If by “blog” you mean a platform to syndicate crisp headlines and meaningful messages across the landscape of online media, then blogging is so now. In fact, social media are breathing even more life into it.
Using Blog Technology to Help Your Site
Blogs are a way of exporting your site’s content and message to an audience beyond traditional search. Creating a quick blog post and clicking Publish can instantly update several of your social media accounts while at the same time adding new content to your site, which keeps the search engines happy.
Since a blog uses syndication technology, it’s the perfect vehicle for disseminating your message. And since social media sites easily accept this technology (Facebook, Twitter, et al.), the opportunity exists to feed certain social media sites with content containing catchy headlines and links back to the original site, your site.
Remember, the purpose of social media optimization is to drive traffic from sources other than search engines. The creative use of blog technology allows just that.
What Blogging Was
When John Marshall created The Talking Points Memo in 2000, blogs were in their infancy. Two years later, his blog led the charge against U.S. Senator Trent Lott, who suggested the country would have been better off had Strom Thurmond, an advocate of racial segregation, been elected president. Lott was forced to resign, and blogs became seen as an immediate source for news of the moment. They were genuine, non-homogenized and capable of effecting change.
Blogs became big business. Writers wrote, advertisers paid and readers lapped it all up. In the early days of blogging, many bloggers could actually get their posts to appear in search engine results. Not any more, unless it’s on a topic so arcane it’s close enough to the end of the long tail to risk being wagged off.
As other forms of social media emerged, personal expression on the Web became a lot easier. Users found they could browse their hard drives for pictures and videos, upload them, tag them, include a message and enjoy the viral effects of online community.
What Blogging Is
Blogging is still big business. The bastions of blogging, like The Talking Points Memo, The Huffington Post, Hot Air, Mashable, BoingBoing, PerezHilton, all offer up the level of coverage and expertise we’ve come to expect from mainstay information sources. And thousands of blogs still maintain their relevance with a little help from blog searching services like Technorati and Google Blog Search.
While blogging has left us many legacies, the greatest of these perhaps is not any particular blog. It’s the technology supporting them, technology that allows us to spread our thoughts, updates, marketing messages and whatever else across the Web.
What’s Under the Hood
Blogs originally made use of a technology called Really Simple Syndication, or RSS. You’ve seen the little orange logo. Now, many blogging services use a more robust XML-based format called Atom. Techno-babble, perhaps. But what you need to know is that regardless of the format, many just call it RSS, the Kleenex of Web syndication technologies. As far as getting your message out, any blog technology is a Klaxon.