I’ve called my blog my persistent presence on the Web. It’s the one place that hasn’t changed over the years; it’s just got a bit bigger. As more social media applications come and go and we see value in some of them and maybe even use them more than our blogs, it becomes even more important to have a spot that doesn’t change too much. Here at jarche.com is where you will always be able to find me. The look has changed over the years, as has the underlying system (from Drupal to WordPress).
I noted that it’s important to know where’s your data but you also need some control over all the social media you’re using. The problem is that you’re on somebody else’s platform. A blog can be used as the more stable node in your social media ecosystem. For example here are several social media applications I’ve used but have pretty much discarded for one reason or another – Furl; Magnolia; Spoke; Xing; Blogflux; Eduspaces (insert your own list). However, my blog hasn’t changed; it’s my social media home base. In addition, blogging also helps to develop meta-cognitive processes and as Tom Peters says in this interview “no single thing in the past 15 years has been more important to my professional life than has blogging”.
My four C’s of social media can be addressed through many social media applications but these processes do not need to be owned by any single application. I would say that it would be a mistake to use a single SaaS (software as a service) platform as your only way to engage in these processes. You can create, contextualize, connect and co-create in many ways; most of which can, and perhaps should, be linked back to your blog. Having watched MySpace get marginalized while Facebook dominates for now, it’s only a matter of time before more new platforms that we don’t own come along and lure the next bunch of digital sharecroppers. To see where blogging may be headed (Blogs 2.0?) check out Om Malik’s The Evolution of Blogging.
You make some salient points. It’s nice to have a place on-line to call home. Blogging, for me, is satisfying in that I have no editor directing what I write about. I take it seriously, however, weighing what I want to say with what I think will be useful to people, or amusing, etc. The idea of the 4Cs is interesting as long as a 5th C doesn’t rear its head: conform. If blogs become like newspaper editorials, or are used to push agendas or products without transparency, then they will have outlived their usefulness.
Many blogs already do that, but that’s the nature of any information medium – it gets absorbed by the powerful. This blog is still free 🙂
I agree, having a digital home of my own is important as we navigate onto and away from the churning social media sea.