Blogging’s no longer new; it’s no longer fashionable. But that doesn’t mean that it’s no longer useful.
Mitch Joel makes the case well in Blogging gets a second wind. The one point I’d add is that because they’re not twitch-speed (in Marc Prensky‘s phrase), blogs have been emerging as a useful tool to support reflective learning and reflective practice. Twitter and Facebook may be more immediate and interactive for digitial pioneers and digital natives, but there’s useful thinking being expressed on blogs. (There’s useful thinking on videos and podcasts, too – but published words are still the best way to achieve SEO, as Joel points out).
Let me connect some blogging threads. Helena Makhotlova has been reflecting on changes in the media and what this means for public relations. Meanwhile, Richard Millington asks which aspects of a PR job are most likely to be outsourced and Rachel Todd sees a future in refocusing on new media.
Inspired by these threads, I’d been contemplating a big post on the future of PR work, but I haven’t found the big idea. In times of change, there are threats and opportunities (you see, I’ve nothing new to say). Students will be excited by the opportunities, while some older practitioners may justifiably be fearful of change. Many journalists will continue to find work in public relations (they have always done so) because their ability to research and write objective news is becoming even more important in a Google-mediated world. (Remember Jakob Nielsen’s call for web writing to be ‘concise, scannable, objective’? Of course you don’t, that was more than ten years ago, but Google has a memory.)
There’s one skills gap waiting to be filled. Even more than writing skills, the need is for editing skills. Can you edit a group blog? Can you produce a viral video or a snappy podcast? There’s a future for writers in PR; there’s a future for editors; but the glittering prizes will still go to the thinkers. Now what’s the point of blogging?