Mario Sundar

LinkedIn's 2nd PR hire. These are my thoughts on products, public relations, and startups.

The Future of blogging is…. Blogging!

I just read on TechCrunch about Jason Calacanis’ new mailing list. Now, before I jump into the topic of bloggers retirement, let me say that I owe one of my first big hits on my blog to Jason picking up on it.

It was the Top 10 CEO blogs (yep, the one with 72 comments) and I vividly recall the day I received thousands of inbound hits thanks to Jason. So, I was kinda surprised that he had bid adieu to blogging and switched to a mailing list.

Apparently, Jason’s rationale for the switch are three-fold:

1. Intimacy with a more focused audience (Jason believes mailing lists allow for that)
2. Crazed random commenters (who wouldn’t want to avoid them?)
3. Shiny new web 2.0 objects

I’ve got to agree with #3. The increasingly split world of web 2.0 sharing services from Twitter to Facebook has definitely started drawing the attention of a lot of bloggers including myself. And, to be honest, that almost derailed my blogging efforts by sucking the wind out of my blogging efforts.

That was until recently, I realized I was spending a lot of time on Twitter, Facebook, and FriendFeed and realized two things: firstly, I had a massively split audience and secondly, none of my conversations on any of those channels SEO’d as well as my blog.

So, I’ve decided to continue sharing quick thoughts on Twitter (many times a day), Facebook (a couple of times a day), LinkedIn (once a day), and Friendfeed (none). However, my thoughts on technology, corporate blogging, community marketing that I’d like my brand to be associated will definitely go on this blog. Plus, my blog is pushed into all of the above services (except LinkedIn). Hence my refocus on blogging and my presence on your blog reader on average a couple of times a day.

Feel free to share your social media habits in the comments section

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Filed under: Business Blogging

9 Responses

  1. It seems like there are two interests in the domain of blogging: making money and creating community.

    Making money can scale without limit– you can always make more if there is more to make. But creating community can only be taken so far. Communities are built on relationships, and as humans we can only handle so many relationships. Past a certain point, as the number of relationships increases, their quality has to decrease.

    In my view it seems that we’re near the point where the quality of communities is starting to suffer and now there’s conflict between the desire to grow and the desire to maintain quality. Perhaps the only way to combat that is to split into smaller communities. Will others follow Jason’s example and split their huge followings into smaller communities? Or will people continue to flock in unsustainable numbers to the celebrities? I’m curious to see if anything changes.

    Like

  2. chrisbrogan says:

    The problem I see with the email thread method is just that in the comments experience, it’s a single commenter back to the author, with no lateral sharing. That’s the only real downfall to the experience. I’m not clear that Jason wants that experience anyhow (not for any bad reasons), so maybe this will work just fine for him.

    Interesting, at least.

    Like

  3. Kelly says:

    I agree with Chris Brogan. Jeff Walker handles that pretty well, though. Survey your readers now and again, then create a free report with all the responses and send it to your list. Voila — instant community.

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  4. Mario Sundar says:

    @Aaron,

    Thanks for your early morning or late night response to my post. Saw your tweet as well 🙂

    I guess you’re referring to the Dunbar Number, which I’ve blogged about in the past.

    “Dunbar’s number is the supposed cognitive limit to the number of individuals with whom any one person can maintain stable social relationships: the kind of relationships that go with knowing who each person is and how each person relates socially to every other person.”

    Totally agreed. Will we change? Only time will tell.

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  5. Mario Sundar says:

    @Chris Brogan,

    That was my first reaction as well. I guess responding to a slew of crazed commenters was reason #2 that Jason gave. Maintaining that level of communication with all-and-sundry can be rather challenging.

    Having said that, I’ve to say, isn’t that what you and I as social media folks strive to do. Isn’t that why we adopt twitter and friendfeed. I believe the conversation is paramount. However, once you reach a point, your choices are either

    a. shut out comments like kottke and godin
    b. start a mailing list like calacanis.

    What will you do once your “followers” become unmanageable, Chris? 🙂

    Like

  6. Mario Sundar says:

    @Kelly,

    But isn’t that kind of a community best served by a blog/wiki style commentary thread?

    Still not sure if a mailing list is an optimal solution. But I’m sure Calacanis has his reasons, part of which is the problem of having too many followers.

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  7. Hi Mario,

    That was until recently, I realized I was spending a lot of time on Twitter, Facebook, and FriendFeed and realized two things: firstly, I had a massively split audience and secondly, none of my conversations on any of those channels SEO’d as well as my blog.

    While I didn’t read his blog often, I did read his reasons for it & my impressions are as follows:
    1. He was being somewhat critical of the fact that so much time with blogs these days is spent on other things, like focusing on SEO and SERP.
    2. The newer technologies, while some are interesting, are largely just turning into situations where people are distributing links (my personal take).

    Having 20k fans, or what have you, doesn’t lead to a true level of intimacy with your readers. Relationships, in the online and off-line world, are created & maintained by regular discussions with people on a one-to-one basis…something that isn’t possible for the more popular folks with many thousands of readers because it turns into a business & maintaining that business.

    It will be interesting to see if the change for Jason actually leads to more of a focus on building out even more of Mahalo (focus on the company, in other words). It will be interesting to see if it drives behaviors for other folks that makes them focus on doing blogging for enjoyment again, not for other reasons.

    Like

  8. blacklegend says:

    I am surprised somebody with such large followings will be annoyed to leave it all just because of bad comments.
    Thoughts he must have outgrown that. But with $30m not a bad idea especially as he has grown into an icon, whatever the next venture is sure going to make money.
    The result of hardwork will make him excel, but where is the spirit of persistence?

    Like

  9. Mario Sundar says:

    @blacklegend,

    I guess Jason’s well versed in the art of dealing with negativity but I guess after a point you just get too tired of it all. That’d be my guess.

    Like

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