I’ve been saying this one for a while, even before all the changes at Twitter.
Developing a habit of creating and consuming blogs is just so much healthier than relying on social media. The earlier days of web communities use to have such strength. The building upon ideas. The enthusiasm to share ideas and explore innovations.
I’m not saying none of that exists, but is sure felt more genuine and not so transactional back then.
Here are some links to get you thinking about it:
And on top of the above links is also me setting up a ‘Glitter’ category here as a way to jot down and share quick thoughts.
Blogging has been my go to of late as well. Social media feels so scripted and transactional lately so looking forward the resurgence of blogs!
I miss blogs and forums, too. But just like King’s Quest-creator Roberta Williams remarked nostalgically about the demise of traditional adventure gaming, the audiences have largely moved on and the modern demographic looks totally different.
Internet users today are mobile-only, image-centric, video-driven. This leaves text-based content - which has seen a sad and devastating decline in print and online forms, destroying most news publications across the planet - as an academic happenstance or something that those of us who want to relax asynchronously (We Gen-X’ers can relate!) can enjoy, and everyone else just tolerates.
I am sure that blogs and forums will always be a thing for their edge-cases and niches. But they will never be the mainstream that they once were because the audiences have exploded and centralized on dangerous, disinter mediated social media platforms. And eventually, the Next Big Thing - another centralized platform or medium - will dethrone social media, as well.
I can imagine a future with better tooling where forums come into play as part of an overall and more diverse set of features for communities. So forums on their own, are not as interesting as forums with social like features, or sharing of photos, or having a job board.
I completely agree. But they really need to offer something unique. It cannot simply be a forum + article system + social networking feature that comes across as some sort of MySpace throw-back, Reddit alternative, or Facebook clone. Those services all exist(ed) for a reason, and to give users a reason to form community on a website, you must engage them with something unique, differentiated, timely, relevant, and valuable.
I’m curious how one would build community around a personal blog in 2023. Besides comments on individual blog posts, how would one create opportunities for sustainable relationships and deeper engagement with one’s readers?