Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Blogging in the Age of Facebook and Twitter

PresbyBlogger Carol Howard Merritt at Tribal Church posted a series of questions and answers on blogging in the church that came out of a webinar she led for the Albans Institute on the subject of Social Media Strategies. This is an excellent resource for pastors or others in the church who are considering beginning a blog and wondering how that differs from the church webpage or Facebook page.

The post got me thinking about whether or not blogging is--or will become--"so yesterday" in the fast-moving world of today's internet. I have noticed in the last six months or so a significant decline in comments on my blog and on other blogs that I follow. My blog traffic is slightly down, too, and other bloggers have made the same observation.

Since joining Facebook, I've noticed some fellow bloggers are writing much more frequently there than on their blogs. Some are also using Twitter instead of blogging or posting on Facebook. Facebook entries usually are more personal because the readers are a group of "friends" and not just anyone on the net. Twitter limits information that is shared but it is shared with anyone who wants to follow your tweets.

Each of these social media meet different needs for different people. I prefer blogging because it requires more thought and deliberation and encourages an exchange of ideas throught the comments. I've met some great friends online that I would never have met on Facebook or known to look up on Twitter.

How about you? Are you blogging less and Facebooking or Twittering more? Why or why not?


Gannet Girl said...

I much prefer blogging to FB; I like to explore thoughts and ideas in more depth than FB is designed for, and FB is generally way too superficial a platform for most of real life.

Twitter I just don't get. But then, you know, I place a much higher value on silence than on running commentary. And most of what impulsively makes its way out of my mouth is hardly worth memorializing - and I'm afraid that's true of most of us most of the time.

This comment might, of course, be a prime example of same.

ROBERTA said...

i agree with gannet girl - FB is like cotton candy and twitter truly gives me facial tics....i have accounts on both - i rarely comment on either...i love me a good heary blog to digest...(not sure why i'm talking in food terms today - i must be hungry)?

Michael Kruse said...

I think your breakdown of the three media is probably right. I can tell you that my blog hits take a noticeable dive (more than 30%) starting in mid-May and continues until late August. Each fall has had more hits than the previous fall as I enter my fifth fall of blogging. I'm curious to see if it holds up.

I should also add that I use Twitter (and Facebook via Twitter) to inform people of posts at my blog. That has brought in new people.

Wish I could have been apart of Carol's webinar. Had a conflict.

David said...

I can't seem to figure out how to twatter and don't know how to get into this facebook thang. I am sticking to blogs. I also don't think that Beatrice would be able to twatter either.

Quotidian Grace said...

Thanks for reminding me about linking my blog posts to Facebook. I did that for a while, then forgot about it.

Shawn said...

I definitely blog less because of Facebook and Twitter (mostly Twitter). Admittedly, they don't serve the same purpose, although there is overlap.

I find Twitter so engaging because the conversation that happens there is less "speechy" than blog conversations, and it is usually much more immediate and often more personal.

Presbyterian Gal said...

I am definitely not blogging as much. LIkely due to the situational brouhaha I currently have. Though I do like it better because of the reasons you state here.

I do not understand Twitter. And Facebook is fun. But it's more like reading People magazine vs. Scientific American. Not saying it's bad. Just not quite as filling, as it were.

Anonymous said...

I don't blog but enjoy the very few blogs that I continue to follow. I've really cut down on my internet time in the past few months. It was eating into so many more important activities/opportunities. Maybe because it's almost passive - just click from this blog to that one, from this article to that website. I had to STOP! And I wonder if other folks are also trying to rein in their online time?

Facebook has proven an easy way to maintain contact, superficial as it may be, with college and high school classmates, former co-workers and neighbors, etc. And I'm ENORMOUSLY grateful that Facebook reminds me of my friends' birthdays!

Twitter - tried it but it reinforces that "online all the time" state of mind I'm trying to escape.

Stushie said...

I love blogging. It gives me a daily journal and Bible study discipline that is very therapeutic for me.

I'm also amazed at the number of emails that I get from people all around the world who either agree or disagree with what I write. It's humbling how many times I've received an email which reads: "I just needed to hear what you wrote today."

I also love's my cyber village/small town...almost like Bedford Falls on the computer...:)

Averill said...

For me, Facebook is exclusively about "keeping up" with friends and family I don't get to see much. Not so much that I'm actually talking to them so much as just snooping around their pages to see what they're up to.

As for Dave says, "Twittering is for twits!"

Kathryn said...

Blogging demands reflection, - so when time is pressing, I turn to other genres. FB is the place where I connect with my children & their friends, twitter gives me a space to share trivia that wouldn't justify a full blog post...but it has also enabled me to connect with a whole circle of people whom I'd not know otherwise. Interestingly, I've encountered far more tweeting souls this side of the Pond - so meeting irl is far more likely (though I'm happy and privileged that I was able to get to BE1 and meet so many of my favourite bloggers then, it was bound to be a one off, so some UK contacts are hugely valued).
I link all 3 accounts together, which is very dull for those who read me in all 3 places, but convenient from my perspective.
I value all 3 media...have less tiem to blog now than in curacy days so enjoy the connection of micro blogging...even if I bore my friends witless!

Carol Howard Merritt said...

Thank you so much for the link, Jody.

I definitely prefer the blog. But as my writing time has been taken up by other projects at the moment, I have been Twittering more.

There's some substance to it. Often, I find out about news and articles that people are reading through the links that people post. But, mostly it's just a fun and interesting way to stay in contact with friends.

John Edward Harris said...

Like Stushie, I find blogging therapeutic, especially lately. My blogging also serves as a journalistic outlet for some previously pent up creativity, an outlet I have not found on FB. FB offers me a way to keep up with friends and colleagues as well as organizations and causes. As far as Twitter goes, I am still a virgin. Had you posted the same question on FB, I doubt that you would have generated so many responses by now.

jean said...

I blog, but more infrequently: running out of opinions, or polite language in which to express myself. I don't do FB or twitter, but I HAVE learned to text message my grandchildren. I like reading blogs and keep up regularly with a few.

DannyG said...

I had this discussion over at BroGreg's a while back. I find blogging more to my taste, as I prefer to use longer formats and more reflection. Back in the pre-computer days I much preferred writing to calling, I'm better on paper than in person, so to speak.

Facebook has proven useful as a way to reconnect with old college and highschool friends. I find it not easy to have expansive posts in that forum. Usualy games, memes, short paragraphs, and photos.

Twitter I don't get, either. Of course, I don't text to begin with, so that is logical. I just don't get it. I'm afraid that my tendency to think of snarky comments would get me in trouble if I had a venue to broadcast them in real time, before the filters kicked in. Of course, if I win the Lotto, all bets are off on the comment department!

ellbee said...

I've actually upped the # of blogs I follow, most of which I found as a direct result of Twitter. I don't do as much commenting anymore, since it takes extra steps to get to the blog from my reader window.

I actually like all three... I have way fewer folk following my blog, so it's more of a journal for me.
FaceBook has become the place where all my worlds collide- work, seminary, church, neighborhood, friends from multiple seasons of life - and it's a chaotic joyful mess.
Twitter is just fun. I follow people I may never get to meet in real life, but share what they do in places I wish I could be. I hear about meetings/conferences I can't attend, mission trips, and just random stuff in people's lives.
I don't blog as much as I did a year ago, probably. But that is as much about school and family as it is using other social media.

seethroughfaith (Lorna) said...

prefer blogging because it requires more thought and deliberation and encourages an exchange of ideas throught the comments.

me too . and I miss the comments.

I do use fb but not twitter (which I haven't got into)