1/ I think that personal blogs are going to become even more popular in the future. In the early-to-mid 2000s, having a blog was the best way to share your opinion on anything, and have a place on the internet where you could control the content completely.
A few characters, a couple of tweets and some cursory impressionistic status updates about your day will never give a sense of depth, and I don’t even think that social media serves for that purpose in the first place. Any sense of closedness is inevitably fleeting.
That said, I don’t think social media is dying, but its purpose is shifting. People are realizing the negative effects of massive tech companies monopolizing their private data. Facebook is moving towards privacy and communities. This tweet from David Perell is very relevant to what I’m trying to elaborate on:
Once a city, group, or organization reaches a critical mass, it becomes small again.
Big cities have small neighborhoods, big groups have cliques, and big organizations have small teams.
Likewise, the internet is about to fragment. Small communities are the future.
These giant social media platforms aren’t collapsing on themselves (yet). But their users are literally regrouping by forming closed groups and niche communities, where there’s a handful of moderators to keep a good discussion running.
These communities are connecting people to their interests without the brutal, imposing power of the algorithms, which still exist in lesser effectiveness. And people can always enter or leave these groups.
Email’s fuck you to social media’s algorithms
The magic of email is its extreme simplicity. While Gmail is doing some pretty exciting things with the Promotions Tab, with most inbox service providers, your emails pretty much get delivered to either your inbox or spam.
In email, there’s no algorithm to classify content, no way to manipulate you from seeing the emails that you want to receive and are subscribed to. You sign in, and see your newest emails by default.
The only algorithms that work in emailing are the filtering systems that are in-place to prevent users from getting malicious emails.
There’s quiet beauty within this. You subscribe to a newsletter, and you’ll keep getting them, until you unsubscribe (if they’re compliant), then basta.
This is because email is such a ubiquitous form of communication channel on the internet that’s not completely owned by the inbox service providers, themselves. Its rules of engagement remained incredibly static in the last 24 years, since its mainstream début.
It's a marvelous example of one of the few open standards in the web, if tilted to the right way, can work for the better of society (and if tilted the wrong way, you get 2Chan).
Blogging is a display of swagger
In the advent of Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica fiasco, Twitter bullies, Instagram’s weird algos of favoring faces over places, and Youtube’s shift towards celebrities (if their pitch decks towards advertisers are a good indicator), blogging has stayed as the one tried-and-true formula to relay information to a community of readers without getting your writing censored or filtered.
(SEO can be a way of filtering, in my opinion, but that’s for another post)
If readers like your blog, they’ll subscribe to your newsletters to get your (weekly) updates. If your content is really great, then you might even get that coveted word-of-mouth buzz that can really push your popularity to the next level, if leveraged correctly.
What more words accomplish is a heightened sense of connection between someone or a group of people. It’s passion.
When you can regularly blog about a thing in even a few hundred words, you’re already flaunting your knowledge or familiarity in that area. Blogging is a display of swagger, letting the community-as-world know what you really think in your own terms. The same can't be said for even the beloved, yet often-criticized Twitter storms.
At the same time, you're sharing your experience - whether technical, holistic, personal, or in-between - in a way that already more fleshed-out, and, I think, that this paves the way towards more quality discussions. After all, no one is trying to compete for your attention; it is ultimately up to you on whether you want to read a blog post and share your thoughts on it.
When groups and niche communities expand, blogging has always been a way to cut through the noise of the crowd to have your say in matters you find relevant, without being interrupted. The discussion then happens in chat(Slack) groups, social media, forums, Google Docs, email… where people can interact, you name it.
This is why community and content/blogging are intrinsically intertwined. As communities grow, so will blogging.