I JUST READ AN INTERESTING PIECE from The Wall Street Journal this morning regarding the future of blogs. The story is about Gawker Media, one of the biggest blog networks in the blogosphere, which will start to drop its old blog design. Basically, they wanted to be more newsmagazine-style and “will abandon their reverse chronological format.”
According to the Gawker Media founder Nick Denton, the new design will accommodate “original work and the growing number of video.” His nine blogs, including Gizmodo, Lifehacker, Kotaku and Deadspin, will get the new look in January.
No wonder Mr. Denton’s new strategy will attract bloggers –including me– and media organization’s attention since they admired his technology instincts for a long time.
Despite the fact the design is not everything, but great site’s design and navigation will add spice to great content and it means will attract more readers. We all know that almost all of Mr. Denton’s blog properties offer high-quality contents –“when it comes to content, Mr. Denton isn’t likely to stray too far beyond his roots,” WSJ writes.
This story clearly suggests that “honeymoon” for bloggers (once become the world’s media celebrities and rock-stars) have almost ended –in this sense, of course. We can see that “the distinctions between blogs and other types of online contents are fast disappearing” and Twitter and Facebook are even “blurring the lines between blogs and personal profiles.” Moreover, large media organizations –besides doing their job very well with fastest news gathering and delivery– also are coming-up with personal touch and tone –just like bloggers.
What does it mean? Will blogs die very soon? Should bloggers just join the mainstream media instead and keep writing? The answer depends on how bloggers to respond to this. Actually bloggers can convert these challenges into opportunities with some ammunition: Keep creating good contents with more personal touch and experience as well as maintaining conversations with social approach; etc.
You know for sure that online readers prefer to click on links recommended by their friends and networks, rather than visiting particular sites and blogs directly. It means that readers now have another ‘layer’ before deciding pick-up stories to read and share. What does it mean? Correct: It means that bloggers and mainstream media have the same opportunity and “playing field” to grab readers’ attention.
And please do not worry about Mr. Denton’s latest strategy. That’s just a maneuver from a blog pioneer to survive blog itself.
In the future, you can keep naming these personal sites as blogs, or whatever. But as long as you could provide good contents and engage the conversations, they will always love you, wait for your piece and return to you site.
The term of “blog” can be disappeared someday, but high-quality and personal-contents will survive and have their own niches and communities. Personal brands will always live along with big media brands. They will complement each other.
Because I believe that content is always the king — no matter it’s coming from individual bloggers or large media organizations.