Blogging has more than one king

So the question ‘Is blogging worthwhile?’ has been raised again, this time centered around Jason Calcanis’ grand announcement last week that he’s giving it all up.

Calcanis says he’s going to write his thoughts instead as emails to a select group.

And over the weekend, his first email went out to a group of about 1,000 subscribers.

Whatever you might think of Calcanis’ move, I think he’s spot on with this assessment in that email:

[…] while blogging is clearly booming, there has been a deep qualitative change in the nature of the ‘sphere. There are so many folks involved in blogging today, and it’s moving at a much quicker pace thanks to “social accelerants” like TechMeme, digg, Friendfeed and Twitter. Folks are so desperate to be heard – and we all want to be heard that’s why we blog – that the effort put into being heard has eclipsed the actual hearing.

Bloggers spend more time digging, tweeting, and SEOing their posts than they do on the posts themselves. In the early days of blogging Peter Rojas, who was my blog professor, told me what was required to win at blogging: “show up every day.” In 2003 and 2004 that was the case. Today? What’s required is a team of social marketers to get your message out there, and a second one to manage the fall-out from whatever you’ve said.

So how do you stand out in an increasingly crowded space? Is content still king?

Hugh MacLeod explores another dimension – CheapEasyGlobal.

I think content is still king. But it’s not the only king.

Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

  1. Antony Mayfield

    “The ‘sphere” is a completely misleading idea. There are many spheres, you make your own, you develop the networks around you.

    It’s like that saying “if you say you’re bored you’re boring”. The social web is so large and so complex that what it means to you is what you make it mean.

    Jason’s ‘sphere doesn’t work for him.

    You’re right there are many kings – the way these ecosystems work is far too complex for pithy phrases like “content is king” to do much more than give us the beginning of a debate…

  2. neville

    Agreed, but it’s all part of the big ‘sphere, the blogosphere.

    I do believe content is king – the foundation – but by itself that’s not enough today.

    So while the blogosphere (ie, Calcanis’ sphere) might not work for him, his broad assessment point is a very good one.

    The beginning of a debate indeed.

  3. Feed housekeeping yields interesting insights « Brendan Cooper, your Friendly Digital Social Media PR, ummm, Thingy

    […] Neville Hobson also comes to the rescue by bringing up the ‘is blogging dead’ issue, via Jason Calcanis’s recent announcement that he’s – shock horror – going to be emailing instead because he thinks it’s a more intimate way to do business.  He also links to the CheapEasyGlobal post I commented on earlier this week which brings to the fore the idea that it’s a publishing revolution, not just blogging. […]

  4. Joseph Thornley

    I think Jason is a smart guy and a creative one to boot. But I think that he forgets that many of us don’t want to reaggregate the broadcast audience in the social media space. Instead, we want to talk to the people who share our interest. Call it niche. Call it community of interest. But call it me reading what you have to say and then commenting in return. That’s good enough for me.

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