"The blog is dead." At least that's what an article from "Fast Company" proclaimed. A quick Google search will reveal articles with similar sentiments.
When I started my first blog back in 2004, blogging was the only game in town. If you had a message and wanted to tell the world, creating a blog was your answer.
Newer social media platforms have been catering to our ever-shortening attention spans. Why read 500 words when you can get your content in 100 characters?
The rise of the "microblog"
Facebook brought us an incredibly easy way to share our thoughts online with hundreds of "friends." It also gave us an easy way to read what our friends had written. Go to your Facebook news feed and you could see it all.
Businesses created "fan" pages. If you "liked" a page, its content would appear in your news feed. Schools and civic organizations turned to Facebook as the easy way to communicate with stakeholders.
But things change
On Jan. 11, Mark Zuckerberg announced changes coming to the Facebook algorithm. The announcement tells us we’ll see "less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media."
That means, if you "like" the Facebook page from your child's school, you'll be less likely to see any of its content in your news feed. You'll have to go to that page. Ditto for your favorite business pages.
Times were when you "liked" pages, their content appeared in one place ... your news feed. You didn't have to go to a hundred places to stay informed. That was sort of the whole point behind "liking" pages.
For some time, businesses, schools and other organizations have seen their content reach ever-decreasing percentages of people — even though all those people had clicked "Like" on their pages. A 2015 article pegged that number at a mere 6 percent.
What gives? It's a move to encourage brands to buy advertising. Pay to "boost" your post, and Facebook will serve it up to people who have never heard of you. It been happening, and it's about to get bigger.
Renter or owner?
Renting provides flexibility. It's easy to get into and easy to leave. The responsibility for maintenance lies with someone else.
But renting also has its drawbacks. You get the carpet and paint the landlord wants you to have. Its price is subject to change. The building may be sold out from under you tomorrow.
Whether the medium is Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or many other platforms, you're posting on rented land. And renting is associated with that which is temporary.
Your blog is the place you own
Your blog is the one place on the Internet that is yours. That point was true in 2004. It's true today. You own it. You choose the colors, what you will place in the sidebar, the length of your content, and how many links you’ll add. Include pictures, audio and video to your heart's desire. Gone is the limit on character count. Gone are the ads in the sidebar. You have a home that's not subject to the latest changes in an algorithm.
Adding an email sign-up in the sidebar allows others to "subscribe" to your blog. Post something new and it lands in their email. Some people have Facebook; some don't. Some have Twitter; most don't. Virtually everyone has email and checks it.
Everything old is new again
In 2009, I created a blog whose purpose was to show people how easily they could create content. I called it, "Your Own Blog in 10 Minutes or Less." After the latest Facebook announcement, I decided it was time to dust it off, update links, and reintroduce it. In your Internet browser, go to bit.ly/frankbuck52.
Oh, and the article I mentioned at the beginning of this piece? It's from back in 2012. Six years later, blogs are still alive and kicking. In this writer's experience, if you've got ideas worth sharing, a blog is the way to do it.
Frank Buck is the author of Get Organized!: Time Management for School Leaders and was named to "Global Gurus Top 30" for 2017 in the time management category. He speaks throughout the United States and internationally about organization and time management. You can reach Dr. Buck through his website: FrankBuck.org. Follow him on Twitter @DrFrankBuck.