The Portability of Content

Wired magazine’s article last month Twitter, Flickr, Facebook makes Blogs look so 2004 posits the “death of blogging”.

Writing a weblog today isn’t the bright idea it was four years ago. The blogosphere, once a freshwater oasis of folksy self-expression and clever thought, has been flooded by a tsunami of paid bilge. Cut-rate journalists and underground marketing campaigns now drown out the authentic voices of amateur wordsmiths. It’s almost impossible to get noticed, except by hecklers. And why bother? The time it takes to craft sharp, witty blog prose is better spent expressing yourself on Flickr, Facebook, or Twitter.

Blogging used to be about creating content. Today’s mainstream blogs are about distributing content. The “blogs” now garnering much of the traffic – Huffington Post, Engadget, etc. – have become mass media digests.

It’s the portability of content that now matters. Online presence can be measured by where and how often your name and word show up across the Internet. The more entities distributing, reblogging and retweeting your content (including mass media publishers who use blog syndication services like Blogburst and Newstex), and the more services chronicling your activity/content (Friendfeed, Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, etc.) the more renowned you become. And that can lead directly to celebrity, position, or just a business break.

The mainstream media now gets this. Once the principal creator of “content”, they are firing their journalists/reporters, and moving into news and data distribution. They realize they can still capture eyeballs by republishing, aggregating and delivering content and data, created in-house or user-generated. It’s not a lucrative as before, when MSM controlled the content and viewership, and charged SuperBowl rates, but then the wave of user-generated content forced their hands.

At Transparent Real Estate, I’ve postulated how blogging is changing in real estate because the objective of a real estate blog – lead generation for the real estate professional – is inconsistent with the act of writing a blog. The average real estate agent just wants to get a blog up quickly while doing as little work as possible. Now, creating exhaustive content isn’t the methodology, it’s distributing the real estate data and information that’s already out there quickly to their constituency. It makes the act of “blogging” much easier when you don’t have to write original and compelling content, something that is hard to do on a real estate blog. (Most real estate blogs discuss hyperlocal issues, which is essentially irrelevant to any reader who lives outside that real estate bloggers’ domain).

Related articles:

Is Blogging Dead?

Nine tips for real estate bloggers on the “new blog writing”

About Pat Kitano

Patrick Kitano works with brands in developing hyperlocal engagement solutions and is administrator of the Breaking News Network, a national hyperlocal network devoted to community service. He is the author of The Local Network on Street Fight, and is reachable via Twitter @pkitano and email pkitano@gmail.com.

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