The real test of a smart business plan is: what is the value proposition for the user. When it comes to blogging, what is the value being offered? You can try to provide breaking news, try to provide insight or try to provide actual research findings which you then resell to companies (Forrester’s model of business). Each model requires a different strategy and each model has its own way of generating revenue.
The most recent discussion taking place among a number of blogs is what does the user ultimately want? As a publisher, I know that I would like all users to visit my site and post comments for each of my articles. Unfortunately, people post comments on my wall in Facebook, they send me messages on email and Facebook, send me replies on Twitter and once in a while post a comment on FriendFeed. Once in a while they post a comment on my blog but most of those comments come from people that found me via some news aggregator.
Duncan Riley has effectively summed up the challenge:
If blogging 1.0 was about enabling the conversation on each blog, blogging 2.0 is about enabling the conversation across many blogs and supporting sites and services.
If we have suddenly all simply become part of the conversation then perhaps blogging is simply about producing more focused content throughout various channels than other people currently provide. For instance, if this site is focused on social technology, perhaps I should notify people on Twitter of all sites that I bookmark on del.icio.us related to social technology. Also, go post comments on anybody’s FriendFeed that has content surrounding my subject.
The reality is simply that blogging isn’t dead but the conversation is going to take place elsewhere and not just on your site. While we would like most of the conversation to take place in an environment branded by us, it just simply won’t happen. I think that I need to most definitely update my own strategy to adapt to the changing environment.
Rather than just posting content in the confines of my blog (which is what I’d really prefer to do), it’s time to take it to take the dialog elsewhere. Do you think blogging in itself provides enough value or have the times truly changed?