Recently I was accepted as a LinkedIn Influencer. Yippee. But what did that mean? Another place to submit yet another piece of content. Who has all of that time to write anyway? I love creating good, relevant content. I really do. But writing a blog for Social Strand, guest blogging, Tweeting, posting to Facebook, Google+, and Pinterest, SlideShare, and then writing a blog for LinkedIn? Phew, I’m exhausted just thinking about it. Not to mention doing client work. Who has time to write or read all of that? I don’t. Nor do you.
And this year, as you know, I’ve decided to blog less. I went from writing a daily blog to writing once or twice per week, and even that can be taxing sometimes.
In a recent reflection I asked myself, why do I blog? I know I started the blog to help people. I wanted to help people learn how to use social media for their business in the easiest way. Explain it in sixth grade English. Let them learn from my experiences, my mistakes, and my successes. That was the goal of this blog. But now, social media has evolved so much from where we were just four years ago when I started this blog in 2010.
Blogging, in some form or another, has been around since the early 80’s, but what we know today as “blogging” didn’t come into being until the late 90’s (1997 with SlashDot, 1999 with LiveJournal and Blogger, 2003 with WordPress, and 2007 with Tumblr).
It seems that social media has gotten back to its roots, so to speak. Social media has always been a way to connect with people, be entertained, and get informed, regardless of the network. But now all of that is more visual. When you think about LinkedIn (one of the first social networks) and you look at sites like About.me, suddenly the emphasis is placed on the visual, and less on the content. It’s like people have forgotten how to read, or are they just judging a book by its cover? In an era where we are inundated by information, people now judge your content based on the image or the headline. If the image is worthy, they’ll click and spend 5 seconds skimming it to determine if it’s worthy of a bigger time investment. Otherwise, you get relegated to the “I’ll come back and read this later” pile and never get read because something else interesting comes along. It’s like we all have A.D.D. suddenly. According to HubSpot, visuals are processed 60,000X faster than text. No wonder.
When Pinterest came along, it changed the landscape of social media and people’s perception on social media. Suddenly they saw the “big picture”, literally, and were dazzled by the bling of imagery. Their attention spans went from minutes to seconds. Google+ even changed its layout to be more Pinterest-like. Storify, Rebel Mouse, Facebook, Twitter, suddenly, everyone was altering their sites to be more compatible with images. They mandated that the art of storytelling be more visual and less verbose. A picture is, after all, worth a thousand words, right?
But not everyone was a graphic designer and this put pressure on companies to outsource graphics and people to start snapping more photos. Suddenly, social media became a graphic designer’s mecca. Then came along sites like Canva, LiveLuvCreate, PicMonkey, Pixlr, Fotor to help marketers make simple easy-to-share graphics for social media. (And if you subscribe to the newsletter, you already know about Canva and how much I love it).
But it has also become a time where everyone is a publisher. Everyone and anyone can publish their thoughts to the internet and be read, retweeted, +1’d, shared, and engaged with, by simply the push of a button. Blogging has now become more long form and only for those who are interested in investing real time to read. Everyone is competing to be heard in an already crowded space making it really hard for the person I’ve been trying to help to filter through all of the noise. So, I decided to give up blogging and here’s why:
- I’m reaching more of the audience I want to reach on LinkedIn through the Influencer program.
- I’m posting more long form posts on Facebook and Google+ (the link is to a free eBook on Google+ and one of the tips is long form posts)
- I’m still helping people, but in even easier, shorter sound bytes. Like this one:
Will I still write longer how-to tutorials? Yes, but I will more than likely post them as an eBook or a SlideShare presentation. Here’s how you can keep up to date on what I have to say:
- Subscribe to the bi-weekly long form newsletter ( I provide full context of all posts, so no more links to sites, you get it all in the email)
- Follow me on Facebook – I mostly share images like the one above, or links to interesting articles
- Follow me on Twitter – I tweet about social media/marketing mostly (80%), wine, food, and other technology
- Follow me on Pinterest – I mix social media boards and food/wine/reading boards. You can follow a specific board or follow them all.
- Follow me on Google+ – I share all good things marketing here, some by me, some by other influencers
- Follow me on LinkedIn Influencers – what I’m going to blog about
- Follow Social Strand on SlideShare – marketing and social media presentations/whitepapers
- Follow Social Strand on YouTube – video tutorials categorized by topic
- Follow me on RebelMouse – a collection of some of my top tweets and facebook posts
See you online!