I’m sure many of you have read the post about Journaling versus Blogging, it was featured on a number of websites, including the German productivity blog imgriff. Somehow related to that post, I have to confess that recently I came across a number of similar patterns I tend to develop when it comes to blogging, and those patterns are grouping into new and interesting activities. In fact, there is much more than blogging, as the title of this post already told you. It seems that blogging as a process reached a certain level of maturity, which will naturally be followed by some sort of splitting into much more specialized activities.
Blogging in (r)evolution
Several years ago having a blog was a monolithic activity. Blogging in itself seemed like a one time / one player activity. You pick a topic, establish a posting routine, start writing and there you are, the next big thing of the blogosphere.
In the last two years this has dramatically changed. With the proliferation of social networking tools and with some very simple yet innovative services like twitter, tumblr or, in a different league, friend feed, the situation is completely different than 2 years ago. Blog networks written by armies of bloggers, solitary twitter heroes and companion tumblrs for every successful mainstream blog, all of these are just common sense nowadays.
What made this possible? And what seems to be the underlying reason for this?
Well, first of all, the expressivity of blogging in itself has reached the ceiling. There is some deep need for something different. The audience has been exposed enough time to this type of creativity. We all know now what a post is, what can you do in a comment, and how pingbacking works… It seems that the message is forced to change the medium here, trying to subtly evolve into new patterns and structures.
Second, it seems that blogging in itself has reached a certain level of formalism which made simpler for services like tumblr to streamline the blog to a thinner experience. You don’t need a truck to go from point A to point B, or, in terms of blogging, you don’t need a full blown blog to express yourself. All you need is the ability to post a picture, a quote, a sentence, or a link. You might think that this simplistic approach will not make history, but the web is just telling the other way around.
Third, I guess we can combine the two reasons above in order to create a composite one: each blogging approach corresponds to a specific state of your message. Because blogging is about you, or the “I” persona, I guess each specific state of the message should have an initial “i”, if only for the sake of simplicity. Each blogging pattern corresponds to a specific creativity milestone of your own message. And that would be:
- micro-blogging is the ignition
- tumbling is the illustration
- blogging is the intensity
So, each time you’re twittering, you’re actually igniting your thoughts, your follower’s thoughts or just start ignition conversations. Every time you’re using tumblr you’re illustrating something, by using simple tools: images, links or quotes. And every time you’re writing something on your blog, you’re actively digging through the consistent part of your goal and you’re doing this with intensity, in a focused way.
Of course, each type of blogging could be accomplished using different software tools. Here’s a quick list of what I think it’s best for each type of “I” activity – ignition, illustration and intensity.
That’s the fastest tool among all the tools I used and I have to admit I use it on both my Mac and my iPhone. It’s simple and easy to use. I like the fact that I can see replies with different colors, which helps the “ignition” part. It’s not unusual to tweet something only after I opened the application and browsed some of the tweets of the people I follow. Which, in this case, means the tool is actually making me blog with it. You can get it from here.
Oh, and of course, you can follow me on twitter if you want.
I admit I started to actively use tumblr, only after I started to use the iPhone as a travel mate. I use the official Tumble application and I have to admit I was charmed by the simplicity and the ease of use. For me tumblr is just a way of broadcasting my message in another, smaller universe, so I rarely use Tumble directly, I just set up several feeds on the dashboard and let the magic of the web services work for me.
If you want, you can subscribe to my tumblr page, and that will give you th full package: twitter +Â tumbling + blog posts.
For blogging I use the excellent Mac Journal and since I recently wrote some pretty consistent tutorial on how to use Mac Journal as a GTD tool for blogging, I won’t repeat myself here. I might, however, give you some hints on an upcoming sale of Mac Journal through eDragonu, but more details about that pretty soon. Just subscribe to my feed in order to be announced when the promotion will start and how it will go.
Well, that’s it, that was my little rant about the new “I” in blogging. Feel free to comment, as usual.